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Lethbridge & District Exhibition announces new board of directors

Lethbridge and District Exhibition (LDE) announced a new board of directors, with representatives from City of Lethbridge and Lethbridge County administration. With the appointment of the new board, Kim Gallucci is stepping into the role of acting Chief Executive Officer. 

“Kim has agreed to take a leave of absence from his role as general manager of the Enmax Centre to support operations of the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre for the next year,” says Board Co-chair and City Manager Lloyd Brierley. 

At the beginning of 2024, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was developed between the City and LDE. That MOU came forward to City council Jan. 23 and was approved with a condition the MOU still required approval by the Government of Alberta.  

“Last week, the Government of Alberta did grant that approval and the subsequent step after that was the resignation of the board and the appointment of the new governance body or new board,” notes Brierley.

LDE’s new board of directors will be co-chaired by Brierley and Lethbridge County CAO Cole Beck. Carly Kleisinger from the City and Jennifer Place from the County have been named vice-chairs. Other board members include Darrell Mathews, Nicole Mitton, Brian Loewen, Jason Elliott and Travis Hillier. 

One of the next steps in the process is the redemption of shares, which is currently underway and anticipated to be completed by the end of the month. 

“Shares will be issued to the board for the interim governance structure and further determinations will be made at that time,” says Beck. 

Now that the changes have been implemented, Brierley says the board’s focus for the next year is to look at the current revenue and expense gap that exists, “to position the organization well for the future.” 

“It’s a fabulous building and there’s a great opportunity for the community. There’s definitely work to be done to get things to a better place. I have full confidence in Kim’s abilities,” adds Brierley. 

There will also be a city-led third-party review to look at the bigger picture.

“As we work through some of those third-party reviews and processes, we will have a better understanding of what the LDE opportunities are and how that represents our community in the region,” notes Beck. 

“Being very mindful of the financial pressures highlighted through a City council presentation and the operating deficit that exists to really work to alleviate that pressure and position it better for the taxpayers in the future,” says Brierley.

“To understand what we have for capabilities within the building. We’ve certainly learned about the livestock challenges and that ties into the new building, as well as the old buildings.” 

Some of the questions being asked are what might be usable from a cost-neutral basis or a better position-basis out of any of the older buildings, as well as what new building uses will generate “a much more revenue positive” position. 

There’s still a lot of work to be done, including discussions with stakeholders in the agricultural sector and other sectors to see what interests they might have in the older buildings. “There will certainly be interest, but you need to evaluate that from a revenue perspective.”  

This month, LDE presents Ag Expo, one of the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre’s signature events. “These events attract visitors, they drive economic growth and they improve the overall quality of life for our residents,” says Beck. “One of the goals with this governance structure is to provide business continuity to the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre for all of the events that occur.”

Beck says being able to showcase what the region has to offer is a real opportunity for the City’s taxpayers and the County’s ratepayers. 

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