The Town of Rimbey now has a woman at its helm and, even though the position is not permanent, it looks like Melissa Beebe has made a seamless transition into the top spot.
Beebe, who took over as assistant CAO when Ryan Maier moved to Athabasca to fill the top post for that community, has now stepped into the position of acting CAO, filling a vacancy left by Tony Goode.
The spot seems a natural for Beebe, who has been with the Town of Rimbey since 2003, when she moved to the Leedale area from Edmonton where she was working as administration in construction related companies.
She moved here with two young daughters, beginning a new life with partner Garry Taylor, whom she has since married.
The move has proved to be a good one for Beebe, both on a career and personal level.
She loves the rural lifestyle and is quite happy to take time off from her busy, demanding job during haying season, but is also glad to be back at work, putting out fires and attending to the needs of the community of which she serves.
“I really do like my job,” she said. “There’s lots of learning always. Taking over this job has been a whole new learning curve, but it is rewarding when you know you are making a difference.”
During her tenure with the town, Beebe has worked with three councils and three CAOs. When she began in 2003 as executive assistant, Bill Kastiw was the CAO. Later Russ Wardrope came on board and when he retired he was replaced by Tony Goode.
During that time, councils changed as well.
Beebe reflected on the changes, noting while each council is different, each one has the same primary goals and objectives.
“Each council comes in with new perspectives and new ideas, but the main objective is to assess the needs of the community and help to keep it viable and sustainable.
Beebe’s climb up the career ladder has been steady, but it is only through her own determination and hard work, that she was able to even begin the climb.
Originally from Big River, Saskatchewan she moved to Edmonton in the ‘80s when the economy was strong and jobs were plentiful, even for a high school drop out.
But, times changed and before long Beebe found herself raising two girls as a single mom, depending on her salary as a waitress to make ends meet.
Wanting a better life for herself and her daughters she enrolled at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology graduating two years later on the honor roll with a diploma in office administration.
From that point on there was no looking back.
Her hard work paid off and she was hired as administration before she even graduated.
“There’s always a way to get from nothing to something if you are willing to work for it. Just set your mind to it and anybody can do it,” she said.
Even with her busy job and family responsibilities, Beebe continues to upgrade her skills and has completed six out of eight ‘local authority administration government studies’ courses. When she has completed the courses she will have her Level 1 Advance Certificate in Local Authority Administration.
Education is important to Beebe and she notes experience has shown her that it will opens doors which otherwise would remain closed.
She is pleased to note her daughter Jazmine is enrolled in kinesiology at Red Deer College and Jessica will graduate from Grade 12 in Rimbey this year.
Meanwhile, Beebe continues to keep busy juggling career and family and making all the pieces fit as best she can.
She encourages other women to choose a career they enjoy and follow their dreams.
“Just set your mind to it and you can make it happen.”