Town of Midland CAO and Simcoe Muskoka colleagues recognized by OMAA for commitment during COVID-19 pandemic

David Denault and team recognized at February 25 event

from The Town of Midland

When David Denault joined the Town of Midland as the new Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the Town, like much of the country, was in the middle of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Municipal Office was closed to walk-in service, offering only by-appointment services, with many staff working remotely. A challenging way to start a new position, to say the least. Despite all of this, David hit the ground running and has not only led Town staff through a challenging time of change, but he has also stepped in and helped make an impact in our region.

During this time, CAOs in Simcoe Muskoka formed a partnership that began having weekly meetings with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) for guidance and advice on facing the challenges posed by the public health crisis. This partnership has not only helped ensure Simcoe Muskoka municipalities are working from the same playbook on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also opened regular lines of communication between CAOs, greatly assisting in these efforts and other initiatives.

On February 25, 2021, David and the team of CAOs were recognized for their efforts at the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association (OMAA) Awards Event with a special OMAA achievement award for their commitment to this partnership and to the SMDHU in responding to the challenges our region has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“David, along with his Simcoe Muskoka team members, was nominated by a fellow CAO colleague and recognized in front of members of the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association at a recent online Award event. The Association considers it a real honour for one member to take the time to nominate their peers,” said OMAA President Gayle Jackson, CAO for the City of Orillia. “During the time of the pandemic, CAOs have demonstrated leadership in their communities and shown through professional management how they, their staff and colleagues are able to develop innovative approaches to new challenges while sustaining municipal service delivery.”

The OMAA works to enhance good government by promoting professional management in local government and leadership for Ontario municipalities. This year awards celebrated milestones, innovation, professionalism, and exemplary leadership by CAO members.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with David over the past year as his experience and leadership has helped guide both staff and Council through this challenging time,” said Mayor Stewart Strathearn. “It’s a difficult task to step in and not only lead an organization through a pandemic, but also the day-to-day operations of a municipality, primarily through virtual means. David’s management style is focussed on the power of a team effort. This award is a great example of what that can accomplish.”

“We’re proud to share this news and congratulations to David and the team of Simcoe Muskoka CAOs, from Council and staff!”