New changes on the rise in 2016

The Original Birdie  – Community Conversation

By TIM O’ROURKE, Connect Weekly

There’s a new consulting/marketing guru available for hire in the New Year. My good friend Don Grose, who hails from Halifax, has given notice as General Manager for Harvard Broadcasting (Mix 103.7 and 100.5 Cruz FM), after almost five years, effective early in 2016.

During that span, Grose has been active sitting on several community boards, such as the Multicultural Association of Wood Buffalo, Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures Wood Buffalo and communications for the Northern Lights Regional Health Foundation. The longtime broadcaster is also an active musician and singer, who enjoys playing to folks at the Royal Canadian Legion, Rotary House Seniors Lodge, Golden Years Society and the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

Grose and his better half, Charlene of WelcomeHome Relocations, have put down roots in Fort McMurray and are staying put. Maybe he can finally finish writing that book in his head, titled: How to Become a Radio Broadcaster in 10 Easy Steps.

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Big changes are in store for the Fort McMurray Golf Club (FMGC) on Real Martin Drive. After 12 years, Blair McDowell recently resigned as Director of Golf/General Manager due to family reasons. McDowell was originally hired as the Head Professional at FMGC. In fact, I took lessons from him and found him to be a good and patient instructor.

He eventually took over the GM duties, after Mel Dies left FMGC for the Fernie Golf and Country Club in B.C., a few years later. He will be greatly missed by his core staff and members. Big golf spikes to fill at the soon-to-be 27-hole golf course.

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Some Other Solutions (SOS) has named Alie Warnes as the interim Executive Director who will replace Bonnah Carey. Warner has been the Operations Director at SOS and is excited to move into her new position, where she can continue to support the team in providing crisis support services for our community.

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A little bird recently found out that Rob Rice is now the owner/operator of Home Hardware with Jason Decker, as his store manager. The longtime Home Hardware employee replaced Don Carruthers who retired in August.

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The store Closing Sale at Canadian Jewellers on Main Street continues. Owners Bearj and Karen Shimoon are advertising 57 Cents on the Dollar on all gold and diamond jewellery. Great deals to be had for McMurrayrites!

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A few months ago, Diversified Transportation Director of Communications Maribeth Wilson game me a tour of their Taiganova site. It’s a spectacular operation, especially walking through the bus wash bays.

Earlier this month, Diversified launched a new innovative iPhone app – MyBusRoute, which offers real-time ETA bus stop information for its Shell, Suncor and Syncrude riders in the Fort McMurray area. An Android version of the app in now in development. Diversified Transportation has operated in the oilsands transportation service in this community for over 50 years.

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A comedy/dinner theatre fundraiser Fanny and Manny Tie the Knot, on behalf of Waypoints (Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society), is set for February 5 & 6 at the Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at www.suncor.fmcschools.ca or at the Centre’s box office.

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If you like hip hop, then mark down January 6 on your calendar as Juno award-winning rapper Madchild – from the Vancouver based group Swollen Members -is playing The Lion’s Den at the Quality Hotel. Madchild will be showcasing his new solo album: Silver Tongue Devil, which debuted at #3 on the music charts.

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I
was at a house party Saturday night and, lo and behold, I saw FMGC Assistant Superintendent Stacey Elser, who was clean shaven the last time I saw him. He was then playing the Men’s Night Windup Tournament in September. Today, Elser resembles Rafi from the TV series: The League. (See the ‘Separated at Birth’ feature)

SAB -JANDS

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If you hear of a good tip, contact me at tim@starnews.ca.

– Connect Weekly –