We’ve all driven across our beautiful province, peering out the car windows at endless skies and across golden fields. How can anyone not love the prairies? It’s the charm of the communities and the people within them that make Manitoba so great, and that’s no different in the Rural Municipality of Grey. In January 2015, the RM amalgamated with the Village of St. Claude and that meant a whole lot of change in those local government offices.
That’s where Kim Arnal, CAO of the RM of Grey, comes in. With her 21 plus years of experience, she helped lead the way as their offices combined and changes were needed in process, workflow and technology. Read the full case study later in this article, but first learn how Kim manages her day and offers helpful advice for fellow Manitoban business peers.
What does your typical day look like?
No two days are ever the same. You think you know what the day will be, but you never know. Our customers are ratepayers and taxpayers, residents of the municipality. We are always working to meet their expectations. Sometimes we are assisting new residents, or dealing with dog licensing, addressing questions about garbage pickup and snow clearing. On the other side, we support councillors, deal with budgets and legislation, support council meetings. And every four years with an election we have a new set of bosses, which changes everything.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning and last thing you do at night?
The first thing I do is get the day organized and set priorities. The last thing I do is make sure I leave a clean desk when I go home.
How do you stay up to date with trends in your industry/field?
We have a website and try to keep it up to date, although we are not close to what some others are doing online. A few years ago, public sector accounting standards was a really big project, and that still takes time and work. But we’ve dealt with it.
What would you say is the top skill needed to be a successful businessperson?
Time management is the most important skill. But you also have to understand your role. We all want to introduce new ideas, but always consult your facts and don’t be afraid to ask questions first. I’ve been here 21 years and I still learn something new every day. If you get the right information the first time, it simplifies everything and that knowledge stays with you.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Probably my cell phone. When I’m out I can still keep in touch — that’s the way I communicate with a lot of my family; even my Mom texts. It’s my lifeline. I shut it off on holiday, but I can keep in touch with my work and personal life.
What’s the one thing you would eliminate from your life if you could?
MTS is proud to have the RM of Grey as a valued customer, and we’ve chatted further with Kim about their shifts in communications technology. After amalgamating with the Village of St. Claude their phone lines became priority one. Here’s how they made it work.
Read another great Manitoba business profile and learn what goes on behind the scenes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.