New head faces many challenges

Russ Hotsenpiller was promoted from within to become CAO of the Strathcona Regional District

The new chief administrative officer of the Strathcona Regional District has his sights set on fulfilling strategic priorities set by the board of directors, analyzing staffing and bringing the organization up to speed with modern technology.

Russ Hotsenpiller was introduced as the new chief administrative officer at Wednesday’s board of directors meeting.

The new role is a promotion for Hotsenpiller who was serving as the community services Manager for the regional district.

Hotsenpiller takes over from former chief administrative officer Brian Reardon, who vacated the position in late March.

Hotsenpiller said he was thankful for the appointment and eager to get to work.

“I enjoy this work, I get to work with some wonderful people and I’m very excited for this opportunity,” said Hotsenpiller who added that he was ready to tackle all of “the work that’s piled up that needs to be done.”

Hotsenpiller said one of the first things he will look at during his tenure is staffing at the regional district.

“It wouldn’t be prudent to roll out a succession plan now until I review the organization from the seat I’m sitting in now, however, this is top of mind,” Hotsenpiller said. “There’s no question, succession is one of the top three things we need to look at. People in key positions are going to be moving on to the next phase in their lives.”

Hotsenpiller also wants to get the board moving forward with its 17 strategic priorities – including a regional tourism service – that it laid out.

“I want to have us be aware and focus more on strategic priorities,” Hotsenpiller said. “To that end I will recommend to you a focus on our strategic priorities in the fall, to invest in an in-house session to review these priorities in September.”

The new chief administrative officer also promised a new website, as well as continuing to improve on solid relations with First Nations.

Hotsenpiller also had some advice for regional district directors. He said while many of the challenges the board faces may seem daunting, often they are compounded by directors’ difference of opinion and he urged directors to respect each others’ opinions.

Hotsenpiller is responsible for the management of the overall operations of the regional district and overseeing the successful implementation of board policies and direction.

 

Hotsenpiller has more than 14 years of experience in local government including four years with the Strathcona Regional District. In addition to his background in local government, Hotsenpiller has spent several years in farming and also worked on the paper crew at the Fletcher Challenge mill in Campbell River.