Bill Schurman (left) is welcomed as Amherst’s new recreation director by Economic Development Director Roger MacIsaac and Mayor Robert Small. Schurman is the former general manager of the Moncton Wildcats and recreation director for the City of Summerside, P.E.I. He starts his new job on Sept. 9.
Amherst's new recreation director comes with an impressive resume including running the Moncton Wildcats and developing Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I.
AMHERST – The architect behind the growth of Summerside, P.E.I. as a national caliber sports host is Amherst’s new recreation director.
Bill Schurman was appointed to the position during a special town council meeting here Wednesday. Schurman will start in his new position on Sept. 8, leaving his current role as athletic director at the University of Prince Edward Island.
“Amherst reminds me a lot of the community I grew up in and I was very impressed with the town’s slogan (Faith in our People, Pride in our Products) on the highway. From what I’ve learned in the short time I’ve been around the community people believe in that slogan and recreation is a very strong part of that in terms of what it can offer,” Schurman said after being introduced. “In terms of my research and meeting some of the stakeholders there seems to be a very positive vibe in the community itself in the facilities you have here and the genuine friendliness of the people.”
Schurman said recreation is a very important part of every community and how its facilities and programs are presented play a prominent role in developing pride.
“If you have pride in your community, ultimately you have a healthy community and if you have a health community you also have a wealthy community and I think that’s what we’re all about here,” Schurman said.
The Summerside, P.E.I. native was instrumental in that community becoming host to numerous regional, national and international events during his stint as the city’s recreation director.
Schurman was also general manager of the Red Ball Internet Centre in Moncton and was general manager of the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL and chaired the Memorial Cup tournament there in 2006. He also worked with the former Lewiston franchise.
He was instrumental in the development of Credit Union Place in Summerside.
“Bill has had an impressive track record in attracting major events that will make him a very valuable asset to the organization and the community,” Amherst Mayor Robert Small said. “Council is particularly looking forward to see what he can accomplish here in Amherst.”
Schurman will report to CAO Greg Herrett and his responsibilities will include strategic planning, directing, measuring and managing the activities, operations, staff and facilties within the Recreation Department including recreation, leisure and cultural programs and services, partnership development, facilities and park management and special projects.
Schurman’s hiring will also free up Roger MacIsaac to focus more on economic development. The mayor said trying to look after community and economic development and recreation is just too much work for one person.
“We’re moving forward with a person who has an excellent record in economic development and recreation. Bill is the man for that job,” the mayor said. “We were looking for a specific person with the experience and the knowledge to take us to that next level in recreation.”
The mayor said the past year has seen the town make significant gains in recruitment including the hiring of Ian Naylor as the new police chief and Greg Jones as the new fire chief. He said the town has a strong team in place to meet the community’s future goals.