Our History

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, 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.

 

Margo Baptista, former University Secretary at Grant MacEwan University (now retired), was one of the PBSN’s founding members. She was a strong advocate for good governance practices and for recognition of the Board professional’s contributions.

While engaged in her undergraduate studies (Bachelor of Administration, Athabasca University), Margo undertook research for the course, Transforming Organizations: From Hierarchical to Participatory Organizations. Click here to read Baptista’s 2005 research paper, and learn more about the origins of what we now call Governance and President’s Office Professionals (GPOP).

GPOP extends its thanks to Margo Baptista for the benefit of her research, and historical context as provided below.

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