Comfor board appoints new manager

Frank Varga is the new general manager of the Burns Lake Community Forest.

The board of directors of ComFor Management Services Ltd. and Burns Lake Community Forest Ltd. (BLCF) have recently announced the appointment of Frank Varga as the new general manager.

Varga has a long work history in the forest industry and is a registered professional forester.

He comes to the community forest from his job with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations as the woodlands supervisor for B.C. Timber Sales. He has also served on the BLCF board’s executive, and more recently as the president.

“Combined with the depth and breadth of his experience in the local forest industry, he is well qualified to take the reins to address the challenges and opportunities of the next several years,” said Sharon Tower, BLCF secretary.

In March of 2016, Varga was awarded the climate change innovation award from the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals for advancing silviculture practices in B.C.

“The board looks forward to welcoming Frank to his new role as manager and working with him over the coming years to secure a solid, sustainable future for the community forest,” said Tower.

The posting for the vacant general manager position ran from May 6 to June 1, 2016. Two applications were received, but neither of the applicants met the expectations of the board to qualify for the position.

The posting for the vacant general manager position ran from May 6 to June 1, 2016. Two applications were received, but neither of the applicants met the expectations of the board to qualify for the position.

According to the BLCF board of directors, Varga tendered his resignation as a board member on June 14, 2016, and did not attend the board meeting at which the hiring decision was made. The board offered Varga the position as general manager on June 15, 2016.

Varga said he is excited about taking on the role, which is effective June 29, 2016.

“I look forward to bringing my passion for sustainable forest management and to putting ‘community’ back into the local management,” said Varga. “BLCF has always been an integral part of Burns Lake, providing direct and indirect benefits to everyone who resides in the Lakes District.”

However, Varga said he recognizes that it will take “considerable effort” to regain the trust of the residents of the Lakes District.

“The last few years staff, directors and the shareholder have been working very hard to ensure that the community forest was managed under a strong vision and mission,” he explained. “These leading principles have set us on a path of success; however, the community needs to embrace that change and look forward to the vision of tomorrow and not dwell on past proceedings.”

“The success of this relies on meaningful community engagement, successful relationships with our First Nation partners and a vision of sustainability at the core,” he said.  “So I challenge all the residents of the Lake District to take a chance and believe one more time; the door is always open.”


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