The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has hired a new chief administrative officer — and it scooped him from Merritt.
Scott Hildebrand will take over as the new CAO as of Aug. 17.
In a press release, the TNRD noted the field of candidates was competitive, but added Hildebrand brings both private and public sector experience. Hildebrand has been CAO in Merritt since the spring of 2019 and he worked for six years as CAO for Brandon, Man., which has a population of about 50,000.
A story published in the Merritt Herald in May of 2019 quoted Hildebrand as saying he would have stayed in Brandon had a lady not brought him west.
Hildebrand’s LinkedIn profile also notes he worked as executive director of Sage Health Centre in Kamloops from 2017 to 2019 prior to his stint in Merritt. In addition, he has worked in management for PepsiCo and studied business administration at the University of Regina.
Hildebrand will replace interim CAO Randy Diehl, who took over after former CAO Sukh Gill departed suddenly from the regional district earlier this year.
Gill received a payout of about $520,000 when he left, which the regional district said was a compromise agreement based on a disputed claim, the details of which the district said will not be released.
The regional district initially said Gill had resigned, then claimed he had retired, despite the payout handed to him. Documents later obtained by KTW showed a legal agreement between the TNRD and Gill, with one clause declaring the regional district was obligated to refer to his departure as a retirement.
Gill was with the regional district for two decades and also came from Merritt.