Bob Nicolay is just two weeks into his new job as City Manager of Grande Prairie. Nicolay was the Chief Administrative Officer for Medicine Hat for 17 years, helped found ENMAX, and spent the last several years doing as a consultant to energy companies in the U.S. He says he’s looking forward to being back in public service.
“I guess I’ve got public service in my blood. While I thoroughly enjoy business and I have a real appreciation for the acumen that’s required to be successful in business, I happily wear the mantle of public servant as well.”
Nicolay says he’s particularly proud of the time he spent as CEO of the Canadian Olympic Development Association. He’s now diving in to all things city hall and developing relationships with local groups and organizations.
Nicolay has been in Alberta for other economic downturns, as he was the CAO for the City of Medicine Hat from 1982 to 1999. Although he’s has been out of the public sector for some time now, when he researched the Swan City, he says he was impressed with its diversification.
“[The economic downturn] is now without impact, for sure. It’s hurting the same as many other communities but the ability to move out of it; the ability to mobilize the forestry industry, the agricultural industry, even the tourism industry in this part of the province is a real advantage here.”
In addition to learning ropes around city hall, Nicolay is also taking every opportunity to chat with residents as he settles in. He encourages anyone who spots him at a coffee shop or grocery store to strike up a conversation.
Former city manager Greg Scerbak retired at the end of 2016.