Brockville – The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) announced at its Board meeting of January 10th the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer.
Robert Backstrom is an accomplished business services executive who has distinguished himself in a variety of financial leadership and operational roles over the course of his career. Mr. Backstrom has worked in the private sector as an assistant treasurer with Essar Steel (formerly the Algoma Steel Corporation), before transitioning to new career opportunities in the public sector. In 2001, he was appointed the Superintendent of Business with the Algoma District School Board in Sault Ste. Marie, a position that Backstrom held until 2008. In 2008, Mr. Backstrom became the Vice-President of Corporate Services for Confederation College in Thunder Bay, a position that he held until 2014 before becoming a business consultant.
In his role as Chief Financial Officer and Superintendent of Business, Backstrom oversees key portfolios in the Board, including finance, purchasing, payroll, risk management, occupational health and safety, the business liaison for student transportation and operational matters related to community use of school facilities. This leadership position also consists of developing and overseeing the Board’s annual Budget of $350 million and supporting the implementation of the Director of Education’s work plan that responds to the strategic priorities set by the UCDSB Board of Trustees. Backstrom replaces current Superintendent of Business, Nancy Barkley, who is intending to retire next month after more than 20 years of dedicated service to the Upper Canada District School Board.
“Having someone with the credentials and experience that Bob Backstrom has will be essential for supporting the work of senior staff, as we respond to the priorities set by the Board of Trustees to serve students and operate schools. We are so pleased to have Bob as a member of our senior leadership team” said the UCDSB Director of Education, Stephen Sliwa.
“The Upper Canada District School Board is a complex organization with a budget of more than $350 million. We require the skills and expertise of a seasoned business executive like Mr. Backstrom to assist the board in addressing its financial obligations and meeting the high expectations for accountability in public finance that our community expect from us. We look forward to working with Bob and to drawing on his support in our financial and business commitments”, said Board Chair Jeff McMillan.
Mr. Backstrom is a graduate of the Business and Commerce program at Queens University. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and held professional accounting designations as a Chartered Accountant (CA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, as well as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) accredited through the Society of Management Accountants of Ontario.