By Neil Windsor, P.Eng.
In any organization there is always room for change, for renewing the organizational structure and for presenting opportunities for advancement and new challenges. No time is better than during a period of growth, especially when changes at the senior levels are taking place. In the Business Plan, 1997 and Beyond, Council adopted new strategic initiatives and programs which require some additional resources to implement. As well, our Manager of Administration has left us to pursue other career goals and a suitable replacement is being sought. It was an ideal opportunity, early in my own term, to review the structure and consider how we might better meet the challenges of managing the affairs of Alberta's largest professional association and of serving our professional members.
Review Carried Out
Early in the new year, we began a thorough internal review with continual input from both management and staff. The objectives were to determine what changes were required, if any, to more effectively and efficiently serve our membership, carry out the administrative affairs of the Association, support the work of Council and the many committees of volunteers, and generally meet our mandate. It was agreed that certain changes to reflect the realities of the present day and our changing mandate were desirable.
Our Calgary Presence
We also considered at great length the requirement to strengthen the Calgary office to ensure that the majority of our membership, which is centred in southern Alberta, is adequately served. We concluded that the head office of APEGGA is appropriately located close to the seat of Government and near the head offices of other associations and agencies with which we interact on a regular basis. Subsequently consideration was given to those programs and services which could be enhanced through a strengthening of the Calgary office. It was determined that our public relations and awareness programs would benefit from additional resources in the Calgary office focusing on the southern region of the province. As well, it was agreed that greater effort could be made on our science and technology outreach program with additional resources in Calgary and that closer liaison with The University of Calgary and other institutions would also be accomplished. Consequently, we will be creating a new position in the Calgary office to meet these areas of concern.
Recognizing that some two-thirds of our membership is centred in the region, it was decided to create a second position to focus solely on the Continuing Professional Development Program, and ensure that members are fully aware of the program and that we are in a position to provide whatever assistance might be required by professional members. Other programs and services are adequately provided by that office at present and this strengthening should meet the immediate requirements of that office.
The overall management structure has been revised to align the duties assigned to department heads more closely with the main thrust of the department. All registration and enforcement activities will now fall under a new team comprised of the Deputy Registrar, Al Schuld, P.Eng., and the Director of Registration and Compliance, Dave Todd, P.Eng. The Director of Professional Practice, Ray Chopiuk, P.Eng., will be responsible for matters relating to members' practice, and the Director of Professional Development, Len Shrimpton, P.Eng., will direct programs relating to the education and development of current and future members. The Communications Department, under its Director, Trevor Maine, P.Eng., has been strengthened by the creation of the post of Manager of Public Relations (being assumed by Kim Nishikaze) and the hiring of additional resource personnel. Stewart McIntosh, P.Eng., becomes Director of Special Projects where his experience can be utilized to help shape new policies and meet special requirements. The yet-to-be-selected Director of Administration will be charged with responsibility for all administrative matters as well as delivery of member services and benefits which soon are to be enhanced.
The net result will be a more streamlined organization providing greater efficiency and effectiveness in meeting the needs of the Association. With improved services and information for professional members and a constantly expanding and improving Internet home page, APEGGA will become more relevant to our membership and more user friendly to everyone.
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