The District of Hope has a new director of finance.
Carolyn Bidwell took over the position at the beginning of December and brings both business and municipal experience to the job.
“Before I got into municipal government, my specialty was businesses in trouble or businesses that were expanding and needed support that way,” she said.
“I’m used to looking over the finances of an organization and making sure we move forward in a positive manner. This is a perfect fit.”
Bidwell was born and raised in Regina, Sask., and graduated from high school with honours before attending the University of Regina. Her first accounting position was in 1989 as the controller for a Nissan dealership in Moose Jaw, Sask. where she trained with a manual accounting system for over a year. In the early ’90s, she transferred the organization into a computerized environment and, within a few years, became the controller for a second Mazda dealership owned by the same partnership. Bidwell continued her career in the accounting and administration field for the next 22 years, working as a controller in various industries, most notably as a corporate accountant for Field Aviation. While living in Calgary with two young children, she passed her Certified Management Accounting exam in 2001.
Bidwell was hired as the administrator for the rural municipality of Gravelbourg, Sask. in 2011, having received her Rural Municipal Administrators Class C Certificate. While in that position, she personally finalized the adoption of an Official Community Plan and revised zoning bylaw, as well as many other bylaws, policies, and administrative processes. Bidwell also obtained her Urban Municipal Standard Administration Certificate in 2013.
Although she was born and raised in Saskatchewan, her two boys were born in Alberta and raised in Nelson, B.C. Bidwell said she was excited to move back to the province she and her family considers home. Her eldest son currently attends the University of Alberta in Edmonton, while her youngest is a Grade 11 student at Hope Secondary School.
“We knew this was a good place for us,” she said.
“We love it here. It’s a really good community. The people are wonderful.”