New challenge excites Smoky River CAO Romyn

M.D. of Smoky River No. 130’s new chief administrative officer Kate Romyn is looking forward to her new role with the municipality. She, her husband, and their dogs are looking forward to living and exploring in the region

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

The M.D. of Smoky River No. 130 has hired a new chief administrative officer, and she is excited to be welcomed not only in her new role but also into the community.

Kate Romyn took over the CAO reigns in April. Originally from Grimsby, Ont., Romyn moved to Calgary when she was 18 and says she fell in love with Alberta and the way of life.

“My first impression of the region is very positive,” says Romyn of the Smoky River Region.

“Everyone I have met has been very friendly and welcoming.”

Romyn’s local government education includes a National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration (NACLAA) Levels 1 & 2, Advanced Certificate in Leadership, Information Access and Protection of Privacy (IAPP), and Management Development, all from the University of Alberta. She’s also completed Emergency Management Training, FOIP Training through Cenera, and Assessment Review Board Clerk Training. In six months, she will be eligible to receive her Certified Local Government Manager designation.

Romyn’s attraction to local government began when she and her husband moved to the Village of Hussar six years ago where she acted as the CAO.

“I immediately fell in love with the position and with local government,” says Romyn.

“After three and a half years I left the village and accepted a position in the finance department with the City of Chestermere before switching to the Legislative Services Department where I became the manager of legislative services.”

Romyn decided to search for a larger municipality to expand her skills, knowledge and experience, which led her to discover the CAO vacancy in the M.D.

“I enjoy the meaningful and challenging work,” says Romyn of being a CAO.

“There is an opportunity to make a difference and have a positive impact on the community. In my experience, everyone in local government is willing to lend a hand and share information, provide advice, support one another, and work collaboratively,” she adds.

Hoping to make a difference in the municipality, Romyn strives to ensure staff have adequate training and resources to provide services to residents. She also wants to provide residents with an opportunity to be involved and engaged in building the community.

“My goal is to always learn and grow, and I encourage staff to do the same, so we can serve the community better,” says Romyn.

“I’d like for our staff to become experts in their field and leaders in our community and throughout the region.”

In terms of local government, Romyn is hoping to build a formidable relationship and collaboration with staff, neighbouring municipalities, and other levels of government. She believes transparency and enhanced engagement and education will help to push the municipality forward and she hopes to create a strategic plan with council to set clear long-term and short-term goals. Her plan is to review and update the strategic plan during each council term.

Romyn and her husband are still in the process of moving to the region. They are currently living in Falher but hoping to look for an acreage in the M.D. eventually.

“We moved with our three Huskies: Roxy, Nara, and Akira, who love to run and play” she says.

“If you want to check them out, search for Alberta Husky Adventures on Facebook.”

Romyn says she loves to hike, fish, ski, and go dog sledding with her Huskies. She feels the region will allow her to experience all of her outdoor and recreational passions, a perfect fit for an active family with active pets.

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