Angela Coleman to take the reins as general manager at local watershed authority

Angela Coleman becomes the new general manager of South Nation Conservation on May 1. Courtesy photo

FINCH — For the first time in close to 30 years, there’s about to be a change in staff leadership at South Nation Conservation (SNC). In a not-so-surprising development, Angela Coleman will succeed current General Manager Dennis O’Grady when he retires this spring.

Coleman, now serving as SNC’s director of Property Management and Approvals, assumes the top post on May 1.

“On behalf of SNC’s Board of Directors, we are pleased to have Angela Coleman accept her new role at SNC.  Angela has demonstrated excellent leadership at SNC since she started her career with us in 2001.  Given her skills, experience, and credentials, the position of General Manager / Secretary-Treasurer is a natural fit for her,” said Doug Thompson, Chair of SNC’s Board of Directors, in a Dec. 16 press release.

The incoming general manager brings an impressive educational background with a Bachelor of Arts, Education, and Law, all obtained from the University of Ottawa.  She joined SNC in 2001 as the Communications Coordinator, and in 2006 became the Director of Source Protection Planning and Communications.  After obtaining her law degree in 2009, she returned to SNC as Director of Marketing and Communications, moving to Director of Property and Approvals in 2013.

Long-time observers of the local watershed authority have had Coleman pegged as O’Grady’s likely replacement when he announced his impending retirement more than a year ago.

“Growing up in Crysler and my life-long community involvement has given me insight into the challenges facing rural communities,” Coleman stated. “At SNC, we’ve always been mindful of those challenges and work closely with our watershed residents and municipal partners to address them.”

O’Grady began his career with Conservation Authorities in 1978 as a summer student and spent the next 39 years working with Conservation Authorities.  “Conservation Authorities are the best organizations protecting the environment,” he said.  “Local people making local decisions: that’s the key.”

“Dennis has implemented a very effective conservation program during his 30 years at SNC while becoming a conservation leader in North America,” said Thompson.  O’Grady is regularly asked to address major environmental conferences in Canada and the U.S., often to explain some of the enlightened policies introduced under his watch including floodplain regulations, an extensive reforestation and forest preservation program, and the Phosphorus Trading Program.

“Dennis has provided guidance over the years, and has been influential in my decision to continue my career in environmental conservation,” said Coleman.  “We are working closely together to ensure a seamless transition.”

“SNC’s Board of Directors thanks Dennis for his years of service and dedication to the Conservation Authority.  We also congratulate Angela and look forward to working with her in her new role,” said Thompson.

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