New Saint Andrews CAO has Charlotte County roots
The town’s new CAO, Angela McLean, who was born not far away in Charlotte County Hospital and spent her early years in Campobello, said her new position “feels comfortable”.
The daughter of a teacher, she went to school up until Grade 1 in Campobello and then the family moved to Harvey Station when her father took a teaching position there.
“Most of my formative years were growing up in Harvey Station. It was a fantastic place to grow up in. We had an amazing music program, drama program and sports programs. For a small place, there is a lot going on for kids and it is quite close to Fredericton.”
McLean was very much involved in school life and after graduation headed to Fredericton where she took a business degree at UNB then did a year of French immersion at St. Thomas University.
During her university years she worked as a student Customs Officer on Campobello and when she graduated from university she moved to St. Stephen where she was hired to set up the food bank.
“At that time, Star Kist had closed and there was a definite need that had been identified by some of the community leaders. At the same time I was still working on a casual basis at Customs and when a full time position came up at Customs in St. Stephen that seemed like the thing to do.”
McLean started out as a Customs Officer and went on to become a Customs Superintendent then moved on to take a position as director of finance and administration for the former School District 23 which later became District 10.
From there she went to work as a unit manager at the Department of Income Assistance in Moncton but her husband-to-be was working and living in Saint John so she transferred there. After their marriage they bought a house in Quispamsis.
Then McLean decided to move to the private sector and she worked for the Irving group for seven years starting out as director of administration for the woodlands and sawmills division in Sussex but got tired of travelling every day so took a newly created position as corporate travel manager for all of the Irving divisions.
“I was responsible for negotiating all their airline deals. I got to know the then president of the Saint John Airport and he convinced me to apply for the opening there as manager of regulatory affairs.
“I was responsible for safety, security and environment then the position moved into director of regulatory affairs then director of regulatory and public affairs then I became vice-president of Saint John Airport Inc.”
McLean took on the position of interim president and CEO at the airport for a year until the position was filled in July. She went back to her position as vice-president then she saw the advertisement for a new CAO in Saint Andrews.
“Initially, when I saw the ad, it read like my resume. It just seemed like the perfect fit for me. Of course, I was thrilled to think it was in Saint Andrews – such a beautiful community with a lot to offer and the added benefit that I am closer to family in Campobello and my in-laws in St. Stephen.”
She beat out 35 other applicants for the job and she has rented an apartment in town for the winter. Her husband is still working in Quispamsis and they are trying to fix up their house and get a few details looked after before they put it on the market then buy a property in Saint Andrews.
“This is for the long haul. It feels comfortable. It feels like home. They are a good council. They are an engaged council. They have lots of wonderful ideas and it is my job, from the administration side, to make sure these plans are executed.
“The people that live here are engaged and interested and want to make a difference. To have everyone pulling in the same direction will help us get there.
“It has been hectic since I got here especially now going into the budget and year-end audits. Council is also looking at doing a strategic planning sessions. I am looking forward to it.”
McLean said there are many similarities between her job at the Saint John Airport and what she will be doing in the town.
“Instead of seeking funding for runways and terminals I will be seeking funding for the arena roof and for storm water infrastructure. I am used to dealing with government so there are lots of similarities.”