Terri-Jane Yuzda


Member Involvement Essential to APEGGA's Success

APEGGA President

Typically, the APEGGA president uses the final President's Notebook of the term, in April, to address member involvement in our association. Two events encourage me to speak on this topic now.

Firstly, it's the time of year when the nominating committee develops a list of potential candidates for election to APEGGA Council (see opposite page). It is reassuring to note that there are many talented professionals who would be exceptional participants, including a number of younger people. Although historically it's been difficult for people early in their career to take on Council responsibilities, due to the demands of family and work, we hope to see a few new faces this year.

The demanding pace of the Alberta economy leaves precious little time for many of us to participate in community and professional association activities. Yet there are more members of APEGGA involved in our volunteer programs than ever.

My hat is off to the 500-plus individuals who go the extra distance to ensure our profession is relevant by assisting on APEGGA committees, with Outreach programs, with branch and district work, and with a host of other activities.
Secondly, the president's tour to APEGGA branches and districts begins shortly. These visits provide a forum to explore what APEGGA is doing to achieve the strategic legislative and member services initiatives encompassed in our business plan. From my visits and discussions with sister associations across Canada, much is going on to enhance registration capacity, as well as to live up to our legislated responsibility to maintain standards that ensure the protection of public safety and welfare.

I also want to acknowledge those corporations and organizations that employ APEGGA members and are encouraging young (ages 25 to 40) professionals to be involved in APEGGA and community affairs. In an earlier column, I referenced Dr. Wallace Read, P.Eng., recipient of the 2002 CCPE Gold Medal award. In his acceptance address, Dr. Read stated: "Our commitment to and investment in a corporation's engineers {and geoscientists} represents unparalleled value for a company {or organization} and its own future. It is an opportunity not to be missed."

Dr. Read believes "we need to empower and equip engineers {and geoscientists} to be able to effectively respond to our vow to protect public safety and welfare." He outlined how this can be achieved.

  • gain a greater appreciation of world markets
  • increase awareness of other segments in the professional community
  • improve your business acumen and marketing skills
  • improve written and oral communication skills
  • develop team leadership attributes.

I asked my employer, John Holmlund, A.L.S., CEO of The Focus Corporation Ltd. and president of the Canadian Institute of Geomatics, for his observations. "Young people are the lifeblood of our professional associations. Too often employers take young professionals for granted and tend to overlook their value in participating in association (and business) affairs. As senior professionals and employers we are obligated to support them in their development both in their professional and personal life. The result of such initiative is a true win-win.

"The association will benefit from their unique insight and youthful enthusiasm and as employers we will have young people who truly understand the meaning of the word professional."

Volunteer involvement is a catalyst for each of us to visualize the bigger picture: "to recognize that success, in this new competitive business environment, makes it imperative to take charge of one's own destiny." Important steps to take include:

  • develop a formal plan for continuing education
  • access the APEGGA Continuing Professional Development Program or other education vehicles to broaden your horizons
  • keep close to the leading edge in your chosen field of engineering or geosciences
  • keep abreast of the bigger pictures in economies, governments and industry
  • network with other professionals in business and professional associations (perhaps as an APEGGA volunteer)
  • ask your employer for participation in mentoring and client relationship activities
  • use every opportunity to meet with your peers and community leaders

Congratulations to those who have stretched their available time into volunteer activity. You lead the way in demonstrating how APEGGA professionals remain relevant as a vital part of our societal and work communities. To any of you who feel so inclined, we look forward to your involvement in the multi-dimensional values of APEGGA membership. See you at the branch and district meetings.


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