MD Council Welcomes New Chief Administrative Officer

The search for a new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the MD of Lesser Slave River drew numerous qualified contenders but was eventually narrowed down to a clear winner. MD Council is pleased to announce that Barb Miller, CPA, CGA, CLGM, has accepted the critical leadership role as CAO for the municipality.

Barb will officially assume her duties on Tuesday, December 1. In the interim, Barry Kolenosky will continue his role as Acting CAO, providing a seamless transition from the old guard to the new. “I welcome Barb aboard and look forward to working closely with her through the transitional phase and beyond,” he shares. Ms. Miller replaces departing CAO Allan Winarski, who retired at the end of September after stewarding the MD for 17 years.

“I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to leverage my experience and expertise to bring a fresh perspective and leadership approach to the MD,” shares Barb. “It is my goal to foster a culture of engagement, inspiration and service excellence. I look forward to working closely with Council, staff, and the community at large, with a view to furthering our progress in sustainable and mutually beneficial ways.”

In addition to her passion for public service excellence, Barb has an extensive background in finance and emergency operations. An accomplished municipal leader, Barb comes to the MD with 12 years of experience as a municipal executive. In her most recent role as Deputy CAO / Director of Corporate Services for the Town of Drumheller, she led teams in multiple divisions including Finance; Emergency Management; and Land Development.

Before joining the Town of Drumheller in 2014, Barb served as the CAO for the Town of Vauxhall for six years. Prior to her work in the municipal sector, she worked for UFA from 2003 to 2008, where she began as a Financial Analyst and advanced to the position of Senior Internal Auditor – Financial / Corporate Services in 2005.

Barb’s extensive senior-level experience in local government, coupled with her background in the financial sector and her participatory leadership style, made her the ideal candidate in Council’s estimation.

“I am pleased that Barb has accepted the offer to be our new CAO,” states Reeve Murray Kerik. “My fellow Councillors and I took great care to find an individual with the right qualifications and character to fulfill this key role. In our vetting and interview phases, it soon became evident that Barb exceeded our expectations in all areas. She will be an excellent fit.”

Deputy Reeve Darcie Acton echoes Reeve Kerik’s sentiment. “With her breadth of professional and leadership training, coupled with her executive municipal expertise, we feel Barb is ideally suited to lead the MD,” she shares. “We are confident in her ability to mentor the leadership team, manage our present challenges, and chart a course for success.”

Barb is both a Certified Local Government Administrator (CLGM) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA). She holds a Bachelor of Applied Business Administration from SAIT in Calgary, in addition to National Advance Certificates in Local Authority Administration from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Growing up on the shores of Ontario’s great lakes, Barb has an affinity for open water, deep woods, big dogs and crackling campfires. She is certain to feel right at home in the MD’s boreal backyard. Barb’s immediate family includes her husband John and their black lab Marley, plus their adult children Matthew and Michaela who reside in Lethbridge with their spouses. Barb, John and Marley are currently on the hunt for their new home in the MD.


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