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Sault Ste. Marie hires new CAO

Tom Vair was named to role after executive search to fill position
Tom Vair has been named Sault Ste. Marie's new chief administrative officer. | Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

One of Sault Ste. Marie's long-serving public servants has been hired as the city's new chief administrative officer (CAO).

Tom Vair, who most recently served as the Sault's deputy CAO of community development and enterprise services, was named to the position on Jan. 8. 

He will replace outgoing CAO Malcolm White, who is retiring at the end of January.

In a news release, the city said it hired Vair following a "thorough recruitment process” by a selection committee using the firm Feldman Daxon Partners.

Sault Mayor Matthew Shoemaker lauded Vair's efforts in the statement. 

“Since joining the city, Tom has overseen many of the areas that our community needs to succeed in order to be growth-oriented and forward-looking,” Shoemaker said.

“From leading the FutureSSM efforts at the administrative level to overseeing the planning and recreation departments, Tom has helped guide the efforts to attract more residents, build more houses and develop a community that offers the quality of life residents want and deserve.

“I look forward to working with Tom to achieve future success while always ensuring growth is managed in a fiscally responsible way. I’m pleased that Tom will be leading the administrative side of our organization.”

Vair began working for the city in 2005 as executive director of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, where he remained until 2016, at which point he moved into the deputy CAO position.

His private sector experience was focused on marketing and business development, particularly in the technology sector.

Vair said he's “honoured” to be named the next CAO.

“I look forward to working with Mayor Shoemaker and city council and the great team of staff at the city to deliver excellent service to the residents of Sault Ste. Marie,” he said in the release.

“I also look forward to working with the business community, community organizations and residents to build on our strengths, address challenges and increase prosperity for our entire community.”

Vair assumes his new role on Feb. 1.