The Banff Centre has appointed Jack Davis – the former head of the Calgary Health Region – as its interim president, with the upcoming departure of Jeff Melanson. Davis's appointment, effective July 1, was announced Friday, along with the announcement that Melanson will remain in Banff until July 1. Melanson was originally to stay on at the Banff Centre until mid-September, before returning to Toronto, where he will become president and CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The Banff Centre says Melanson is leaving two-and-a-half months earlier than originally announced because they thought it would take longer to find someone to fill the position.
Davis made headlines in 2008 when he was fired from his position as president and CEO of the Calgary Health Region, and received a generous compensation package, which included $1.7-million in severance pay. That year he became chairman of CEO.Mobile Inc, a company that advises foundations and corporations on leadership and strategy. Before heading the Calgary Health Region, he was responsible for the Alberta Public Service as Deputy Minister of Executive Council. He has also served on the Banff Centre board.
"We approached Jack Davis because of his solid knowledge of our operations and background in government, business and not-for-profit management," said board chair Brenda Mackie in a news release, out Friday.
Melanson's surprise announcement this spring that he would be leaving his post as president and CEO for personal reasons about halfway through his first five-year term means that he will not be the person leading the implementation of the Centre's ambitious strategic plan. In the news release, the board emphasizes that the Centre is moving ahead with the plan, which it approved last year. It includes a big-vision campus renewal with a price tag of hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as increasing public access to the centre's activities through its dissemination strategy, re-imagining its leadership development program as the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute, securing funding to enable tuition-free access for participants of arts residencies and programs, and advancing the Centre's contribution to applied research.