Longtime RDEK CAO retires

Lee-Ann Crane is calling it a career after starting with the organization as a receptionist in 1979.

  • May. 10, 2016 5:00 p.m.
Dean McKerracher

Dean McKerracher

It’s the end of an era at the RDEK as a long-time employee is transitioning to retirement after leading the organization for the last dozen years.

Lee-Ann Crane, who started up in the front office back in 1979, rose through the RDEK ranks to take the top administrator role in 1998, managing staff and providing counsel to elected board directors ever since.

Friday’s regular board of directors meeting was the final time she had to take a seat at the table and oversee the directors debate the regional issues.

Following the meeting, everyone around the table took time to acknowledge Crane’s influence on the board and say some thanks for her service.

Crane herself also had the chance to address the board, noting that she was has always been grateful to work in the background of the organization for 37 years.

Fun, challenging exciting, unexpected, fulfilling, building partnerships and volunteerism were just a few words she used to describe her time with the RDEK.

“I’m overwhelmed right now,” Crane said, following the presentations of flowers, the gift of a feather painted by a Ktunaxa artist from the Tobacco Plains band and the unveiling of a plaque in her honour.

“I’m honoured by what I experienced at the meetings today, by the presentations, by the words that were said. Also humbled, but more than anything, I’m excited.”

Crane sported a hockey jersey all meeting, however, it was a specialized uniform with the RDEK logo on the front.

From technology to staffing, things have changed since she started as a receptionist at 16 years of age, however, a core pillar of success is the way everyone works together to accomplish a goal, she said.

“The way the region has come together as a group, as a unit, both at the political level and even within the public, there’s more coming together to accomplish things and the staff that we have here—I can’t say enough good things about them, they are fantastic and you can’t be anything without them,” Crane said.

The RDEK has already identified an in-house replacement for Crane; Shawn Tomlin, the current Chief Financial Officer, will take over the CAO role.