After a couple months with an interim Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) at the helm, the Village of Pemberton (VOP) has finally found a replacement for the position.
Effective June 13, the Whistler Public Library’s current director Elizabeth Tracy will take over as Pemberton’s new CAO, an opportunity she is excited to get started with after 10 years working for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW).
“It’s a big change. Everything that the [library] team and I have done over the last 10 years has been a real work of passion for me, and even though I would say the library is in a restorative time coming out of the pandemic, it’s still a really healthy organization and an outstanding team that I think will benefit from having some fresh eyes and it has some great possibilities ahead,” she said about starting a new chapter in her life.
“I’ve always really appreciated the uniqueness and authenticity of Pemberton as a community, and having lived in similar communities, I’m excited about applying my skills to an environment that is balancing its desire to maintain those characteristics that make it desirable as well as the many opportunities and challenges that come with growth and change, which obviously Pemberton is experiencing a lot of.”
During her time with the RMOW, Tracy provided leadership and oversight to the municipality’s recreation, protective services, fire/police, IT, finance and legislative services departments, often acting in the role of general manager of corporate and community services.
With Tracy at the helm, the Whistler Library won the Whistler Experience Service-Large Business award at the 2020 Whistler Chamber Excellence Awards, which can be seen as a testament to the type of leader that Pemberton is getting, according to VOP Mayor Mike Richman.
“What I saw [with Tracy] was really strong leadership skills. I think her whole demeanor and the energy and enthusiasm that she brings are going to be a really awesome fit and timely for our organization,” he said.
“As the top staff, she’s inheriting a strong organization that was well built from our previous CAO, but it’s also a group of staff that have been weathered by the pandemic in a challenging few years and need support and a little bit of a rebuild. With her energy, her leadership style and her enthusiasm, I think she’ll be a really good fit for the organization.”
While he mentioned how thankful and grateful he is for the work that interim CAO Sheena Fraser did in the role for the last couple months, after Nikki Gilmore left the position she held for nearly eight years, Richman said he is excited to have the position filled and to get started working with Tracy.
But even though she has many qualities he thinks will be valuable for the role, Richman does admit there will be a large learning curve for Tracy to get accustomed to. And the key to a successful integration, according to Richman, comes down to getting to know her staff as quickly as possible.
“The starting point is getting to know her staff and getting to know where they’re at in terms of their capacity, in terms of how they are able to manage their roles and what they need. That’s her primary job, to manage all that staff,” he said.
“We have a ton of challenges and great opportunities ahead of us in Pemberton and there is definitely going to be a catching-up period for her to understand some of the projects that are underway, to understand the history that is in place. Fortunately, Elizabeth is from the corridor, so she does have a lot of local knowledge, but there is still going to be a ton of historical and organizational knowledge to catch up on.”
Meanwhile, at the RMOW, no replacement library director has been hired yet. With the process just getting underway, it could take some time before the job is filled.