A former councillor has new duties with the District of Lake Country.
Jamie McEwan has joined the municipality to help push economic development as the district’s new community development manager, replacing Ryan Roycroft, who has moved on to Kelowna.
“This is a dream career and I intend to be here for a long time, dedicating myself to the community I love,” said McEwan, 29, who was raised in Lake Country.
“It’s an honour to continue to work with the community,” he said.
As a one-term councillor, McEwan was elected to Lake Country council in 2011 and sat for one term before opting against running again. At the time he said it was to focus on career and while that was true, McEwan and his wife were also expecting their first child and that factored into his decision.
“One of the reasons I didn’t run for council, and I wasn’t able to talk about it at the time, was my wife and I are expecting our first child in May,” he said.
“I wanted to make sure my evenings and weekends were free for spending time with my family and the child that we have on the way.”
While McEwan replaces Roycroft, his job title has changed, although economic development will remain a key focus of the position.
“I think there is massive potential for Lake Country locally, regionally and beyond,” he said.
“We are a 10-minute drive from a top 50 university in the world and a 10 or 15 minute drive to the Kelowna International airport. Through regional collaboration I think we can get a lot of unique and interesting businesses that will benefit the residents of Lake Country and also help local businesses thrive.”
While a municipality hiring a former councillor isn’t unprecedented in B.C., it is a unique situation.
The district’s hiring process saw almost 100 applicants put their name forward for the position.
The final short-listed candidates were tested by an external human resources provider as the last part of the process.
McEwan, who has a degree in urban geography and experience as a local government planner prior to his stint as a Lake Country councillor, earned the position, according to Mark Koch, director of community services.
“Throughout the recruitment process interview and testing phase, Jamie McEwan really shone as the best candidate,” said Koch.
“It is great to hire someone that is local, qualified and has demonstrated a keen interest in the community.”