New Legacy Centre manager getting started, learning lots

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The range of duties of the manager of the Legacy Centre is a bit uncertain at this point. New facility manager Helene Klassen is figuring it out as she goes along and so is the board of the corporation.
“It’s developing,” Klassen says, of the job description.
One thing she knows for sure is that she isn’t responsible for bookings. The Elks Club has taken that over.
On the day of the interview, she was dealing with a heating and cooling technician, in to do some repair work. Whether that was a construction ‘deficiency’ or regular maintenance is one of the things Klassen and the people she works for are trying to figure out.
“There’s a lot to learn,” she says.
Klassen started in the part-time position on June 12, taking over from interim manager Connie Baird. It’s her first time managing a building, as such, but she’s had plenty to do with them before.
“I insured buildings like this,” she says.
That was during 20 years in the insurance industry, as a commercial underwriter and claims examiner for Lloyd’s of London, based in Calgary. She and husband Bill moved to Slave Lake a couple of years ago when he landed the job as Director of Transportation with the M.D. of Lesser Slave River. Before that they lived in DeBolt for a dozen years (Bill’s home town).
“I met Bill in Grande Prairie,” she says. “I insured him.”
Klassen was born in Quebec and grew up in Edmonton. She and Bill have two children, now grown.
In addition to her insurance credentials, Klassen says she’s certified in risk management and recently achieved her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Athabasca University.
It’s probably too early to be asking her how she likes her job, but she’s definitely finding it interesting. As for Slave Lake, “I love it!” she says. She loves the lake too, and likes fishing. Other than that, outside of work, she enjoys gardening at the Klassen home just outside of town, “and crafting.”

Helene Klassen

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