Oliver fills CAO position
Glacier Media - Sep 08, 2023 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Wayne Anderson has been named chief administrative officer for the town of Oliver, the top administrative job with the town, and he has a lot to bring to the table.

Anderson has been acting CAO in Oliver since May, filling the vacant position left by Ed Chow, while also working as the town’s chief financial officer. Now Anderson’s positions will be switched. He will be CAO and acting CFO until the town can fill that position.

This is the first time Anderson has officially held the title of CAO, but he has had experience as acting CAO in the past even before stepping into the position earlier this year in Oliver.

He had a five and half year tenure at the City of Merritt as its director of finance and IT immediately prior to coming to Oliver and held the acting CAO position on and off during his time there.

“I was the acting CAO there for a few instances, for example, during the Lytton evacuation in July of 2021,” Anderson said. “I was acting CAO for that. So we were working through the emergency operation.”

Overall Anderson brings 25 years of experience working directly with municipalities or consulting with local government clients while in his former position as director of sales and general manager of Vadim Software based in Kelowna.

All these experiences together prompted Mayor Martin Johansen to say “one of council’s highest priorities is to select a qualified CAO for our community. After a thorough recruitment process, it was clear that Wayne Anderson has the knowledge, experience and proven leadership skills to achieve council’s strategic priorities and continue to advance the Town of Oliver forward.”

Although Anderson has had his fair share of experiences he can bring to this new position, he is not underestimating the learning curve.

“There’s always lots to learn. I’ll be attending the Union of BC Municipalities conference in September with council, and that’s always a good learning experience. You get to meet a lot of industry reps and go into those discussions with council.

“I’ve done that when I was in Merritt as well. I went into discussions with the different ministers and council as well too. So I am kind of familiar with that process, and to get our cases in front of the province,” Anderson explained.

“My history has been a little bit of management as well to sort of more strategic stuff. And that’s kind of what the CAO role is, is working through the council’s strategic priorities, and making sure that staff are executing on those. So being in line with that, policy and bylaws and so forth.”

Anderson has been juggling two of the most important positions in the town for the better part of this summer. Talking about balancing those, Anderson explained that “it’s relying on the team. There’s a good, strong management team here, so delegating a little bit more where I can and especially on the CAO responsibilities and then on the finance side as well too. You know, probably deferring a few things that could wait in that area. But now I do have a backlog, and those need to get worked through. I’m going to be anxious to get a CFO in place to assist with that.”

Anderson explained that on more of a personal note, “one of my earliest jobs in my career was working at BC Tree Fruits as their controller, and it has just kind of come full circle now with that $30 million expansion of the plant here in Oliver.”

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