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OUR HOMETOWN: A job with the CRD drew Gerald Pinchbeck home to Williams Lake

‘Of all the places I’ve lived in Williams Lake has probably been the most inviting,’ Pinchbeck said.
Gerald Pinchbeck returned to his hometown in 2022 to work as the communications manager at the Cariboo Regional District. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

When a job opportunity came up with the Cariboo Regional District as a communications manager, Gerald Pinchbeck seized the opportunity to work, live and play in his hometown of Williams Lake along with his wife Meagan and their three sons.

“We really haven’t looked back,” he said. “My parents have been a huge help, I’ve got cousins who are having kids and of all the places I’ve lived in Williams Lake has probably been the most inviting.”

Born and raised in the lakecity, Pinchbeck attended Glendale Elementary and Columneetza Secondary.

His parents are Bill and Bridgette Pinchbeck and he has two siblings - Lee and Thomas.

After high school graduation in 2010 he left home to go to the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, initially thinking he would become a teacher.

“I loved studying history and reading about it and teaching was a pathway to do that as a job where I could study history and teach it in a classroom.”

However, he learned at university through an introduction class that he enjoyed political science and ended up doing a bachelor’s degree in political science.

While pursuing his degree, he worked for Dr. Greg Halseth at the UNBC Community Development Institute.

“I was actually doing a research project for Williams Lake and Mackenzie and ended up helping with research projects for other northern communities.”

Through the institute he learned about the Northern Development Initiative Trust local government internship program.

He applied, was accepted and his first placement was with the city of Quesnel in 2014.

“When I was there I worked with the city’s economic development corporation at the time. Now it’s the city’s economic development department, their legislative department and their finance department.”

The job at Quesnel exposed him to many aspects of local government, including public works, utilities and getting to know how a city operates.

At the end of April 2015 he was hired by the District of Houston as the corporate officer where he worked with bylaws, policy research, council business, helped with external and inter-government communication, human resources, records management and a bit of everything.

It was a small organization so he learned a lot, he recalled.

In 2018 he moved into the chief administrative officer position, staying on for three years.

Going into the job he knew it was going to be a big one, but one he found extremely rewarding.

He did not feel overwhelmed and credited that to the team environment in Houston.

“There was a strong respect between council, staff, management, the union and even within the community. Houston was a community from day one that knew what it wanted and chased after it.”

While he was there, the district worked on revitalizing the downtown, something they had wanted to do since the 1990s to

make it look more attractive and inviting.

His wife Meagan is a nurse and originally from Prince Rupert. Their sons were born in 2018, 2020 and 2022.

While he was working in Houston, Meagan was working in Smithers and they were living

in Telkwa at the time. He commuted 45 minutes each way for work.

In 2021, they decided they wanted to try and make a change where they could live and work in the same community.

They moved to Vanderhoof, where he took a job as a CAO for the community and she got a job in the hospital.

Within a few months they realized they wanted to be closer to family.

They were already coming down to Williams Lake once a month if not more and decided to make it their home base.

He said they find Facebook a great way to connect with local people.

For example, his wife recently took a rock climbing course through information she found there.

Pinchbeck enjoys playing soccer, curling and is getting back into mountain biking.

His communications manager position at the CRD has lots of variety, which he likes, he said.

“It’s like being a reporter but from the inside.”

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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