District Council has appointed Julie Stevens, the District’s current commissioner of Finance and Corporate Services (FCS), as its new CAO effective September 28, 2020.
Former District CAO Michael Duben resigned in June to take an equivalent role in Oxford County.
According to a media release from the District, “Over the last seven years Julie has developed a comprehensive knowledge of the District’s business to advise Council on their strategic priorities. She has fostered relationships with Area Municipal Partners with the goal of providing excellent services for our community. Julie has been actively involved in several broader municipal groups including past president of the Municipal Finance Officers Association (MFOA) and ONE Investment Board. Her tenure at the District has developed credibility and trust with District Council, District Strategic Leadership Team, and with Area Municipal Partners.”
Stevens is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours from Queen’s University.
She was treasurer for the Township of Muskoka Lakes before joining the District. She previously served as controller for Cequent Towing Products of Canada (formerly Hidden Hitch); chief financial officer at Algonquin Scientific; a senior manager at TD Canada Trust; and a manager at Ernst Young.
Stevents grew up in Huntsville before leaving for school and starting her career in Toronto, and she, her husband and two adult children have lived in Huntsville for 18 years. She is actively involved with the Muskoka Ski Club.
“It is a complex and unique time to serve the District of Muskoka,” said Stevens. “I look forward to working closely with District Council, staff and partner area municipalities to do all that we can together to help Muskoka’s communities not only recover, but to also thrive during these challenging times.”
District Chair John Klinck and members of the CAO Selection Panel participated in the search process with support from executive search firm Odgers Berndston. More than 40 applications from across Canada were received in response to the District’s posting.
“District Council is very pleased to have Julie lead our exceptional staff team, especially as we navigate the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 and work to support our communities as we recover together from this global pandemic,” said Klinck. “We believe Ms. Stevens possesses that unique combination of skills and abilities that will allow her to continue the great tradition of exceptional leadership at the District of Muskoka.”
Council extended its thanks to Samantha Hastings, commissioner of Community and Planning Services and interim CAO for stepping forward to provide leadership during the recruitment and transition process.
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