New man in charge of public works at the M.D.

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

If Ryan Tufts likes variety and challenges in his job, he should be happy in his new position with the M.D. of Lesser Slave River. That’s because between the departure of Bill Klassen several months ago and Tufts’ arrival on the scene recently, the job morphed from ‘Director of Transportation’ into one that covers roads, buildings and utilities. And we may have missed one or two things.

But for the sake of brevity, we’ll just call him ‘Director of Field Services.’

Tufts started on July 27, two days before we caught up with him for the standard ‘new faces’ interview.

“I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!’ he joked.

On the other hand, he said he is “very pleasantly surprised,” by how on the ball his support team is when it comes to a new type of software he says will help keep things organized in the area of follow-through on work plans.
“They’re way ahead of me,” he says.

Tufts comes to the job following a 16-year career in mechanical engineering. A lot of it was oil industry stuff, in and around Edmonton. But most recently, he worked for three years in Bellingham, Washington, for BP.
How he qualified to work in the U.S. is pretty simple: he was born there.

“Houston Texas,” Tufts says. “My dad was in the oil business at the time.”

Tufts wasn’t in Texas very long. The family was soon on the move, following his father’s career. It included stops in Italy, Greece, Scotland and England. He went to high school in the Okanagan, followed by university at the U of A in Edmonton.

Along the way, Tufts met and married Erin. They have two daughters, Zubaydah and Zayneb, who are looking forward to getting back to school (one way or another) this fall.

Tufts says he is familiar with the area, having worked once for Plains Midstream. And he chose the position from out of others that were available.

“This place has everything to offer,” he says. “I’ve been bound and determined to settle down with my family. This is a great place and I’m really happy to be here.”

Ryan Tufts

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