The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

Highlights from OACETT’s Annual General Meeting and Conference

OACETT held a successful Annual General Meeting and Conference in Minett, Ontario from May 28-30 under the theme "Own Your Professional Future."

With strong chapter representation and members, academia and industry delegates in attendance, this year's AGM and Conference offered an engaging and interactive program of meetings, networking and professional development. Highlights of the program included OACETT's executive council's presentation, a panel discussion and presentation on continuing professional development, insights on pursuing excellence from three-time Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Botterill, the President's Dinner and the annual general meeting. Daytime sessions were live streamed, giving all members the opportunity to watch the proceedings in real time and participate via their computer or mobile device.

Guests who attended the event to bring greetings from their associations included Keith Trulson, president of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC); Norman Kyle, president of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET); Thomas Chong, P.Eng., president of Professional Engineers Ontario; Karen Chan, P.Eng., president of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers; Toon Dreessen, president of the Ontario Association of Architects; John Hoicka, senior research and policy advisor at Colleges Ontario; Mike Seiling, C.E.T., president of the Ontario Building Officials Association; Gail Smyth, executive director of Skills Canada Ontario; and Sam Loggia, C.E.T., program manager at Canadian Standards Association. Guests also heard welcoming remarks from The Honourable Norm Miller, MPP Parry Sound-Muskoka, The Honourable Jim Wilson, MPP Simcoe-Grey, and Muskoka Lakes Mayor Don Furniss.

OACETT Council 2015-2017

Back row L to R: Dr. Misheck Mwaba, PhD, P.Eng., representative from the Heads of Technology; Ken Browne, C.E.T., PASB councillor, Horseshoe; Mark Gatenby, C.E.T., PASB councillor, Central; Lori Cornwall, MBA, LL.B, public representative; Shawn Wessel, A.Sc.T., rcji, PASB councillor, Eastern; Steve Barnes, C.E.T., PASB Councillor, Toronto; Stephen Morley, C.E.T., C.I.M., past-president; Vince Le Faive, C.E.T., CBET (c), vice-president, IETO; Andre Sherman, O.A.A., C.E.T., representative from the Ontario Association of Architects; Rosanna Baggs, C.E.T., IETO councillor, Eastern; Changiz Sadr, P.Eng., C.E.T., PEO representative; Cam Johnston, C.E.T., rcca, IETO councillor, Horseshoe; and Shervin Reyhani, C.E.T., PASB councillor, Western.

Front row L to R: Kathiravel Karunananthan, C.E.T., IETO councillor, Central; Andy Dryland, C.E.T., PASB councillor, Northern; Bruce Elliott, C.E.T., IETO councillor, Northern; Bob van den Berg, C.E.T., president; Kim Pickett, C.E.T., vice-president, PASB; Greg Miller, C.E.T., president-elect; David Crowder, C.E.T., IETO councillor, Toronto; Hargurdeep Singh, student representative; and Christopher van Dop, C.E.T., IETO councillor, Western.

President's report

President Bob van den Berg, C.E.T. opened the conference by explaining the significance of the “Own Your Professional Future” theme, noting that the choices we make and actions we take as an Association and as individuals today will have far-reaching effects on our future. While the Association is currently in an enviable position, with financial stability; membership growth; increased recognition from colleges, government, industry and the public; and more than 350 dedicated volunteers, he argued that complacency would be a mistake: “The question we, as technology professionals, need to answer,” said President van den Berg, “is how can we leverage all we have achieved, all of the assets we have developed, to ensure we thrive well into the future, in an ever-evolving, global environment?”

President van den Berg highlighted some of the recent achievements and current initiatives that are helping to advance the Association and ensure its members are positioned to succeed in today’s world of rapid technological, legislative and  workplace change. Among those he cited were the establishment of the Licensed Engineering Technologist and Technology Accreditation Canada; the increased recognition among employers of the value of OACETT certification demonstrated by OACETT’s 2014 Salary Survey which showed that certified members are better compensated; and the Association’s ongoing role in ensuring members maintain their competitive advantage through continuing professional development.

 “OACETT is our professional association, representing us as members, but the culture and the future is something we all must take ownership of,” said President van den Berg, “We have worked hard for our credentials and we need to protect and enhance their recognition today and into the future.”

Financial report

Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Administrative Officer, Hillary Tedoldi reported that OACETT had another successful year financially, with strong membership and investment performance. More detail can be found in OACETT's 2014-2015 Annual Report, which is available from our website.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Panel Discussion and Presentation

Members enjoyed hearing different perspectives on the importance of continuing professional development during a panel discussion moderated by Robin Dunn, C.E.T., an OACETT past president and chief administrative officer for the Township of Oro-Medonte. The conversation emphasized that continuing professional development is increasingly viewed as not just an asset but a necessity.

Terri Zimmer, Human Resources Lead for R.V. Anderson Associates Limited, explained how her organization has become an industry leader in innovation and competitiveness by engraining lifelong learning into their company culture. Barry Cavanaugh, J.D., chief executive officer and general counsel of the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta, recounted his association’s experience in implementing a CPD program that underscores members’ capabilities and commitment and enhances the reputation of the profession. John Leech, AScT, CAE, chief executive officer for the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia, spoke of ASTTBC’s “gentle journey” toward mandatory CPD and its value to engineering technicians and technologists in earning the public’s trust and acting as Qualified Professionals.  Dianne Tyers, president and CEO of Advance Consulting for Education INC and a specialist in adult education, explained how professional development enables individuals to successfully navigate industry, workplace and personal changes. The panel discussion was followed by a presentation from Greg Miller, C.E.T., OACETT president-elect, about the reasoning behind and details of the Association’s proposed mandatory CPD program. A working group will be considering any changes to the proposed model with a final decision to be made by Council at their September meeting.

Pursuing Excellence with Jennifer Botterill

Jennifer Botterill, three-time Olympic gold medalist with the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team, shared some of the valuable lessons she’s learned in her pursuit of excellence that led to her becoming one of Canada’s most accomplished athletes. The anecdotes, insights and positive energy she contributed—along with her willingness to share her medals and pose for pictures with attendees—made her appearance a highlight for many.

Past-President’s speech

Past-President Stephen Morley, C.E.T., C.I.M., reflected on his two years at the helm of the Association. In a moving address on the nature of leadership and legacy during Friday’s President’s Dinner, he quoted
author James Kerr who wrote about the spirit of courage and respect that contributed to the dominance of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team: “True leaders are stewards of the future; they take responsibility for adding to the legacy.” He explained that he and his fellow Council members took that responsibility very seriously and the Association’s legacy continues to be strong because of it. He emphasized that OACETT succeeds because of its many members and its volunteer core all working in concert toward the same goals. In conclusion, he said, “Every player for the All Blacks, whether they play one game or 100, is guided by the phrase, ‘leave the jersey in a better place’ … As I passed the gavel and became past-president, I knew I was leaving the jersey in a better place.”

As a testament to past-president Morley’s legacy, and in appreciation of his industry contribution and friendship, three of OACETT’s partners, ASTTBC, ASET and Skills Canada – Ontario made generous donations in his name to the Carole and George Fletcher Foundation.

The Carole and George Fletcher report

David Tsang, C.E.T., chair of the Carole and George Fletcher Foundation Board of Trustees, reported that in addition to meeting the 25 for 25 Campaign goal of awarding a $1,000 bursary at each of Ontario’s 25 colleges, the Carole and George Fletcher Foundation has now established full and partial endowment funds for all 25 Ontario colleges. In 2014, the Foundation awarded bursaries to deserving students from colleges all across Ontario, in addition to bestowing the Barbara and Felix Degan Award and the Generation Award, which goes to a child/grandchild of an OACETT Member.

Closing remarks

In closing the event, President van den Berg reminded members, “ ‘Own Your Professional Future,’ is something that each of us does every day when we apply our expertise to new challenges, when we enhance our skills and broaden our knowledge, when we complete a project or achieve recognition and when we participate in our professional association.” He added, “By joining with like-minded individuals to advance the collective interests of engineering technology professionals, we are not only carving out our personal career path, we are influencing the direction of our industry as a whole.”

Thank you to our sponsors

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Bronze Sponsors:

Delegate Bags Sponsor:

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OACETT Supporter:

For further details...
Look to the July/August issue of The Ontario Technologist magazine for more highlights from the AGM and Conference.

Click here to view the AGM 2015 photo gallery.

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