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Town of Crossfield appoints new CAO

A new chief administrative officer (CAO) is joining the ranks of fellow Crossfield Town council members this fall, following in the footsteps of previous CAO Ken Bosman, whose contract was terminated earlier this year.

A new chief administrative officer (CAO) is joining the ranks of fellow Crossfield Town council members this fall, following in the footsteps of previous CAO Ken Bosman, who departed the position earlier this year.

According to Jo Tennant, mayor of Crossfield, the Town hired a consulting firm to aid council in their search for a new CAO after releasing Bosman from his contract on Feb. 10. Long-time Town employee Merel Jarvis has held the position of interim CAO since then, until council was able to find a suitable candidate – a search that took six months.

With more than 30 years of experience working in municipal government, council selected Sue Keenan to assume the CAO position starting on Sept. 27.

"Given [Keenan’s] background, experience, and areas of expertise, we thought that she would be a really great fit for Crossfield,” Tennant said. “We’re excited to have her start and our staff are excited to have somebody back in that chair again – everybody's looking forward to her arrival.”

Previously, Keenan worked as CAO for the Town of Fort Macleod for six years. Prior to that, she held positions as a parks and recreation director in both Alberta and British Columbia.

Keenan said she will be relocating from the southwestern Alberta town of Fort Macleod to Crossfield for the new posting, and is eager to work alongside Crossfield’s council members.

“I really like [council’s] vision and their forecasting and commitment, and their respect for each other,” Keenan said. “I’ve met some of the staff and I know from what I’ve been hearing from some of my colleagues around the region, it’s a really good group.

“I’m hoping I can bring some energy and enthusiasm to the position and really get some buy in from the team, and focus on the team approach to providing public service at a very efficient and effective level for the benefit of our residents out there.”

Tennant said the decision to select Keenan for the role was also influenced by her experience in the recreation sector, which is an area she noted the Town hopes to improve upon.

Keenan added her years of experience in municipal government and the credibility she has established in the communities she’s worked in “speaks for itself.”

“I think in terms of my discussions with Crossfield council, they've got some specific areas they'd like me to focus on, which are kind of my specialty areas,” she said.

Prior to working in municipal government, Keenan was the executive director of the B.C. School of Sports, as well as previously performing as a carded national athlete. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education, and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.  

“She is so enthusiastic – all of us on council felt that she was an absolute excellent fit for Crossfield,” Tennant said. “Crossfield’s growing, and it’s only going to grow more. It’s a busy position.

“It’s good to have somebody with new insight, great enthusiasm, and lots of energy.”

Keenan said while she was born in Vancouver, she is a small-town girl at heart.

“I love that sense of community that’s important to me, I like to be involved in the community outside of work, so it’s important that I live in Crossfield,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunity and some of the projects that they have on the go and want me to get involved in.

“My plan is to really hit the ground running out there. I’m just thrilled for the opportunity.”

Follow me on Twitter @carmenrcundy  

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