The District of Clearwater has found a new chief administrative officer.
John Thomas, who is coming to the North Thompson from the Yukon where he worked as a CAO, will arrive on June 28, 2021.
“I am very excited to be joining the community and team in the District of Clearwater as the next CAO,” Thomas said in a press release. “I look forward to making myself at home while working hard to support Mayor and council, the administration and partners including Simpcw First Nations to deliver the many important priorities for the community.
“Lastly, I would like to acknowledge Ms. Groulx’s incredible contribution, dedication and hard work over the past 13-plus years serving the community and the district. I look forward to working with all of you to ensure a smooth transition.”
The DOC’s current CAO, Leslie Groulx, announced her retirement last year after 13 years with the District. Over the years, she has helped to lead the District through both economic downturn and growth, as well as emergency situations such as the fires that threatened the region just a few years ago.
She has also been a major reason why the DOC has seen much of its success, through endeavors like obtaining grants.
“It’s going to be tough to see her retire,” said Mayor Merlin Blackwell, noting she’s been with the District since day one. “We are incredibly thankful for her dedication to her team, her ability to build relationships with citizen groups, businesses and other levels of government, and her tenacious commitment to making sure Clearwater is the best place to live, work and play.”
Some highlights of Groulx’s tenure include the recognition of the municipality for four community excellence awards, both provincially and regionally, commercial growth in the district, as well as Simpcw First Nation, and securing over $24 million in grant funding since inception.
In August of last year, she was presented with the Master Municipal Clerk designation plaque from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
Hiring of the new CAO, however, brings a new chapter for Clearwater, said Groulx, and exciting opportunity, as he brings with him experience in a variety of backgrounds.
“John brings with him experience in municipal government, infrastructure management, planning and development and an academic background focused on tourism industry — all attributes that lead to continuing the growth of our community,” said Groulx. “Welcome to Clearwater, John!”