New GM saddles up for the Cloverdale Rodeo

Dave Melenchuk

You had to put a quarter in the last horse Dave Melenchuk rode.

“But they hired me anyway,” jokes Melenchuk, the new general manager of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association, betraying his good-humoured Nova Scotian roots.

A White Rock resident since 1995, he started his new job Nov. 15, ending a five-month long search to fill the position.

He comes from a background in resort management and the hospitality industry; his last job was vice president of business development of Stanford Hotels and Resorts Inc., an Alberta-based chain with a resort in Fernie, B.C.

As general manager of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association, he’ll be responsible for setting long and short-term strategies for the rodeo and fairgrounds, home to a number of aging facilities that are in use all year long, hosting more than 1,000 events annually.

“The facilities are tired,” he says. “We have to look at upgrades going forward. That’s probably the biggest challenge.”

The good news is the rodeo is well-known, enjoying a brand-recognition factor with young and old.

“You talk to anybody and they know the Cloverdale Rodeo,” he says, pointing out even his 22-year-old niece is excited about his new job. “It tells you that the longevity is there. There’s always new and fresh faces joining.”

Planning is already underway for the 65th Cloverale Rodeo and 122nd Country Fair, slated for May 20 to 23.

“What we want to do is everything we can to enhance the fair and the rodeo and respond to the feedback of the people who have been coming for years and see if we can expand some of the events,” he said.

Although new to the job, he’s struck by the commitment of the many volunteers who turn up to put on the rodeo each year.

“There’s a real strong core of dedicated volunteers that have been involved for many, many years,” he says, adding he’s able to draw on their experience in learning the rodeo ropes. “They’ve been through this process so many times.”

He says many facets of the job attracted him, including the long history of the rodeo and of the association itself (it was originally established in 1888, he says).

Also, he says, “I knew this was not going to be boring.”

The association launched a nation-wide search in June, just weeks after last year’s fair wrapped up, when long-serving general manager Bob Matwiv left his position.

Association president Shannon Claypool said Melenchuk has a strong track record of strategic business development.

“As we continue to evolve our event, it’s extremely important that we have someone with a strong sense of vision for growing the association and its programs,” Claypool said.

Just Posted

Surrey woman knocked down and groped in Guildford, police say

Surrey RCMP are asking the public’s help in identifying the attacker

Bose, Zaklan farmers given Surrey’s inaugural Agriculture Leadership Award

Award winners chosen on basis of achievements and innovation in agriculture

B.C. nurse offering helping hands to displaced in Bangledesh

Kalisse Barwich working with Samaritan’s Purse at a hospital that’s treating Rohingya refugees

Trial underway in marijuana ‘compassion club’ case

Bob Woolsey of Mission says police abused their power in 2015 investigation

‘Pupular’ photo session by Langley boys increasingly profitable for Canuck Place

Chris and Jamie Ruscheinski held the second annual RAD Santa event, raising $4,500 for kids hospice.

VIDEO: Fort Langley marks anniversary of B.C.’s birth

On a rainy day in 1858, B.C. was made an official colony.

Methadone treatment not as effective for mentally ill, homeless: study

SFU study suggests unstable housing makes it hard to stick to treatment regimen

Wet weather expected for much of coastal B.C.

The Weather Network is calling for up to 200mm of rain to fall in some areas of the South Coast and Vancouver Island

B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Port Mann, Golden Ears traffic up since tolls removed: report

City staff report says congestion woes easing on Pattullo Bridge as a result

Convicted child sex offender’s sixth lawyer resigns before sentencing

One time school board candidate Corey Neyrinck case delayed in BC Supreme Court yet again

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

TransLink mulls distance-based fares, low-income discounts

Metro Vancouver transit agency launches final phase of fare review

Most Read