Westerner Park hires new CEO

Westerner Park will soon have a new person holding the reins. The Westerner Exposition Association board announced on Monday that it’s hired Darrell Komick as the organization’s new CEO and general manager. He will replace John Harms, who headed the non-profit association for 18 years before leaving last May.

Westerner Park will soon have a new person holding the reins.

The Westerner Exposition Association board announced on Monday that it’s hired Darrell Komick as the organization’s new CEO and general manager. He will replace John Harms, who headed the non-profit association for 18 years before leaving last May.

Assistant manager Jim White has served as acting CEO and general manager since that time.

Komick previously worked as chief operating officer with the Calgary Farmers Market New Generation Co-op Ltd.

In that position, he was active in promotions and development for 208 food producers with annual local product sales of $150 million.

Graham Heron, the Westerner board’s chair and incoming president, said one of the things that made Komick attractive to the board is “his experience of building a consensus and support with varying stakeholders in making a large project come to fruition.”

Heron explained that Westerner Park works with various stakeholders — including the city, county, province and Red Deer Rebels — to produce events for the benefit of Central Alberta.

Komick is well-suited for this task, he said.

The search for a new CEO and general manager was an extensive one, and involved the services of a national consulting firm, said Heron.

“It was a fairly broadly cast net,” he said, adding that White’s proficiency in filling the role on an interim basis gave the board time to find the right candidate.

“Basically, we were looking for a long-term strategic fit.”

Komick is scheduled to commence work on March 17, and will be on hand for Westerner Park’s annual general meeting on March 25.

Westerner Park is central Alberta’s largest trade show, agricultural, sports, entertainment and convention facility.

It has 50 full-time staff and 150 full-time volunteers, and generates $150 million in economic activity through the hosting of more than 1,500 events each year.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com