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February 5, 2014

February 7, 2014

CEO on the Move

The Economic Club of Canada holds events across the country to bring its members and guests face-to-face with the most important, relevant and influential leaders of our time.  I was honoured to be invited to speak at a Club luncheon this week, on the topic of “Colleges, Institutes and Polytechnics: Serving Canada to build the labour force of today and tomorrow”. The luncheon provided a great opportunity to debunk common myths about colleges and to share not only the success stories, but also the impact on the community and the economy.

The Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) held their Tête-à-Tête Tradeshow in Ottawa this week, featuring keynote speaker David Chilton, author of “The Wealthy Barber” and Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den”. His presentation, focusing on entrepreneurship, was really inspiring showing how tenacity, passion, resilience, kindness are keys to success of businesses.

ACCC Leading at UNESCO

We are very pleased to announce that the Executive Committee of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO named ACCC Director of International Parterships, Marie-Josée Fortin, as Chair of the Sectoral Commission on Education.  We believe that Marie-Josée is the first Chair from the college sector. As Chair, Marie-Josée will also sit on the Executive Committee with representatives from the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada; the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development; the Department of Canadian Heritage; the Canada Council for the Arts; the Quebec Department of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade; and each Sectoral Commission.

The role of the Sectoral Commissions is to make sector-related recommendations to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and to the Executive Committee regarding the preparation, implementation and evaluation of UNESCO programmes and related Canadian activities.

International partnerships and development are priorities for ACCC and it is gratifying to see our, and Marie-Josée’s, efforts and leadership recognized in this way.


ACCC hosted a Public Sector Leaders’ Forum breakfast, welcoming 13 CEOs from the Ottawa-Gatineau region, representing La Cité, Université de Québec en Outaouais, area hospitals and school boards to the offices to dispel misconceptions about colleges and institutes and to share college success stories.

Just like the groundhog Wiarton Willie, I too saw my shadow this week.  In my case, however, there is no link to predictions about the weather, as Maria Belen, who works in Issues Management in the Real Property Branch of Public Works and Government Services Canada, spent a day job-shadowing me. If you think it would be a good learning experience, I would welcome college staff to spend a day job-shadowing a member of the Senior Executive team. I would certainly love to offer similar opportunities to my staff at member colleges.

We met with Daniel Muzyka, President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada, the largest Canadian think tank, and members of his executive team to discuss areas of mutual interest, with a particular focus on the Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education initiative.  Did you know that the Conference Board publishes a report a day, on topics ranging from the economy, industry, leadership, human resources, the public sector, and much more.

I spoke with James Gorman, President and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) and former British Columbia Deputy Minister, who made the move from the public sector to a non-profit organization just as I have.  COFI is the voice of the BC interior forest industry, working with governments, communities, organizations and individuals to ensure that forest policies in BC support the forest sector, its businesses and employees.

Michael Skolnik, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and I spoke at length, exploring ways to increase research on colleges and identify how we might explore how colleges are developing and adapting around the world.

Julia Deans, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF). CYBF is a national non-profit organization that assists youth with pre-launch coaching, business resources, start-up financing and mentoring to help them launch and sustain successful businesses.

I touched base with Jean-François Trépanier, former Interim Chief Executive Officer of the National Capital Commission. This week the Honourable John Baird, minister responsible for the National Capital Commission, announced the appointment of Mark Kristmanson to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective February 3.

New International Program Funding

Building on the success of the ACCC Education for Employment Program in Africa, this week The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, announced support for the Skills Training for Employment Program (STEP) in Mozambique and the Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP) in Tanzania.

With funding of $18.5 million over six years, STEP will help create skills training Centres of Excellence in the coal-rich province of Tete and the gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado, helping as many as 4,000 qualified Mozambicans enter the workforce and get good jobs in the mining and extractive-related industry.

The five-year ISTEP, developed in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training and lead Tanzanian employer associations, will support the Tanzanian government’s objective of a TVET system that will serve as the driving force for a productive and competitive workforce capable of contributing to the country’s socio-economic development.  The Program will build capacity of technical and vocational institutions to deliver effective skills training programs, leading to Tanzanian youth with the right skills sets to find or create employment in the extractive and tourism sectors.

There will be opportunities for Canadian college and institute involvement to support curriculum development, teacher training, leadership development, development of student and career services and outreach and publicity strategies. We will share more details with you as they become available.

Stay tuned as we hope to have more good news in the coming weeks.


Congratulations to Denise Amyot on receiving the Joint CPSQA-Excellence Canada Public Sector Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014, in recognition of leadership excellence during her career in the public service.

Congratulations to Patricia Scantlebury who joins Keyano College as the new Director of Planning, Procurement, and Property Management. Patricia holds a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Economics and Accounting, and brings over 13 years of senior management experience with the Government of Ontario to the role.

Congratulations to Trevor Davis on his appointment to the position of Associate Vice-President, Scholarship and Community Engagement at Vancouver Island University, effective July 2014. Trevor holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia and Master of Science in Geography from the University of Victoria. He is currently Associate Vice President Research at Mount Royal University, and brings experience gained as assistant professor and the Research Office Director at Thompson Rivers University, from teaching geography at the University of Utah, and working in film and television producing a wide variety of documentaries and commercials.

Congratulations to William Litchfield, who has been appointed Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations at Vancouver Island University (VIU), effective in February. William most recently held the position of Director of Advancement at Parkland College, where he led the College’s first-ever capital campaign, assisted in the development of the international education strategy and oversaw marketing, communication and front-line staff. He was previously an international project coordinator and auxiliary business instructor with College of the Rockies and has worked extensively overseas.  William holds a Bachelor of International Business from Carleton University. a Master of Science in Project Management from University of Liverpool and a graduate certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia.

Congratulations to James Coble, Okanagan College’s new Director of Student Services. James joined the College in 2001 as an education advisor and Aboriginal mentor before taking on the responsibility for the Aboriginal Access and Services department. He most recently held an acting role as Manager of Student Services. James holds a Bachelor’s Degree in education and a master’s degree in exercise psychology from the University of Victoria, and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education with a specialization in leadership in post-secondary contexts from the University of Calgary. A member of the Westbank First Nation, James is a Board member of the Westbank First Nation School Board, a Commissioner of the Westbank First Nation Economic Development Commission, and is Co-Chair of the UBC Okanagan/Okanagan College Aboriginal Council.

Congratulations to Tony Tilly who has been reappointed as President of Fleming College. We look forward to continuing to work with you!

Staff Changes

Welcome to Pauline Mantha. Pauline returns to ACCC to work on the Brazil Science without Borders program.  She was our first field representative during the Brazil Mulheres Mil project. Pauline was the CEO of the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada for many years, and is a graduate of the McGill University Masters of Management in Leadership of national associations.

Eureka! Moment

Olds College offers programs that can let a love of working with horses develop into a career. Programs in Equine Science, Exercise Rider and Jockey Training, and Race Horse Groom Training provide skills and expertise in different areas of the equine industry, and graduates are sought after by Canada’s horse related businesses.  The Equine Science program offers majors in Business and Event Management, Production and Breeding Management, Horsemanship and Equestrian Coaching. Why not consider a career that lets you do what you love and love what you do?

Did You Know

To help potential students explore career options, Carlton Trail Regional College added a Career Wheel to their website.  Visitors to the site can spin the wheel to learn more about the College’s programs, including start dates, cost, pre-requisites, employment prospects, and median salary. 

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