PRESS RELEASE – January 21, 2021
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Leslie Groulx is retiring from the District of Clearwater on May 28, 2021.
“Ms. Groulx has been integral to the success of the District Clearwater since incorporation and has been a fierce champion for our community and for the North Thompson Valley since taking on the role of Chief Administrative Officer. Ms. Groulx, in her joint role as CAO and Economic Development Officer, has been essential to getting federal and provincial grants that have moved Clearwater forward, making us the envy of many a community with similar issues and similar needs. Ms. Groulx is highly respected within the greater local government community, has helped Clearwater build extensive beneficial relationships within the business and government circle, and is a huge part of why Clearwater is seen as a community that gets things done. She has handled her position with the utmost integrity, professionalism and forethought, the latter was demonstrated in her proactive notice to Council far in advance of her retirement, allowing for as smooth a transition as possible to a future CAO. On behalf of myself and Council, it has been an honour, a privilege and an absolute pleasure to work with Ms. Groulx (Leslie) over the years, and we have been working with her to keep Clearwater moving forward though her transition toward retirement.” Mayor Merlin Blackwell.
CAO, Groulx has been an instrumental part of starting and growing the municipality as it is today. Some highlights of her tenure to-date include the recognition of the municipality for four community excellence awards (provincial and regional), the commercial growth you see today, significant infrastructure funding through Trans Mountain, building of relationships with all levels of government, including Simpcw First Nation, implementing and expanding many programs and services for our citizens; securing over $24 million in grant funds since inception for the enhancement of various programs and the construction and development of significant infrastructure that now serves this community.
“I’ve had the good fortune of being with the municipality since inception, playing an integral part in building the foundation of the organization from the ground up has been equivalent to completing a master’s degree in local government. I have had the opportunity to work with many outstanding staff and elected officials throughout the years who were and are committed to this community and our citizens,” said Groulx. “Leading the District through a period of significant growth, even during periods of economic downturn, supporting our neighbouring communities, working with the investment community and seeing the benefit of this through substantial increase in building permit values and property assessment, and having the opportunity to develop and implement provincially recognized pilot projects as templates for other municipalities are among the most rewarding parts of my career. All that has been accomplished in the past 10 years as CAO is not possible without a strong working team – including Council, staff, our partners, and our stakeholders”.
The District of Clearwater incorporated in December 2007, Groulx started with the District in January 2008 as the Corporate Officer / Economic Development Officer. Before joining the District, she spent 3 years with Thompson Nicola Regional District and previous to that she spent time in education and forestry and was a self-employed accountant / business consultant for many years. Groulx was appointed as Chief Administrative Officer for the District in June 2011.
The search for a new CAO is underway, Council put out a call for proposals from three recruitment firms in the fall and have engaged the services of a professional recruiting firm to aid in selecting the right fit for our community. “We as a community haven’t replaced a CAO in basically a decade, therefore the Council has reached out to an executive search team to assist in this important step. We are seeing an excellent response to date in this process, we will interview in February and complete the hiring process in March”, noted Mayor Blackwell.