There are two words that come to mind when I reflect on the past year. “Whirlwind” and “Hardworking”. It has been a whirlwind as we continue to adjust to the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. As practitioners we shifted to more hybrid engagement, and the Board and staff set high goals with the launch of a new strategic plan in January.
The goals and strategic priorities informed our work each month. I am so grateful for the hardworking, dedicated, and innovative Board and staff team. We got down to work and the result is dozens of new professional development and training programs for diverse audiences; a review of governance and management processes that laid the foundation for strategic actions throughout the year. From transition tasks to financial scenario planning, risk assessments, budget planning, and recruiting a new Executive Director, to delivering webinars and professional development programs – it was a busy year! The result – IAP2 Canada is financially strong with over 1,100 members.
Yet, it was not all celebration, it was sad to plan for the upcoming retirement of our founding Executive Manager, Amelia Shaw. Amelia has been part of the IAP2 family long before there was an IAP2 Canada. She is a passionate champion of public engagement, a trainer, and facilitator with deep connections in the organization.
In late November, we hired our new Executive Director, Valoree McKay. She and Amelia have been diligently working together on the transition. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Board and staff secretly planned a surprise retirement party to celebrate all of Amelia’s contributions. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the virtual event on December 9th there are some pictures in this newsletter.
I hear from many practitioners that they deeply value the relationships and connections they have built as volunteers and participants in IAP2 Canada programs, conferences, and Communities of Practice. As we look to 2022 the Board and staff will be strengthening the IAP2 Canada brand, deepening the value proposition through professional development and training, and “Connecting with Purpose” at the 2022 conference. I look forward to seeing you in Banff, September 14-16.
Respectfully, Catherine Rockandel
President, IAP2 Canada