IEEE Canadian Foundation
Annual Meeting of the Members, April 6, 2004
Structural Activities and Initiatives
This has been another very active year, in which the foundation demonstrated additional major steps in its evolution to a national foundation.
Additional Directors - This phase started with the action taken at our 2003 annual meeting to appoint three additional directors to our board. Dave Kemp was nominated and elected to represent Western Canada. Guy Olivier and Vijay Sood were nominated and elected to represent Quebec and our integration with the volunteer and financial resources of Montreal Conferences Inc. (MCI). More about our MCI integration follows.
Accountability to Members - The second important action at our 2003 annual meeting was to present the upcoming budget for approval by our membership. This represented a shift to greater accountability by the board to the members.
Expanded Committees - Immediately following the annual meeting, the board met and approved an expanded committee structure to incorporate geographic and language diversity. The new directors added geographic diversity to our board. The five members who are also members of MCI were incorporated into the foundation committees, thus ensuring French speaking capabilities on all but one (Audit) of our committees.
Bylaws - The board, created a bylaws committee, under the leadership of Secretary Tom Purdy, to update our constitution and bylaws (the first update since 1991 when the foundation was created) to accommodate the above noted changes, along with a number of other changes as documented in my email letter to all members on January 26, 2004. The Board approved these changes, advised all members by email, and submitted the proposed bylaw revisions to the IEEE Canada Executive Committee for review and forwarding to the IEEE Executive Committee for approval. I congratulate Tom for a truly outstanding effort with this very demanding task
Dual Language Web Site - During the past year, the creation of a dual set of web pages, in English and French, was completed with the assistance of a group of translation volunteers. Eric Holdrinet, is now looking after the French language pages. These pages include the grant application forms so that, with our bilingual Grants Committee, we can now offer our foundation grant services in both languages.
Building the Financial Resource Base of the Foundation
There are three funding activities which will strengthen the foundation and broaden its scope within Canada. Two are directed donations which have been received recently, and one which is expected shortly.
IEEE Canada Vehicular Technologies Awards - IEEE Canada has made a directed donation of $65,000 to our foundation to fund a research grant and a travel grant annually to students for activities in the Vehicular Technology area.
IEEE Canada Power Quality Scholarship - The "Annual Alberta Exposition and Conference on Power Quality Issues" has made a directed donation of $47,300 to our foundation to fund a scholarship annually for an IEEE student member in full time attendance at either the University of Alberta or the University of Calgary.
Montreal Conference Inc. - The boards of both MCI and the foundation have held many discussions about the merging of our efforts as the IEEE Canadian Foundation. Montreal Section, at its last annual meeting, approved the plan of the MCI directors to make a substantial directed donation to the foundation and close down the MCI corporation with the remaining funds returning to the Montreal Section. This is expected to occur over the next few months.
Endowment Policy - With the experience gained in arranging to handle these directed donations, we have begun the task of formalizing the documentation to solicit and receive directed donations. The draft document is available on our members-only password-protected web site directory. This document is a direct result of a meeting of the foundation executive committee (president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary) on January 24, 2004.
Donations Committee - With regret, we accepted John Mowbray's resignation as chair of our Donations Committee due to increased workload and travel for his employer. Fortunately, he has kindly agreed to stay on as a member of the committee and assist with continuity. Celia Desmond, a foundation member, a past IEEE Canada president, and a past president of the IEEE Communications Society, has agreed to take over the leadership of this committee.
Promotion within IEEE Canada
IEEE Canada Board - For the past two years, I have participated in the semi-annual IEEE Canada Board meetings, with the intent of informing that board in general, and the Section chairs in particular, of the activities and capabilities of our foundation. The aim is to publicize our program of Scholarships and Grants, our expertise in fiduciary responsibility and prudent investment, and our need for donations - both general and directed.
Student Branch Workshops - Our treasurer, Luc Matteau, has attended the annual IEEE Canada Student Branch workshops with a complementary goal of information about our Scholarships and Grants and the processes for successful application. All indications are that these activities are appreciated and are having the desired effects.
Awards Presentations - At the 2003 Spring IEEE Canada Board Meeting, we started a new initiative where Scholarship Certificates were presented to the chairs of the winners' Section for subsequent local presentation (as this was an IEEE Canada regional awards event, it was publicized on the IEEE Canada Awards web site).
Linkages with the IEEE Foundation
At the end of 2003, Wally Read was elected the chair of IEEE Foundation Trustees Committee and remains on the IEEE Foundation Board of Directors as an ex-officio member for 2004 and 2005. At the same time, Bob Alden was elected to the IEEE Foundation Board of Directors for a three year term starting in 2004, as a director-at-large.
Awards and Recognitions of Foundation Members
Several of our members have been recognized in a variety of ways:
Honorary Members - The board created the category of Honorary Member
(non-voting) to recognize foundation members who no longer wish to remain
active in the governance of the foundation but whose past contributions were
exceptional in quality and over an extended period of time. The current
honorary members are: G.C. Eastwood, G.G. English, B. Hercus,
Luc Matteau - Director and Treasurer, was awarded the IEEE Canada
M.B. Broughton Central Canada Council Merit Award for exemplary and
sustained service to IEEE in Canada for more than 30 years, principally as
treasurer of IEEC Inc. and the IEEE Canadian Foundation.
Ferial El-Hawary - Student Branch Liaison Committee member, was
awarded the J.J. Archambault Eastern Canada Council Merit Award, for
sustained technical leadership with exceptional dedication and service
to the Canadian Atlantic Section and the Eastern Canada Council.
Wallace Read, C.M. - IEEE Foundation liaison, was recognized by IEEE
Canada upon his appointment as Member of the Order of Canada, by Her
Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,Governor General of Canada,
effective May 8, 2003.
Wallas Khella - Director and Student Branch Liaison Committee chair
received a Toronto Section Centennial Medal and a Toronto Section Scholarship
established in his name to recognize his valued service and contributions to
the Section. The award will be known as the IEEE Toronto Section Dr.
Wallas H. Khella Scholarship.
Bob Alden - Director and President received a Toronto Section
Centennial Medal and a Toronto Section Scholarship established in his name
to recognize his valued service and contributions to the Section. The award
will be known as the IEEE Canadian Foundation Dr. Robert T.H. Alden
Scholarship (to be presented jointly by the IEEE Toronto Section and the
IEEE Canadian Foundation)
As I complete my second complete year as president, I look back with pride at the steady progress our foundation continues to make - guided by the tone set at our long range planning session in February 2002, and the superb efforts of so many of our foundation volunteers. I would like to make special mention of three directors who continue to make very special contributions: Luc Matteau for so carefully looking after our investments, disbursing funds, and dealing with all our external financial contacts and regulators; Tom Purdy for creating and keeping a superb set of minutes; and David Whyte for managing requests for funds, and the fair determination of our granting decisions. However, we are not yet finished. We have challenges to meet in attracting increased amounts of donations in a greater variety of ways; unrestricted gifts, directed gifts, planned giving, and so on. We face a different challenge in developing our fledgling student branch liaison committee in a way that will enable us to better understand the nature and needs of our dispersed student branch network. We must work to improve our efforts to use technology to allow us to have effective communication and business meetings with participants in locations across Canada in a cost effective way. I believe we are up to these challenges, and with your guidance and dedicated assistance, we will succeed.
I thank all my fellow members of the IEEE Canadian Foundation, the volunteer leadership of both IEEE Canada and the IEEE Foundation, and associated staffs, for your inspiration, advice and support.
Robert T.H. (Bob) Alden, Ph.D., P.Eng., LSM IEEE