Power corp CFO retires in community

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo Judy Goucher retired on April 1 as chief financial officer with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Judy Goucher retired on April 1 as chief financial officer with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

Judy Goucher had a straightforward answer when asked why she has retired as chief financial officer with the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

“Basically, I’ve been 30 years in this business between the territorial government and here,” she said, while sitting in her office on April 1, her last day of work at the corporation. “I’m not retiring from life. I’m retiring from this position. There are other things I’d like to do.”

Among those other things are gardening, volunteering, curling, golfing and maybe involvement in some boards.

“Some of those other interests that you really can’t fit into a full-time job,” she said, adding she is not leaving Hay River, which makes retirement a lot easier.

Goucher has been the chief financial officer for about 15 years.

She actually started working with the power corp. in 1998 as a casual analyst for the then CFO.

“I moved down from Yellowknife,” she recalled. “I had worked for the territorial government for 11 years and I was director of budgeting when I left there and was thinking that I was going to leave the territory.”

Within nine months of working at the power corp., the position of director of regulatory affairs came open and she successfully applied for that job in late 1998.

“I think I will look back fondly on my career here,” Goucher said. “I’m retiring on my own terms, at my own time, so I think I’m ready for the next stage. I’m looking forward to the personal time, a little more volunteer time than I’ve had in the past. I expect there will be some other things in my future as well but just not the daily structure that I’ve had here.”

The role of chief financial officer – a member of senior management at the power corp. – was a challenging job.

“When I think back, I’m going to say the challenges are some of the most poignant memories for me,” said Goucher.

For example, she mentioned being part of emergency response teams, including when the power plant burned down in Fort McPherson in January 2004.

“Ten hours later, we had power restored,” she noted. “So there were lots of opportunities to be part of high-performance teams under stressful situations.”

Goucher, who is originally from Port Hope, Ont., said another great memory was visiting the power plants throughout the NWT and pre-division Nunavut.

“There’s probably only a handful of communities I haven’t been to,” she said.

Goucher also recalled the time and effort that goes into the rate application process.

As CFO, she provided strategic direction in a number of areas, including financial reporting, budgeting, regulatory affairs, logistics, communications and more.

Goucher said she was doing a lot of reflecting as she packed up her office and came across reminders from years past.

The power corp. is a great organization to work for, she said. “The people are great. Everybody is hard working. Everybody is loyal and dedicated. It’s a great atmosphere to work in. I’ve really loved my time here.”

Emanuel DaRosa, the president and chief executive officer of the power corp., praised Goucher’s contributions over the years.

“Judy’s contributions have been extremely important to our success over her 18 years of service in her roles as manager of regulatory affairs, chief financial officer and as acting president and CEO during 2010,” DaRosa said in e-mailed comments.

“Judy has been a valuable member of our team,” he added. “We will miss Judy’s high energy, strategic approach and extensive corporate knowledge.”

–Paul Bickford