New director of operations at Yellowhead Centre



Photo by Eoin Devereux. Chris Turner is settling into his new role at the Yellowhead Centre, as the director of operations.


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

Someone who already spends a great deal of time down at the Yellowhead Centre will be spending even more there this winter, but now he has an office space to do it in. The Yellowhead board of directors recently confirmed that Chris Turner of Neepawa has been hired to take over the position of director of operations. The job was vacated in mid-September, when Ann Kuharski stepped down from the position.

Turner’s family roots are well entrenched within the community, having grown up here. In an interview with the Banner & Press earlier this week, he also noted that his connection to the Yellowhead prior to stepping into this new job has also been well established.

“This facility has been a part of my life since I was a kid. I grew up playing hockey here. All my kids are now involved in hockey here and I’ve been coaching in the Neepawa Minor Hockey system for around 20 years now,” indicated Turner. “I do see the value a facility like this in our community, but not just in a hockey sense. The hall provides so many opportunities for the community to gather together. Whether it’s the gymnastics that is going on right now, or social events, trade shows, whatever it may be. [The Yellowhead Centre] cuts a wide swath through our community.”

Turner added that the Yellowhead board of directors said that they’ll be patient as he learns the inner working of the position and aid him and the current staff as best they can during this period of change. He said that there are many little, behind the scenes type of interactions that are required to make sure the facility operates smoothly. As part of that Turner stated that he is very thankful to Ann Kuharski, for helping to make the transition a smooth one.

“The things that the board and Ann have done have been great. The guidance they’ve offered has also been tremendous. Ann texted me right after she found out that I got the job and offered her support and advice and indicated that she’d make herself available, if I had questions. She’s been really good, which has been helpful, because there’s definitely more to [the job], behind the scenes than many people realize,” Turner said.  “There’s so much that’s been done over the past few years here and so much more planned for the future. I’m anxious to be a part of that. Whatever we can do to make this a facility that is appealing for years to come.”

Neepawa’s Yellowhead Centre is a non-profit, community-owned recreation facility that was first developed in 1971. The facility is home to many local organizations, including the Neepawa Natives junior ‘A’ hockey club, the Neepawa Farmers senior hockey team, Neepawa Tigers high school hockey team and local minor hockey. It is also home to the Neepawa Figure Skating Club, Synchro Skating and wide array of other programs.