WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Diehl maintaining connection to career
Since leaving his post at the helm of the city of Kamloops, Randy Diehl has been taking time to enjoy the little things in life.
A good book, a stroll in the middle of the day or the company of a 29-pound Honduran rescue dog named Olive, who has become the former chief administrative officer’s constant companion in retired life.
“My daughter found her as a pup and brought her home and she’s still travelling, so I’m the new owner of the dog,” Diehl says, noting a knee surgery Olive underwent a few months ago has kept her particularly close as of late.
“I’ve been caring for her, babysitting her for the last couple of months. It’s been great, very relaxing, enjoyable.”
That seems to sum up much of Diehl’s life since his final day on the job on May 1, just as he turned 59.
Not long after his final day as CAO, he and his wife Ann — and Olive, of course — packed up the trailer and hit the road for two months of camping and hiking in national parks in B.C. and the U.S.
A return to Kamloops brought more camping, more hiking and a chance to correct his slice on the golf course — though he’s already had to do it twice, he admits.
For the winter, he’s concentrating on skiing, volunteering as a ski guide at Sun Peaks Resort.
“I had a wonderful career and I was very fortunate to be able to work and live in Kamloops and have such a good career here,” Diehl says.
“But, when you retire, you get a chance to do the things that are just for you alone.
“Things like reading would have been a luxury for me before.
“I never had the time, or even the inclination, because I read so many technical reports during the day.”
After 23 years with the city, 11 as CAO, Diehl is feeling good about leaving the operation in other hands.
“I’m really proud of them,” he says of his former city hall colleagues.
“It’s not like I left and thought, ‘I’ve got to get out of there.’ I didn’t think that. I thought it was just naturally time for me to leave and new people to step up to the plate.”
But, Diehl hasn’t completely left the local government game just yet.
In October, he started Diehl Management Consulting, a company dedicated to working with small municipalities and non-profit groups.
“These smaller municipalities and non-profit groups just don’t have the resources to hire or to contract out to experts,” Diehl says.
Among his clients so far are the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and the communities of Ladysmith and Keremeos.
“I’m just basically paying my expenses for doing the work,” he says. “So, it helps them and it helps me keep my mind active — and it keeps me in contact with people.”
Having worked in the social sector and with smaller B.C. communities in his younger days, Diehl sees his retirement gig as a chance to give back and keep his hand in the game without sacrificing time on the golf course or ski hill.
“I’m not interested in cornering the market on the world of consulting,” he says. “I’m just interested in having some fun and paying it forward to these smaller places.”