It may seem like a weird time for this, but to me it feels a bit like the end of August right now. Definitely not because of the weather (it snowed again at my place last night), but because the current IAP2 Canada Board is finishing up its 2014-2015 term. As of our Annual General Meeting at the end of the month you will have a new board of 9 directors and 6 deputy directors taking up the leadership of this fine organization (plan to attend the AGM on April 28th for the official announcement of the incoming board).
As this new board comes together for the first time in May, I’m sure there will be plenty of that same excitement, nervousness, interest, and energy that is akin to that back-to-school time of year. I invite the new board – and everyone stepping into new initiatives and challenges at this time – to embrace the uncertainty. Be curious and inquisitive. Put yourself out there to meet new people, hear new ideas, and share some of your own. IAP2 is an inspiring organization to be a part of, and we welcome the fresh perspective and direction that the 2015-2016 board will bring.
For those whose board terms are ending, myself included, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve accomplished together over the last several years. In the last five years, IAP2 Canada has created a truly national organization dedicated to advancing the practice of meaningful public engagement in our country. Through the creation of member services like the Mentorship Program, monthly Learning Webinars, an annual North American Conference, and the Core Values Awards, we provide regular opportunities for members to connect with and learn from one another. In the last five years, IAP2 has grown from having just two active regional chapters to six strong chapters from coast to coast, with another chapter looking to form in Northern Canada. We have established a solid foundation for the association, with a strong financial position and plenty of opportunity to grow in a sustainable way. All of our departing board members have contributed to where IAP2 Canada is at today and I’d like to recognize them for their efforts.
Tiffany Skomro is the outgoing Vice President and has been with the board since 2011. She has been absolutely integral to setting up the necessary systems and processes required for our organization to function, including developing and managing our membership database and website, as well as working to make sure that we have strong administrative and management support while also helping develop member services and programs, and playing a significant role in both North American conferences that IAP2 Canada has hosted. Tiffany will be missed for her magnificent attention to detail, unwavering commitment to IAP2 Canada, and her dry wit.
Kristin Drewes is the outgoing Treasurer and has been with the board since 2013. Kristin has worked to advance IAP2 Canada’s outreach and collaboration, financial management, and served on the 2014 North American Conference Committee. She was a reluctant Treasurer, but has found the role surprisingly enjoyable (a hint for all you would-be Treasurers out there) and has been thoroughly appreciated for her thoughtful questions and strategic advice as a member of the Executive Committee. Kristin will be missed for her ability to think two steps ahead and push the board to consider the opportunities and consequences of our decisions. We wish her all the best as she ventures into a new and most important role as she welcomes her first child any day now!
Maria DeBruijn found her way onto the IAP2 Canada Board as one of our first deputy board members in 2012, shortly after which she took on a full board member position for the following two years. She has since shown significant leadership through collaborative development of IAP2 Canada’s Research Initiative and stewarding the creation of IAP2 Canada’s 2015-2017 Strategic Plan. Maria will be missed for her willingness to step into work with curiosity, commitment, and passion for the practice. Her thoughtfulness and knowledge have been a significant asset to the board’s discussions over the last few years and will most certainly be missed.
Kevin Thorvaldson joined the board in 2013 following an engaging experience at the North American Conference in Halifax in 2012. He has been an ambassador for IAP2 throughout our practitioner community and has maintained a focus on understanding what’s important to our past, present, and potential members. Kevin will be missed for his constant encouragement, interest in getting the board outside our comfort zone, and commitment to building our community of practitioners.
A sincere thank you to all our outgoing board members and we look forward to your continued involvement with IAP2 Canada in the future!
All the best,