By Lawrence Gleason Local Press Writer
Derrick Krizsan, the new chief administrative officer (CAO) of the Municipal District of Willow Creek, attended his first meeting of the M.D’s agricultural service board (ASB) on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
He attended his first M.D. of Willow Creek council meeting later that same morning. Attending meetings of ASB and M.D. council is nothing new to Krizsan. He started in municipal management as the agricultural fieldman for Taber, a position he held for six years. From agricultural fieldman he jumped right into the M.D.’s highest office, becoming chief administrative officer. After 13 years in that position he left to good wishes after winning the competition to become the next chief administrative officer of the M.D. of Willow Creek following the retirement of Cynthia Vizzutti, who had been the CAO for the past 24 years. Even with his long experience as a fieldman and CAO, there is much to the new job, said Krizsan.
“With organizations as large as the M.D. it may take a year before being fully up to speed on all the ins and outs,” Krizsan said, adding, “The M.D. staff has been terrific. We rolled up our sleeves and got right to work.” Krizsan was raised on a family farm in the Taber area. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a diploma in agriculture, began his career by buying two Charolais cows at the Rocky Mountain Show and Sale. His father surprised him six weeks later, backing up a cattle liner after a purchase to contribute to his son’s career choice. “He’d gone to a sale the previous day,” Krizsan said. “Out of that cattle liner dropped a Charolais bull and 14 heavily pregnant cows. Then we were in the purebred Charolais business.” Krizsan was also a manager of a Taber agricultural retail outlet prior to becoming an agricultural fieldman. He ran his herd of Charolais from 1980 to 1998, when it was sold.
Krizsan has also been a long-time volunteer firefighter in Taber. The Krizsans’ plan to move to the Municipal District of Willow Creek in about 20 months. For now they are caring for Krizsan’s parents who like living in their own home. Krizsan’s wife is a school teacher in Barnwell. The couple have three children. One daughter is an emergency room nurse in Lethbridge. She and her husband made Krizsan a grandfather five months ago. His middle child, a son, is in his third year in accounting, with plans to become a Chartered Public Accountant. His youngest son has racked up some impressive high school athletic accomplishments.
“He’s a competitor. He plays volleyball, basketball and is in track and field. He’s a provincial champion in javelin, and was part of the team that represented Alberta at the Legion Nationals in Cape Breton. He placed in the top eight in the Under 18 category.”
The M.D. council meeting and Agricultural Service Board meeting was held Tuesday, Sept. 10 instead of its usual Wednesday placement this past week as Krizsan had to attend the annual Alberta Rural Municipal Administrator’s Conference in Olds, which ran for three days, beginning Wednesday.