Welcome to GPOP!  

GPOP is the short and snappy version of our formal name, CICan:GPOP|PGBDG. We are a network of individuals contributing to Canadian post-secondary institutions as board professionals and/or as president’s assistants.

Durham College, OntarioWe are an independent, national body, with membership that is currently primarily English speaking. As we continually welcome peers who serve as the right hand of their respective board or CEO within any public Canadian college, institution, cégep, university or other organization within the Canadian post-secondary education sector, we ratified our name change in both English and French. In launching our new name, we also proudly reflect our alignment with CICan, Colleges and Institutes Canada.

Formally, we are CICan:Governance and President’s Office Professionals(GPOP) or, in French, Professionnels de la gouvernance et des bureaux des directeurs généraux de CICan (PGBDG) . If you qualify for membership and would like to learn more, check out the drop down menus under the ‘About’ tab.

1995 – 2020

Nova Scotia Community College

We appreciate all members who have contributed to GPOP’s evolution over the past 25 years, and particularly applaud our founders: Margo Baptista (March), Cathy Check, Marilyn Halsall, Glenys Lafrance, Pat Maertz, Jennifer Tribula and Wendy Wait. See below for a look at some of the milestones in our 25 years to date.

  • 1995: A small group of counterparts founded the Professional Board Staff Network (PBSN) as a peer network and professional development body for people contributing in governance capacities to Canadian colleges; members held an inaugural network meeting in Victoria, BC.
  • 1996 – 2008: Annual meetings, held during Association of Canadian Community Colleges (now CICan; Colleges and Institutes Canada) conferences, focused on board professionals’ role in presidential searches and evaluation, board recruitment, orientation and communications, best use of technologies, and more.
  • 2009: The association worked with ACCC to reach out to counterparts across the country in creating a national contact email list that evolved into a renewed listserv. If a member is facing a challenge, they know members will respond with professionalism and goodwill. Members reach out to one another in confidence that their queries on best practices, professional development and sticky issues will receive thoughtful consideration and timely responses that support the individual and their institution.
  • 2010: The association marked its 15th anniversary with its first appearance on ACCC’s annual conference programme; our concurrent session featured an interactive panel and drew an audience that extended beyond PBSN membership.
  • 2011: We became the PBSN/PNPA, in recognition that the association’s annual meetings and listserv increasingly reflected the world of board professionals and that of EAs and managers who are directly responsible to their institutions’ CEOs. The PNPA extension? Professional Network of Presidents’ Assistants.
  • 2014: The association launched this website and, during its Ottawa AGM, elected its first Board of Directors and established by-laws. Members identified the need to develop a new name and, through electronic voting in December 2014, ratified the association’s new name, CICan:GPOP|PGBDG.
  • 2020: GPOP celebrated it’s 25th anniversary. Recognition of this accomplishment was given at the June 5, 2020 Annual General Meeting. A summary of this recognition is provided on our 25th anniversary page.






7 thoughts on “About

    • Janet,

      Welcome aboard! I see from emails yesterday that work is underway on adding you to the listserve, and please consider yourself a member. Am about to send you an email confirming password.


  1. Hello ladies,

    My name is Giselle Borden and I am the Executive Assistant to the President of College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland. I am not a member of this organization yet but I would love to join.
    I think this website is a wonderful undertaking and I applaud you all for your dedication and ingenuity.

    • Giselle,

      Good morning, and welcome to our national association; please consider your membership confirmed.You’ll see shortly that I’m sending you an email with the listserve address and other info.

      Thanks, too, for your kind comments about the website; much appreciated.

      Will we see you in Ottawa for the PBSN/PNPA AGM and ACCC conference?


  2. So glad to see this available! Thank you so much for creating this resource.

    • Michele,

      Hi, and thank you very much for stopping by the site and for your kind words; much appreciated – and you’re most welcome.

      We are all up to our eyeballs right now, but please watch for a draft PBSN/PNPA Terms of Reference (TOR), which will be presented at our AGM later this month in Ottawa.


  3. Pingback: Hold the Date: Join Us in Quebec City Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29/16 |

Thanks for entering your reply here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s