Work of NPCA’s Interim CAO  Receives Vote of Approval with Contract Extension

Veteran Conservationist Gayle Wood‘s Five-Month Contract at NPCA Now Extended Until End of This Year

News from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority with a Brief Foreword by Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper

Posted July 24th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

By Doug Draper

NPCA Interim CAO Gayle Wood receives well-deserved contract extention

Let me say right up front that in this veteran environment reporter’s view, what follows is news that everyone who cares about restoring, protecting and preserving our region’s natural heritage should greet with a cheer.

And here is why.

After a more than six-year-long, dark journey into night for a Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) that had lost its way, Gayle Wood is one of the very best things that have happened in recent times to this vital voice of an agency for a Niagara watershed that enriches our communities and our lives.

In the little more than four-and-a-half months since March 1st, 2019, when she began a five-month stint as NPCA’s interim Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and Secretary-Treasurer, this veteran conservationist, in concert with a new board of directors and a staff with a renewed sense of passion and purpose, has already gone a long way toward getting the Conservation Authority back to focusing on watershed restoration and other projects and programs that have been the focus of its mission and mandate – and the reason for its existence –  for well over half a century.

Now, in a July 24th news release, the NPCA’s current board of directors has officially announced that Gayle Wood has accepted a contract extension, discussed and approved during a closed- session of its July 17th board meeting, that continues until the end of this year.

A recent meeting of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority’s board of directors as it continues work with Interim CAO Gayle Wood and NPCA staff to win back public confidence and get the agency back on track. File photo by Doug Draper

Given the sorry state of affairs that the NPCA was in not all that many months ago – before the NPCA’s new board, staff and Gayle Wood began firing on all cylinders – the extension of Gayle Wood’s contract is good news, indeed, and given all of the rebuilding work there is still left to do, the NPCA and our region are fortunate to have her.

Now here is the NPCA’s July 24th news release on this key contract extension –


At their July monthly Full Authority Meeting, the NPCA Board of Directors voted to extend the contract of CAO/Secretary-Treasurer, Gayle Wood, until Dec. 31, 2019.

On Feb. 22, 2019, Ms. Wood was hired on a five-month contract to help provide stability during a period of much transition.

“We are very pleased to extend Ms. Wood’s contract as she has proven to be an efficient, trustworthy, and dedicated CAO, who has brought the organization to a position of stability during a challenging time,” says Dave Bylsma, NPCA Board Chair. “The Board appreciates her ability and willingness to work together, and her knowledge and expertise have been essential to the progress that we have achieved.”

NPCA Chair and West Lincoln Mayor Dave Bylsma seen here with CAO Gayle Wood. Photo courtesy of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Her approved work plan for the five-month period included:

  • Working with the NPCA staff team to improve communication and ensure stabilization
  • Establishing working relationships with the Chair, Vice Chair, and Board of Directors
  • Improving working relationship with municipalities/MPP’s
  • Improving community and media relations

“I am thrilled to be continuing my work with the NPCA staff and Board of Directors, as we complete the Auditor General’s recommendations and prepare for the future of conservation in the Niagara Peninsula Watershed,” says Gayle Wood, NPCA CAO/Secretary-Treasurer. “Since the beginning of my tenure, I have found our Board of Directors to be exemplary, and strongly believe the staff of the NPCA has shown their passion, professionalism, and perseverance.”

Under Ms. Wood’s leadership, community and media relations have improved, a revitalized restoration program was launched, and a complete reorganization was completed.

For more information on the NPCA, please visit Follow on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more updates.

About NPCA – The NPCA manages the impact of human activities, urban growth, and rural activities on the Niagara Peninsula watershed with programs and services that help keep people and their property safe from flooding and erosion, while retaining the safety of our drinking water.

NPCA manages 42 Conservation Areas, including Ball’s Falls, Binbrook, Long Beach and Chippawa Creek. These lands are held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. NPCA’s Conservation Areas marry nature, culture and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.

To read an earlier news release from the NPCA on Gayle Woods hiring this past winter as interim CAO, click on –

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One response to “Work of NPCA’s Interim CAO  Receives Vote of Approval with Contract Extension

  1. Robert Milenkoff

    With all due respect to the interim CAO Gayle Wood and her extension, my question would have to do with the new and improved board and the motion to apologize to former member Bill Hodgson barely passing on a 6 to 5 vote last week.Bill Hodgson’s apology is way overdue for the way he was treated by a rogue and out of control board in the past and yet that doesn’t seem to bother certain members of this new board.I would actually like to mention the names involved in that vote but the NPCA is acting as years in the past and not publishing their minutes on their website for this particular meeting and you can’t make out some of the responses of that vote on their livestream. My answers to the new members who voted not to apologize is “SHAME ON YOU” and when these names become available to the public I hope they get posted.


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