About JR Craven and Associates Current Jobs Listings

The Company | Executive Searches | Salary/Wage Surveys | The Directors | The Associates

About the Company

James R Craven and Associates have been operating since Jim retired from his position of Executive Director of the Municipal Finance Authority of British Columbia on December 31, 2001 where he worked for 17 years. James R. Craven and Associates operate from a home office in the heart of East Sooke.

Equipped with a do it yourself aesthetic and down to earth philosophy, this team had performed 100 job searches by September 28th 2008, for high level positions in all forms of municipal government throughout BC since Jims 'retirement'.

In addition to performing job searches, Jim and Suzanne are busy with many ongoing projects in the diverse field of Local Governmental affairs. Whether it is facilitating the creation of the First Nations Finance Authority, recruiting for the Northern Trust and Columbia Basin Trust, conducting salary studies for municipal and regional exempt staffs, councils and boards or finding good management for First Nations Bands, Jim and Suzanne and their revolving team of experts handle the matter at hand armed with decades of Local Government experience and connections and working relationships with scores of elected and appointed members of Local Government.

About Executive Searches | References | Rates

A simple but effective process is followed for each job search. After meeting with the hiring committee (board, council, human resources) and analysing the needs of the client, advertisements are placed in key local and sometimes national papers and web-based resources. As many as 85 resumes are collected. This list is narrowed down to the ten best candidates. After references are checked, this list is further narrowed to the 4-6 best candidates for the job often using the resource of the hiring committee. The remaining group is asked to interview for the position. Each member of the hiring committee is given a binder which includes all the necessary information about each candidate in preparation for interviews.The binder includes all the support material from the candidate, such as, resume, cover letter and references as well as reference checks done by qualified semi retired Personnel Officers from large municipalities who are part of the team and who each have decades of experience behind them. These Associates produce detailed summaries after interviewing references and others. After Team discussions occur, the finished product goes out to the client.

James R, Craven and Associates has the distinct advantage of drawing on Jim ’s extensive experience in the milieu of Local Government personnel and management. As Executive Director of MFABC, Jim traveled throughout BC for 80-90 days a year for 17 years. Before that Jim was Municipal Administrator for Municipalities and Regional Districts for 20 years and then Executive Director for the largest Regional Library in BC for 3 years. This elder and mentor knowlege gives our job searches a rich array of informal and formal contacts which help steer our job searches in the right direction

  • A reference letter from the Town of Gibsons (May 14th 2007)

    More References upon request.

    Job searches cost between $CAN7,500 and $CAN15,000 but this price can vary depending on the situation. The costs of travel and advertising are not included in this total.

    Salary/Wage Surveys:

    Our firm has conducted a wide variety of salary/wage reviews for both appointed and elected officials of Municipalities and Regional Districts throughout British Columbia. We have also provided policy and benefit reviews. Our reviews will provide a 'market-style' salary system, with or without salary grid implementation, job evaluation and drafting or redrafting job discriptions where appropriate.

    The Directors | James Craven | Suzanne Baden

    James R Craven

    Background - Mr. Craven has spent his entire career involved in working in the public sector in BC. Starting from an early career in municipal finance in Powell River and North Cowichan, Jim was subsequently successful in filling CAO positions in: Port McNeill, Mount Waddington Regional District, Squamish and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Kootenay Boundary Regional District, Oak Bay, and then the Fraser Valley Regional Library. After a nation-wide competition, he was then selected as the Executive Director of the MFA (Municipal Finance Authority).

    These various roles and responsibilities helped Jim gain a unique background in local government in the Province. He has worked in various locations and clearly understands the relative roles of the Municipalities and the Regional Governments.

    Jim holds a Senior Certificate in Municipal Finance and Administration and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators, Jim’s approach to his career of over 35 years has enabled him to serve and give back and make significant contribution to local government in BC. He has served extensively as a Mentor to the widely accepted MATI (Municipal Administrators Training Institute) program and as a frequent contributor to the Municipal program at Capilano College. He has been a speaker to various local government and related associations and he has served as a member on various Boards and Commissions.

    Jim helped to guide the MFA to the highly-respected, well-managed and valuable organization that it is today. His deep understanding of all facets of local government proved invaluable in his leadership and assistance to municipalities in BC. The record at the MFA while Jim was there was well-known and he has given speeches and consulted nationally, in Manitoba and Ontario, and internationally, in the U.S., Surabaya, Jakarta, South Africa and Russia. More recently, in Canada, he has addressed the Senate and assisted First Nations in establishing their own Finance Authority; and during the period of 2003 to 2012, made significant contribution as a member of the FCM Green Fund Council as a Member of the Council and Chair of the Investment and Audit Committee.

    Jim has been awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Silver Medal Award for Excellence in Public Service and awarded a Life Membership to the Municipal Officer’s Association.

    Career Synopsis –
  • 17 Years - Executive Director - Municipal Finance Authority of BC
  • 3 Years – Executive Director Fraser Valley Regional Library.
  • 5 Years – CAO (Municipal Administrator) District of Oak Bay.
  • 13 Years – as CAO/ Treasurer for a number of Municipalities and Districts in BC
  • Consultant to the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Provinces of: Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec and the co-creator of the First Nations Finance Authority.
  • Principal of James R. Craven and Associates for 10+ years.

    Suzanne Baden

    Background –

    After earning a certificate from the Fraser Valley Regional College, Suzanne Baden started her career as the Manager of a Medical Office in Abbotsford. When her husband Jim accepted a position in Victoria, Suzanne took a position with the Victoria Attunement Center as the Manager of this non-profit society. Subsequently, Suzanne became involved in a Counseling and Healing business and she was very active in this business for approximately ten years.

    When he left the MFA, Jim and Suzanne partnered and started James R. Craven and Associates. Jim was the front end of the business and Suzanne served in a support role and travelled with Jim to the various job competitions and assisted him on assignments.

    She has also been actively involved in community and has volunteered with the Victoria Art Gallery and the Sooke Museum. In her spare time, Suzanne has also volunteered in the “Gallery in School” Program which brings Art to the elementary schools of the Western Communities for discussion and art projects.

    Career Synopsis –

    10 Years – Partner and Administrator Office Manager,
    James R. Craven & Associates Ltd.
    2 Years – Manager of the Victoria Attunement Center
    10 Years – Manager and Councillor of the Victoria Attunement Center

    The Associates

    The Associates are a highly experienced team who bring years of experience to their work.

  • Bill Eccleston
  • Flo Follero-Pugh
  • Frank Leonard
  • Paul McKivett

    Bill Eccleston

    Bill brings over 25 years of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors where he held positions as Director Human Resources, Manager Corporate Communications and Acting CAO. These senior management positions were held with TELUS, MacMillan Bloedel, Weyerhaeuser, City of Surrey, and the CRD (Capital Regional District-Victoria). He holds B.A., B.Ed., and M.B.A. degrees and is a Certified Human Resource Professional in good standing; and has served on numerous Boards, Committees and Commissions.

    Flo Follero-Pugh

    Flo received her M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology at the University of Victoria in 2001, choosing to specialize in the area of Career Counselling. For the past 14 years, Flo has supported both individuals and groups in personal, educational, and career growth. Flo has been employed with non-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions; and currently enjoys running her own private practice. She creates professional resumes for clients of any skill level, and facilitates a variety of team development workshops for staff groups around Vancouver Island. A stickler for organization, she brings her skills as a writer, editor, and proof-reader to JR Craven & Associates.

    Frank Leonard

    Frank Leonard has a lifetime of governance experience in the public and private sector. Perhaps known for his 28 years in elected office, he has also been effective in corporate governance roles that serve a public good.

    Frank Leonard comes from a family business background, having managed Victoria Tire Ltd.’s three Kal Tire stores prior to their sale in 1996. While in business, Frank served as a Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of local tourism and economic development groups. Frank has a B.A. (Honours) and M.A. from the University of Victoria, has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Program (ICD.D) and teaches small business management at the University of Victoria.

    Frank Leonard was Mayor of Saanich and Chair of the Police Board from 1996-2014 after serving as a Councillor from 1986. While in public office, Frank chaired the Municipal Finance Authority of BC, was President of the Union of BC Municipalities and a Director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He has also served as Chair of the Capital Regional District, the Hospital District and the region’s Housing Corporation.

    Frank Leonard is currently Chair of Parkbridge Lifestyles Communities and is a Director of Coast Capital Savings. He has previously served as a Director of the BC Investment Management Corporation, as Chair of the Municipal Pension Plan and Chair of BC’s Agricultural Land Commission.

    Paul McKivett

    Paul is a Human Resource professional with 30 years experience in local government. Paul was employed by The Corporation of the District of Saanich in both the Municipal Clerks Office and the Human Resources Division of Corporate Services. He retired from Saanich in January, 2005 as the Senior Human Resources Manager.


    Paul received his education at the University of Victoria’s School of Public Administration, graduating with a Diploma in Public Sector Management. In addition, Paul has been awarded both his Intermediate and Senior Certificates in Municipal Administration from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.