For Jean-Marie Ipkangnak, math was the subject that came easiest in school.

Jean-Marie Ipkangnak has been chosen to lead the Hamlet of Igloolik’s finance department. He’ll soon be taking some online courses through Algonquin College in Ottawa. He expects to be the finance director in about a year.
photo courtesy of the Hamlet of Igloolik

He’s parlayed his love of numbers into a finance career, and he’s about to move up another rung on the ladder.

Ipkangnak has been a payroll clerk with the Hamlet of Igloolik for three years. Senior administrative officer Greg Morash approached him recently with the idea of training to become the hamlet’s finance director.

He didn’t have to be asked twice.

“I was eager,” Ipkangnak said.

Some online courses are being arranged through Algonquin College in Ottawa to ensure Ipkangnak is ready for the role. Morash said Ipkangnak has most of the skills needed, but there’s some month-end procedures that have to be explained in greater detail.

Ipkangnak was in Iqaluit for a week in September to get insights into the software that the municipality uses

A high school graduate in Iglulik about 20 years ago, Ipkangnak went on to take the office administration program through Nunavut Arctic College.

He landed a job with the Government of Nunavut as a payroll officer and eventually gained some management experience as supervisor of benefits. After nine years of working for the territorial government, he moved over to the hamlet office, where he has four co-workers in the finance department. He referred to them as an “excellent team.”

He and Morash expect he’ll be leading that team in about a year.

Morash has witnessed many southerners filling director positions in hamlets, so he’s keen to promote from within, particularly with candidates who know the community and are likely to stay long-term.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Morash, who’s helped expand the hamlet’s finance crew.

“We now have five people in finance. We’re cross-training everybody so if somebody wants to take a holiday, they can take a holiday. And the big push is on for asset management inventory control, so we’re really working hard on that one.”

Morash said asset management inventory control allows for the proper billing of outside contracts and aids in timely ordering for the hamlet. It helps establish a maintenance schedule for buildings and identifies when municipal vehicles should be replaced, he said.

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