Barkerville writes a new page in its own history book as Kate Cox takes over as Chief Executive Officer of the Historic Town and Park and Cottonwood House Historic Site.
“I’m delighted to be here,” said Cox. “Originally my family is from Nanaimo and Kamloops and kind of scattered all over B.C., really we’ve been here since the late 1800’s and Barkerville is part of my own family heritage and memories so it’s an incredible experience to be able to take on this role and exciting new adventure.”
Before returning to B.C. Cox had been working as an independent consultant in the United States, focusing primarily on rural economic development over for the past five years.
“For the last several years I was located in an Oregon coastal community working on both sides of the Oregon and Washington border dealing with county and city development in terms of how to take a natural resource economy that was timber and fisheries based and transition over to their new tourism roles,” said Cox.
Cox says she is excited to take on the role at Barkerville and appreciates the hard work and programming that has been put into place by retiring CEO Ed Coleman.
“This is an opportunity to come in after Ed who has done so much work here, who has really laid the groundwork for me to move forward with programs,” said Cox. “The opportunity is immense and I hope to bring my whole skill set to it. That’s what attracted me to the role, I have a background in art history and industrial design and natural resource management so I’ve done a significant amount of master trails development and economic development. This particular location which is so special with its natural and historic resources, is one that I think I can just run with for a very long time and certainly never get bored.”
Colemen, who had been the CEO of Barkerville Historic Town & Park and Cottonwood House Historic Site since 2014, says some of his favourite memories and proudest achievements while working at Barkerville include the development of employees and their working conditions, bringing year round business to the site, improving the campgrounds, completing extensive heritage work and the overwhelming support of the community.
“I want to say thank you to everybody for their support,” said Coleman. “In this role and in all the roles I’ve had in my work career in Quesnel I have been well supported by the communities that surround us, so you know just a big thank you to them and thank you for supporting my work at the Helen Dixon Centre that was one of my babies and supporting Cottonwood and Barkerville, it’s just so felt.”