Ucluelet’s municipal office welcomed its new captain last week.
Mark Boysen moved into the Chief Administrative Officer’s office on June 19.
“This is a beautiful place to be. It’s a wonderful community,” Boysen told the Westerly News from his new office on Friday. “This type of natural environment and setting, in a municipality with an appreciation of nature, perfectly aligns with me and my family.”
Boysen arrived in Ucluelet with nine years of experience leading teams across local governments on Vancouver Island including the District of Saanich’s Planning and Engineering departments and most recently served as the City of Victoria’s Manager of Corporate Engineering Services. Through his municipal work, Boysen has implemented various programs and projects, including asset and infrastructure management systems, facility and fleet optimization, energy management and community planning related to sustainability and climate action.
“My background working across different departments always had a sustainability lens on it,” he said adding he has a keen focus on finding environmental, social and economic balance.
“Quite often, when people hear sustainability, the environmental piece is what they first think about, but my priority is all three of those things.”
He added his wife Miriam, a marine biologist and two children, Kai, 7, and Gabriela, 10, were thrilled with the idea of moving to Ucluelet and will arrive in town on July 1.
“For myself and my family, this is the type of place we love to be,” he said. “The natural outdoors is important to us. We’re kayakers and people who love the outdoors so being in this type of community that’s so connected to nature is really exciting. And, you add on too, the opportunity to take a leadership role in your community; that’s great. There’s a really fun opportunity to do some neat things.”
This is Boysen’s first time taking the top CAO position and he’s excited about the leadership opportunity ahead of him.
“I’m excited that I can be a part of a community like this at this time,” he said.
“There’s some interesting pressures that are coming onto the community and some challenges for us to all work on, but I think there’s a challenge there for me in a setting that’s just a beautiful place to be.”
The CAO is the one employee of Ucluelet’s municipal council and Boysen said he’s enjoyed getting to know his new bosses.
“I have a great feeling from council…like the approach that they’re taking to things,” he said. “This a really positive community going in really interesting places right now.”
He said his first impression of his new staff has been “excellent.”
“They’ve been extremely helpful in my transition moving here and getting familiar with things,” he said.
“I’m only on day-five, but I’ve got a good sense of things over the last week…We’ve got a really great team set up here and, I think, we’re moving in the right direction.”
He added the community has also provided an impressive first impression.
“Everybody has been super friendly. Just like what you expect in a small town,” he said.
“I’ve met quite a few people, and several of our staff, who have raised families here and they’ve helped to give me a good feeling about the decision to move the family here.”
Boysen, a Registered Professional Planner with the Planning Institute of British Columbia and a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Geography from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Arts degree in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University.
He took the municipal hall’s reins from former CAO Andrew Yeates who resigned on Feb. 23 and became Sechelt’s Chief Administrative Officer on April 1.