CFUW President's Message Post 2018 AGM

02 Jul 2018 4:14 PM | Barbara Newbegin (Administrator)
Club Action Newsletter

June 28, 2018 

President's Message

The Election and the New Board
Thank you for re-electing me to be CFUW President for the 2018-2020 Biennium. When nominated by CFUW St. John’s I realized that if another candidate were nominated I must be prepared for any outcome and so I thought for a moment of the many interesting projects that I would get back to should I not be continuing as President. Those ideas disappeared quickly when I heard the results of the election for President being announced at the AGM! I have started back to work as your full-time CFUW President and I appreciate the many emails from across Canada welcoming me back; they have been a joy and inspiration to read!

Congratulations to the other members of the Board who are now in position for the 2018-2020 Biennium. Some are returning to their former positions while other new members ran in uncontested elections and one won in a contested position. Their names and positions were all listed in the AGM report from National Office. The two vacant positions will be filled and will be announced following the first Board meeting. Madeline Kalbach, your former VP Membership, was gracious in her acceptance of the results and quickly passing on to me information of value to the new committee as she continues her other CFUW involvement and her many fascinating professional interests. Board, RDs and Committee chairs normally pass on to their successors any information of value in the turn-over process. To Cheryl Hayles and Saode Savary who also ran in contested positions and are not on the 2018-2020 Board I wish you well.

Your new CFUW Board will meet in July by conference call and will be followed by a face-to-face meeting in September as planned and budgeted. The July agenda, in addition to dealing with the two vacant Board positions, will involve Board training on CFUW financials, governing internal and external documents, and parliamentary procedure; approval of committee members, and the usual business of the initial Board meeting in a new Biennium. The matter of the dues still owing to GWI will be addressed. I have contacted Geeta Desai, GWI President and requested a further extension to August 10th of the deadline for the dues payment. The reason for this is there is no VP Finance in place and June 30th did not give a reasonable time for the new Board to meet. Ms. Desai agreed readily to my request.
2018 AGM
Many thanks to our members who learnt a new way to conduct an AGM and participated in the 2018 Virtual AGM held last Saturday, June 23rd. It was fascinating to be part of this process that started over a year ago when it was proposed to hold a virtual AGM as a cost-saving measure at both the national and club levels. National office staff are commended on their work with the two companies that enabled the meeting process and the voting. Staff also designed and providing training sessions for members. On your behalf I thank Executive Director, Robin Jackson; Member Engagement Coordinator, Jenna Smith; Advocacy Coordinator Genevieve de Breyne-Gaynon; Fellowships Program Manager, Betty Dunlop, and Ryszard Kowaiski, Bookkeeper and software developer who ensured that the meeting ran well and the voting was conducted according to CFUW standards.

As President for the 2016-2018 Biennium it was my responsibility to chair the AGM and this was shared with Katherine Wilkinson, Acting President.  Advising us was Elizabeth Haynes, Parliamentarian. At various points on the agenda, we were joined in person by Helen Sami, VP Finance to present the Financial items, Wilma Clapham to present the Nominations Report, and Myra Willis to present the proposed changes for Articles and Bylaws. Teresa Habs joined online to present the Resolutions and to see them all accepted. The financial motions were accepted (with one budget amendment) except for the Winnipeg Motion and the Dues Motion, both requiring a 2/3 vote but receiving 61% and 65.8% respectively. Consequently, there was no agreed change to the status of CFUW membership in GWI but neither was the membership in agreement to increasing CFUW dues to cover the GWI dues increase or increased CFUW inflationary costs. Information on the Articles and Bylaws motions and details of the Advocacy Resolutions were presented in the Club Action Newsletter of June 28th. The debate, motions, proposed amendments, comments and questions coming in over the telephone and chat lines worked well once we got started and some initial items taken care of. Emails from individual members and the AGM evaluation survey will give us more information to improve this process.
Thanks Related to the 2016-2018 Biennium
Those thanks would normally have been done at the AGM had we not run out of time despite the extensions of 45 and 10 minutes. I have already thanked the staff at National Office in the AGM 2018 section above and I wish to acknowledge their enormous contribution to CFUW throughout the whole Biennium.

I would like to acknowledge, the members of our CFUW Clubs who meet together in friendship to carry out the aims of the organization. The more than 8000 energetic, dedicated members who join CFUW for various reasons, become more enthused and involved and stay to enjoy the fellowship while working to promote education, human rights for all, and particularly the advancement of equality for women and girls through advocacy, (including the provision of scholarships), example, and community outreach. I am sorry to have seen the closure of Clubs this year but recognize that some clubs were not viable, and hope that those members become part of the Members at Large group or, where possible, join another Club. It was exciting to see a new Club formed in Quebec and plans to revive the Club in Regina gain momentum.

It is my great pleasure to thank the Board members of the 2016-2018 Biennium:  For this past year; Ruth Mellor, Bilkies McKen, Sandy Thompson, Dominique Racanelli, Janet Willwerth, Helen Sami, Cheryl Ambrose, Madeline Kalbach, Cheryl Hayles, Kathryn Wilkinson, and the three invited guests at Board meetings: Parliamentarian Elizabeth Haynes whom you heard in action at the AGM; Myra Willis Chair of Articles and Bylaws; and Barbara Clancy, Chair of the Regional Directors’ Group. I also wish to thank Past President Karen Dunnett, Brenda Robertson and Sharon Crabb who served on the Board for part of the 2016-2017 year.

My thanks as well to the many regional leaders particularly the Regional Directors whose local, regional and national duties help Clubs move the CFUW programs forward. I thank Barbara Clancy chair, and the RDs of this past year; Barbara DuMoulin, Beryl Matthewson, Maureen Fotos, Dale Wilkie, Margaret Hendry, Patricia Elliot, Christine Tworo, Isobel Boyle, Heather Foss, Patricia Joyce, Mary Partington, Judy Gay, Jane Cowell-Poitras, Debbie Christiansen-Stowe, Jean Fisher who took over when Sharon Crabb moved another position, Eleanor Palmer who took over when Janet Willwerth moved to another position, and Heather Huestis.  Not all positions have been filled yet and an announcement of this important group and their new chair will be made shortly.

I express my gratitude and thanks to all leaders and members of our Standing Committees, Special Committees and their Sub-Committees as well as our Study Groups and Special Appointments. The Committees of 2016-2018, each operating under its Terms of Reference, were most productive and I thank them for their intense effort on behalf of CFUW. Committees for 2018-2020 are being constituted and the expressions of interest returned by members are being forwarded to committee chairs.

In closing, I must express also a heartfelt thank-you to the many Clubs and members who contacted me after the death of my husband on May 16th; it was most appreciated. Let us go forward with renewed interest and energy to build CFUW, retain our current members, and inspire others to join; to solve existing problems and continue to fulfill the mission of CFUW as we enter our 100th year of involvement in advocating for education, human rights, and equality for women and girls.


National President


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