CAO earns prestigious award

Flagstaff County is pleased to announce that CAO Shelly Armstrong has been awarded the 2023 R.W. Hay Award as outstanding rural CAO at the recent Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) convention in Edmonton.

Shelly’s career in public service has so far spanned 36 years, including more than 30 as CAO – longevity that reflects her dedication to serving her community, said RMA Vice President Kara Westerlund during the award presentation.

“This CAO has been a driver of constant innovation and improvement,” Westerlund noted, “including advocating for and facilitating long-term strategic planning and integration of asset management, risk assessment and long-range financial modelling within all municipal departments and as key council decision-making tools.”

Flagstaff County Council nominated Shelly for the prestigious award, stating in their nomination package that Shelly “has consistently demonstrated professionalism, trustworthiness, and transformative leadership. … Our relationship has been built on trust and mutual respect. Her consistent professionalism has been instrumental in nurturing the highest potential within Council and the entire organization.”

Beyond her municipal work, Shelly was also commended for the countless hours she has committed as a director and volunteer for many local organizations.

“As a local leader, this CAO regularly goes above and beyond to make sure local voluntary organizations and other service groups are supported and thriving,” Westerlund added. 

The RMA established the R.W. Hay Award in 1997 for Excellence in Rural Municipal Administration to recognize the superior service provided by rural administrators.

The winning CAO is chosen annually by an evaluation committee consisting of three past winners, three representatives from the Society of Local Government Managers Board of Directors (SLGM), and one member of the RMA Board of Directors. No individual may receive the award more than once.

Please join us in congratulating Shelly on this well-deserved honour.