Former councilman takes leadership position

As of July 1, Barrie welcomes Michael Prowse as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

Prowse has 21 years of management experience in the private sector, which lead to his role as an executive with G&K Services Canada Inc.  In this role, Prowse oversaw eight corporate facilities and more than 350 personnel, with direct responsibility for strategic planning and all operational matters from staffing to health and safety.  In 2016 and again in 2017, he was recognized by G&K as the top general manager in North America; in part for driving innovative improvements to service and reducing staff turnover.  His more than two decades of experience spans human resources, corporate infrastructure, project management, labour relations, and budgets.

“Michael brings a commitment to innovation, city-building, and the strategic direction of Council to the role of CAO,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “His blend of executive management experience in the private sector, commitment to building and supporting strong staff teams, and his love for Barrie will serve our community well as we continue with the excellent work underway by our executive management team to make the City of Barrie a leading municipality.”

Prowse is well known to Barrie residents serving as City Councillor for Ward 6 for more than 13 years, where he has played a leading role on Council.  Through his work as Chair of Finance Committee, President of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, and in managing growth and related issues in his ward for many years, Michael has gained a reputation as a pragmatic and visionary municipal leader.

“I have called Barrie home for more than two decades and I am passionate about the city,” said Prowse.   “Barrie is becoming one of Canada’s top cities and I am happy to be part of its next phase of growth. I am excited to get to work with the exceptional team of staff to deliver on Council’s vision for our city.”

Prowse took a leave of absence from Council to pursue the role of CAO. Prowse has resigned from his seat on City Council and the seat will be declared vacant at the next meeting of Council.  Council will also receive a staff report from the City Clerk regarding options for the Ward 6 seat at the June 12 meeting.

“On behalf of City Council I would like to reiterate our sincere appreciation to Carla Ladd for her exceptional leadership, integrity and strategic direction she has provided Barrie over the past 5 years as CAO,” added Lehman.  “We wish her all the best in her retirement.”

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