The Penticton Community Centre has a new general manager.
Chuck Loewen was introduced and welcomed by city CAO Annette Antoniak at Monday night’s council meeting.
Loewen’s last job was in Ontario’s Niagara region as general manager of Peace Bridge Duty Free shop, the largest of its kind in North America. Previously, Loewen, who has a BA in business administration, worked for two decades for Sears in various positions.
This is Loewen’s first job in government, although he said he has worked with municipalities as well as provincial and federal governments.
When the PCC manager position was posted in April, the city said it was looking for someone with an “entrepreneurial spirit.”
According to Antoniak, Loewen’s experience will supplement the city’s desire to implement new marketing solutions while exceeding residents’ recreational needs.
“We had a lot of applicants that came forward for the GM position,” Antoniak said. “What we were looking for at the recreation centre was a little bit different. We were looking for somebody with a little bit more entrepreneurial type skills and a little more creativity.
“Chuck comes to Penticton with a very extensive background in business and operations.”
Loewen said he believes he will bring creativity, innovation and an ability to develop new revenues to the community centre.
“I look at things a little differently,” said Loewen. “I ask questions. I (look) at things that bring value. I probe and get deeper in to see how we can improve our business lot as well as our environment for our citizens and for the community of Penticton.”
Loewen said he has a real passion for customer service.
“I consider the entire community of Penticton … my customers,” he said. “I am a hands-on front-line type of individual and I believe I can bring some great value-add to the community so that they can have a great place to play, so to speak; a great place to live; and a great place to work.”
Loewen will be responsible for all recreational operations at the municipality. He will also be the city’s point-man with Global Spectrum, overseeing all of the South Okanagan Events Centre complex for the municipality while working with Global GM Dean Clarke.
In addition to Loewen, the city also recently hired a new controller for the municipality’s accounting department.
Colin Fisher, who managed and directed accounting resources, processes and financial reporting for First West Credit Union prior to coming to the city, will fill the previous deputy treasurer position.
“(Loewen and Fisher’s) breadth of experience complements the existing management team as staff move forward with council’s goals for providing better customer service to its residents and initiating cost savings and revenue-generating measures,” concluded Antoniak.