New Keremeos CAO brings 24 years of government experience

Cathy Cowan starts her role as CAO for the village of Keremeos July 6.

Keremeos new CAO Cathy Cowan


The village’s new CAO comes with more than 24 years of government experience at both the Regional District and lower tiered municipal level.

Cathy Cowan starts her role as CAO for the village July 6.

Cowan is currently the Corporate Officer for the town of Oliver. She’s been at that post for the last 3.5 years and prior to that she served 21 years with the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen in several roles including deputy corporate officer.

“I’ve gone from the bottom all the way up,” she said during a brief interview outside the village office Monday before meeting her new staff.

In addition to her extensive experience, Cowan holds a certificate in Local Government Administration.

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Cowan first moved to the Okanagan in 1990.

She’s always had her eye on the Similkameen Valley.

“This is a good sized community. I’m excited to become involved in it. I’ve seen a lot of progress here over the last few years,” she said.

Council received over 35 applicants for the CAO position. The applicants were short-listed to three for interviews.

“Keremeos was seeking a team player to lead the village,” stated Mayor Manfred Bauer in a press release. “Ms. Cowan has a history of success in both municipal and regional district environments in the Okanagan.

We sincerely welcome Cathy to Keremeos and look forward to working with her to continue making our community a great place to live, work and play.”

It was announced at the end of March that former village CAO Laurie Taylor was leaving her post. Taylor took a CAO position in Nakusp and will start June 1.

Council hired RDOS staff to act as a consultant to help in the hiring process. Just over $13,000 was set aside to recruit and hire a new CAO.

The recruitment process was shorter than previous hires, Bauer said.

“We haven’t got a final bill for the process but because it happened quite quickly I would think the recruitment figure would be low,” he said.

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