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Message from the fmi*igf President 2016-2017

M Thomas2Martha Okot Thomas

I have just returned from Ottawa where I was fortunate enough to have attended the annual Professional Development Week (PD Week 2016). It truly is a remarkable event attended by over 4,100 attendees over four days. I encourage anyone to search #PDWeek2016 or follow @FMI_IGF on Twitter to see some of the comments made and pictures taken by our attendees and to have a look at the program and speakers. Truly amazing! The PD Week 2016 Organizing Committee and the FMI National Office staff really did an outstanding job. For those of you who may not know, the PD Week committee is made up of 65 people who volunteer their time to make this event as successful as it is. There is also a lot of extra effort put in by our staff at the FMI National Office at this time of year. I really want to congratulate each and every one of the people involved including our sponsors, speakers and others who volunteered their time (i.e. Speed Mentors). This event is the key to fmi*igf's success and its year-round operations. Thank you!!!!

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PD Week 2016 Organizing Committee

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Martha Thomas and Mathieu Langlier

Staff Photo 2016

fmi*igf National Staff: Christopher Egan, Caroline Désilets, Lynn Carroll, Cheryl Elliott and Nicolas Drolet.

Before I start on this year, I want to take a moment to thank a few other people. Many of you know that Mathieu Langelier, our CEO, has recently left us to take on a position with the International Actuarial Association (IAA). Mathieu has helped to facilitate a significant amount of change to our organization that has really helped us grow. Not only did he take part in the transition to our new governance structure, but he has worked to develop and strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders within the federal government, as well as, helping us build a strong and collaborative relationship with CPA Canada. If you didn't already know, fmi*igf is working in collaboration with CPA Canada to help build an improved public sector curriculum. Gary Wuschnakowski from our Ontario Chapter has also been a key player in assisting CPA Canada with the content for their program.

In addition, Mathieu and Nicolas Drolet from National Office (along with a few volunteers) were instrumental in building and launching our first e-learning Leadership course. Together they have officially put the "I" in fmi*igf. We can move ahead and be proud to call ourselves a true learning institute. Thank you Mathieu. I know that your new job is a great opportunity for you, but I will miss you.

Secondly, I want to take this opportunity to thank our Past President, Jean Labelle, along with our 2015-2016 Board Members. Jean was a major contributor not only to the development but also to the implementation of our new Board structure. Thank you for your leadership and dedication over the past two years as we moved through this transition. And to the Board Members without whom none of these changes would have been possible. You are all tremendously dedicated and passionate people who have helped us keep this fantastic momentum going.

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fmi*igf National Board 2015-2016

Back (l-r): Barb Kelly, Western Regional Director; Jonathon Hood, Central Regional Director; Jean Labelle, President; Martha Thomas, Vice-President; Shawn Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer; Mathieu Langelier, Chief Executive Officer. Front (l-r): Nicolas Delisle, Director of Membership; Christine Robichaud, Eastern Regional Director. Absent: Yvonne Samson, Past President; and Mike Pestill, Director of National Awards Program.

Going Forward

I am proud to take on the role of President at such an exciting time for fmi*igf. We are heading into our 55th year and I believe our organization has never been better positioned. Our three-year Strategic Plan has four main outcomes identified including:

  1. Volunteer Engagement - fmi*igf has established an attractive and evolving value proposition for our diverse and competent base of dedicated volunteers in all levels.
  2. Chapter and National Product Growth - fmi*igf is thriving sustainably through the provision of relevant, high-quality product offerings that experience increasing levels of involvement and participation.
  3. Public Sector Impact - fmi*igf has a pulse on all emerging issues and trends and is the "go-to" source for public sector financial management information.
  4. National Recognition - There is increased awareness of fmi*igf as a national organization among key current and future stakeholders.

As I begin my tenure, I want to let you know how the new National Board and the National Office are supporting these outcomes. As President, I have the ability to appoint two positions on the Board. Shawn Johnson (Fredericton Chapter) will be the Director of Organizational Development. He will assist in the transition both to our new Secretary-Treasurer, Derek Cockburn (Victoria Chapter) and to our new CEO. In addition, he will assist with improving and streamlining corporate reporting. Barb Kelly (Regina Chapter), will be the Director of Orientation and Onboarding Design. In order to support our volunteers we need to ensure they have access to the tools they need. Those volunteers include Chapter volunteers, members of the National Board of Directors, and PD Week and PSMW volunteers. The National Board will continue to support the Chapters, as well as supporting the initiatives of the national organization, through regular conversations and meetings with the Chapter Advisory Council (CAC) as well as attendance at their regional events where possible. These conversations will assist us in finding ways to make, maintain and strengthen our public sector impact and improve our national recognition. We can't do that without the great work that happens in each of our 14 Chapters, during PD Week or PSMW, our annual Public Sector Management Workshop.

My two key focus areas this year will be on the continuing development of our relationship with CPA Canada and the development of fmi*igf's new website. I am honoured to be working with the newly elected National Board and always grateful for the staff at National Office who I know will keep this incredible momentum going.

Please join me in welcoming the new National Board of Directors and the members of our Chapter Advisory Council:

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fmi*igf National Board 2016-2017

(l-r): Barb Kelly, Director of Orientation and Onboard Design; Derek Cockburn, Secretary-Treasurer; Linda Dow, Eastern Regional Director; Jonathan Hood, Central Regional Director; Jim Randall, Vice-President; Martha Thomas, President; Jean Labelle, Past President; Athena Dinos, Western Regional Director; and, Shawn Johnson, Director of Organizational Development.

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Chapter Representatives

Back (l-r): Barb Kelly, Western Regional Director 2014-2016; Carlton Gee, President, Vancouver Chapter; Veronica Gelowitz, President, Regina Chapter; Jonathan Hood, Central Regional Director; Gary Wuschnakowski, President, Ontario Chapter; Janet Mrenica, President, Capital Chapter;  Éric Maranda, President, IGF-Québec; Derwin Banks, President, PEI Chapter; Valmond Bourque, Vice-President, South-East New Brunswick Chapter; Sonya Keeping, President, St. John's Chapter; Fred Donaldson, President, Halifax Chapter and CAC Chair 2015-2016. Front (l-r): Jeanette Stead, Vice-President, Edmonton Chapter; Athena Dinos, President, Manitoba Chapter, Melinda Pedersen, President, Fredericton Chapter; Christine Robichaud, Eastern Regional Director 2014-2016. Absent: Alexandre Cavuoti, President, IGF-Montréal; and Jason Stevenson, President, Victoria Chapter.

Thank you to Fred Donaldson (Halifax Chapter) for his contributions to our Chapter Advisory Council and acting as Chair for 2015-2016. And welcome to Nicolas Delisle (IGF-Québec) who was recently chosen as the new Chair for 2016-2017. Thanks to Christine Robichaud (Fredericton Chapter) for all of her work with fmi*igf over the years.

Here's to a great year ahead. If you have any questions or comments about helping us achieve our outcomes or improve our product offerings, please connect with me at marthaokotthomas@gmail.com.


Martha Okot Thomas, CPA CA

fmi*igf National President 2016-2017