Friday, December 18, 2009

More change coming on the Prince Rupert waterfront as PRG announces Burghardt depature

For the second time in less than a year, one of Prince Rupert's major employers is about to see a change at the top.

On Thursday, Prince Rupert Grain made the surprising announcement that Jeff Burghardt, the President and CEO of the grain elevator was no longer in charge at the Ridley Island terminal, bringing to an end it would seem a long and colourful time at PRG. It's a move that will no doubt shock many in the community, considering the impact that Burghardt has had in the city with his volunteer and community efforts over the years.

With little in the way of details owing to what Jean-Marc Ruest, vice-president of corporate affairs for Richardson International called privacy and employee/employer confidentiality, many Rupertites were wondering what was going on at one of Prince Rupert's most stable employers.

The departure of Burghardt comes in the same year that former Ridley Terminals CEO Dan Veniez was removed from his position, making for a year of surprising developments at the Industrial island on the outskirts of the city.

The Northern View, was once again the first media outlet in the city with the details (such as they are from the out of town management) on the departure of Mr. Burghardt, which seems to have come at a strange juncture in the company's success, as the Grain terminal has just completed a most successful year as far as throughput is concerned, an impressive gain from last years numbers.

Nick Fox, the vice-president of terminals for part-owner Viterra is to take the reins on an interim basis, while the search for a permanent president is underway.

To try and reassure locals and we imagine the elevators clients and partners that all is fine at Prince Rupert Grain, Mr. Ruest, proclaimed for the weekly paper that it's “business as usual” at Prince Rupert Grain.

And while the day to day operation of the grain elevator may be business as usual, Ruperties will surely be thinking that the corporate politics of the operation are at the moment anything but business as usual, with more than a few no doubt wondering what announcements may come out of PRG next .

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