After months of searching, Chatham-Kent has found a new permanent Chief Administrative Officer.
The municipality announced that Michael Duben would serve as the new permanent chief administrative officer. Duben, who will be replacing Don Shropshire after he retired earlier this year, announced his resignation as CAO of Oxford County last week.
He will begin his role as CAO starting Sept. 8. The incoming CAO, who has local roots, also has a law background as well as plenty of municipal experience.
Duben’s experience as a CAO includes doing the job for the District Municipality of Muskoka for seven years, beginning in 2013, before taking the top job in Oxford County in 2020.
He also brings 10 years of experience as a senior corporate law partner at Miller Canfield LLP in Windsor.
Duben then moved to the municipal sector and served more than five years as a general manager with the City of Windsor, responsible for a number of departments, including parks, licensing and enforcement, planning, building, recreation, fire services and cultural affairs. He also served as vice-president for EnWin Utilities from 2009 to 2013.
Mayor Darrin Canniff said Duben would join the municipality at a critical time. He added Duben’s experience would help as CK works to recover from the challenges of the pandemic, including its economic and societal impacts, along with a vibrant level of growth and development.
“We are confident Michael’s comprehensive leadership experience, relationship building and past achievements in managing partnerships and driving value in the delivery of public services will greatly benefit the municipality and help council realize its strategic goals,” said Canniff.
While announcing Duben’s resignation from Oxford County, Warden Larry Martin said in a statement Duben “made a strong impact in his 21 months here,” leading the organization through the pandemic response.
“In many ways, big and small, Michael supported the county adapting to current circumstances and seizing opportunities,” Martin added. “Michael brought an enthusiastic and collaborative disposition that will be missed, but we are supportive of the new opportunity he is pursuing with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. We understand the positive personal impacts this role presents for him and his family.”
In the meantime, Tony Haddad remains the interim CAO for the municipality until Sept. 8.
Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News