February 2001

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A Salute to APEGGA Staff


What does it take to make an effective professional organization like APEGGA? Clearly, it takes professional members contributing to the betterment of society through their work and volunteer involvement. But organizations also depend on competent and committed staff. I am happy to say that both apply to APEGGA's staff.

Since 1996, our staff has been under the able direction of our Executive Director and

Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., who works with seven directors responsible for Administration, Communications and Public Affairs, Registration, Professional Development, Professional Practice, Compliance, and Special Projects.
The adoption in 1996 of a new governance model placed renewed emphasis on the role of the executive director and staff in implementing Council's strategic objectives. Under our model, it is critical that Council -- once general principles are established -- can depend on staff to carry out its wishes.

To do that, Neil and APEGGA directors -- between the Edmonton and Calgary offices -- have a support staff numbering close to 40. That means that APEGGA has the lowest staff-to-member ratio of similar-sized sister organizations. I believe that, in itself, reflects positively on the competence and effectiveness of our staff.

I would like to commend Neil on his role in promoting government relations and mobility, and for soundly establishing Alberta as a leader across Canada.

Experienced Staff

I hesitate to single anyone out but I believe it is worth mentioning that our staff includes some individuals who have devoted many years of service. For example, Cathy Armstrong of General Services has spent 32 years at APEGGA. We recently had occasion to honour (respectively for 25 and 20 years of service) APEGGA Outreach Co-ordinator Jeannie Keaschuk and Sharon Lindgren, a member of the Accounting staff and the resident computer trouble-shooter. Kathy Falcon, also of the Accounting staff, will soon reach her 18th annivesary of APEGGA service. Deputy Registrar and Director of Administration Al Schuld, P.Eng., joined APEGGA in 1982.

Such long-time employees provide the association with that all-important institutional memory. In Al's case, his vast experience also means that our sister associations and the national umbrella bodies often rely on his insight and advice.

Recent Departures

Inevitably, there is an ebb and flow within an organization as staff members retire or decide to pursue other career options. This has happened recently with the departure of two senior employees in the Communications and Public Affairs Department. Kimberly Nishikaze, manager of public relations, and Nordahl Flakstad, editor of The PEGG, have left to establish their own individual communications firms.

Kim and Nordahl each had served APEGGA for nine years and made valuable contributions to the association. We extend our best wishes to both of them and thank them for their excellent contributions over the past nine years.

Staff Development

You will be aware of APEGGA's focus in recent years on continuing professional development. It is important that we walk the talk within our organization by opening opportunities for our staff to enhance and develop their skills and knowledge. This happens through sponsorship of in-house upgrading courses and by supporting staff members wishing to hone their skills and increase their knowledge on an individual basis. In that regard, I can report that two current members of the Communications and Public Affairs Department, Barb Robinson and Shirley Layne, recently were accredited as Certified Meeting Planners by their technical society. Congratulations to both of you on your hard work and achievement. Staff development results in people brimming with new ideas that improve APEGGA's program delivery and service to stakeholders.

I felt it important to make mention of our staff before I step down as president and to do so in more than a passing reference in my final column two months hence. I wish to make the point that our staff are not an afterthought. My term as president and my involvement before that as a volunteer have left me firmly convinced that our staff represent an important asset. They, like our members, are an integral and vital part of the APEGGA team.


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