Kelly Thomson will be stepping into the driver’s seat at The Mustard Seed Kamloops as Mario Borba steps away from his role as managing director of the social agency.
Thomson will be interim managing director while the search begins for a permanent replacement for Borba. Thomson said he will likely be in the position for about six months.
“They’re starting the search right away, but It takes awhile to find a person to fit this role,” he said.
Thomson is a longtime Kamloops resident who has a history with the organization as a volunteer, board member and director.
He was the operations and labour relations superintendent of Molycop Canada in Kamloops for 32 years before retiring last year. When asked to join The Mustard Seed in this temporary capacity, Thomson was quick to say yes.
“I’ve always had a love for this place,” he said.
Thomson has been on the job since Nov. 23 and is trying to learn as much as possible from Borba at the moment, but he thinks the most pressing concern for the moment is doing what they can for people in need during the cold winter months and finding the budget with which to do it.
One plan is to try to keep The Mustard Seed open for 22 hours a day, seven days a week.
Thomson said the ongoing overdose crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are creating challenges for the organization.
“It’s definitely a challenge with our community that we work with,” he said. “They don’t always like to wear masks.”
Thomson noted The Mustard Seed in Calgary has effective programs that may be adaptable locally, with a Kamloops spin.
Thomson tipped his hat to his predecessor.
“I’ve got to say, Mario’s done a great job in the short time that he’s been here,” Thomson said.
“He’s brought some good stability and he’s built a good team, and I’m going to benefit from that.”
Borba came to Kamloops from Edmonton in October 2019 to become managing director, replacing Diane Down, who left suddenly, and without explanation from The Mustard Seed, after 11 months at the helm of the organization.