Profile: Kevin Zalba – Arena and Grounds Manager, PSP

Kevin Zalba

Kevin Zalba

A/SLt Wen Guo
Base Administration

It seems like fate that Kevin Zalba would spend his civilian career managing an arena. The former sailor, who joined at 17 in 1981, served 22 years in the navy, retiring as a Petty Officer Second Class.

While he loves the navy, he loves hockey even more.

“I played hockey my whole life and was always around the rink as a kid. I played at a higher level and always enjoyed the competitive nature of being on a hockey team. When I retired from the navy and this position became available, I jumped for this opportunity because I love hockey and I wanted to provide a great facility for people who love hockey too.”

Zalba is the Arena and Grounds Manager at the Personnel Support Programs (PSP), leading a team of 13 staff members. His main responsibility is to keep the Wurtele Arena and sports fields in great shape for the military and Greater Victoria community to use.

“I love working on our ice; we have the best ice in the city and working with an amazing PSP team makes me want to come to work every day of the year.”

In addition to the arena, Zalba and his team also take care of the baseball diamonds, outdoor volleyball field, soccer fields on Colville Road, and the tennis court in dockyard.

“My passion for sports motivates me to maintain high standards in all our facilities and various sports fields. I want the best facilities for our members and will do whatever I can to achieve that.”

The job has come with additional rewards. In 2019, the base hosted the World Junior Hockey Team offering the arena for their practice as they prepared for the World Junior Hockey Championships in Vancouver and Victoria. His second memorable moment was championing the Memorial Banner that hangs at center ice; a tribute to fallen members who made a significant impact to the military sports scene. Lastly, a dream for any hockey fan, he celebrated when the new Zamboni arrived after many years of waiting.

“Getting the new Zamboni allowed us to enhance the arena so that it meets the standards of hosting international competitions.”

He is quick to credit his wife Michelle for his success in the navy and with PSP.

“I am the kind of person today because of my wife. She inspired me to be the best person I could be. She has the perfect combination of outstanding work ethic and tenacity to handle the ups and downs of being a military spouse. Without Michelle’s support, I wouldn’t be in a position to be here and serving CFB Esquimalt community.”


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