City Council appoints Tom Vair as next Chief Administrative Officer

Monday, January 8, 2024

Following a thorough recruitment process led by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Selection Committee – and with assistance from executive search firm Feldman Daxon Partners – Sault Ste. Marie City Council has approved the appointment of Tom Vair as the next CAO of the Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
“Since joining the City, Tom has overseen many of the areas that our community needs to succeed in order to be growth-oriented and forward-looking. From leading the FutureSSM efforts at the administrative level, to overseeing the planning and recreation departments, Tom has helped guide the efforts to attract more residents, build more houses and develop a community that offers the quality of life residents want and deserve. I look forward to working with Tom to achieve future success while always ensuring growth is managed in a fiscally responsible way” said Mayor Matthew Shoemaker, who chaired the CAO Selection Committee. “I’m pleased that Tom will be leading the administrative side of our organization.”
Vair was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, and has been employed by the City since 2016 as the Deputy CAO, Community Development and Enterprise Services. Prior to his employment with the City, he served as the Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre from 2005 to 2016. His work history also includes experience in the private sector, particularly in the field of technology.
“I am excited to get started and honoured to serve as the next CAO for the City of Sault Ste. Marie. I look forward to working with Mayor Shoemaker and City Council and the great team of staff at the City to deliver excellent service to the residents of Sault Ste. Marie. I also look forward to working with the business community, community organizations and residents to build on our strengths, address challenges and increase prosperity for our entire community,” said Vair.
Vair is a graduate of McMaster University, where he obtained a Master of Business Administration in Marketing, as well as Western University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Administrative and Commercial Studies with a concentration in Financial and Economic Studies. Vair also holds an Executive Diploma in Municipal Management from the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.
Outgoing CAO Malcolm White is scheduled to retire effective January 31, 2024, with Vair assuming the role as CAO on February 1, 2024. White has served as the CAO since the spring of 2019 and has worked for the City since 1988.
“I wish Malcolm all the best that retirement has to offer. After an outstanding 36-year career with the City, it is certainly well deserved,” said Shoemaker.
“I have enjoyed working with and learning from Malcolm during my time with the City, and my transition to this new role will be aided by working with him over the coming weeks,” Vair added.
The CAO Selection Committee was composed of Mayor Shoemaker and City Councillors Bruni and Caputo.

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