Message from CICan President

To members of GPOP/PGBOG,

Every year at the CICan Annual Conference, I have the immense pleasure of addressing GPOP/PGBOG members during your pre-conference networking session.

Given the continuing concerns over COVID-19 and in keeping with the recommendations of public health officials and provincial Ministers to avoid large gatherings and limit non-essential travel, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 CICan Connection Conference and related pre-conference activities that were scheduled to take place in Montreal, May 1st-5th.  Our primary concern has been, and will always remain, the health and well-being of our community – CICan members, partners, sponsors, exhibitors and other stakeholders and partners.

Although I am truly disappointed that I will not be able to extend in person my sincerest congratulations on your 25th Anniversary, please rest assured that CICan recognizes and truly values the important role that you and your network play in contributing to the success of President’s offices and to the effective governance of your institutions.

Thank you and we hope to see you at our 2021 CICan Connection Conference in Calgary!

In this extraordinary period we are going through, I would like to leave you with a positive quotation that an association of event organizers published recently: ‘’Meeting together is an essential part of the human experience and will continue long after this virus has been eradicated.’’

Warm regards,

Denise Amyot


Présidente‑directrice générale

Colleges and Institutes Canada

Governors Networking Session at 2018 CICan Conference

The following message is from Carol Dolbel, Special Assistant, Governance and Planning, Planning and Statistics, at Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan):

The team at CICan is gearing up for the Annual Conference in Victoria and they would like to invite you to save the date and begin your preparations to attend!

CICan is planning another interactive Governors Networking Session that will allow participants to engage deeply on governance issues while networking with other directors and sharing tools, strategies and good practices.

Join us in setting the agenda for 2018 by sending your topic suggestions to by January 16, 2018.

Save the date and share the opportunity with your Governors and Directors:  Sunday, April 29, 12:00 p.m. – 3: 00 p.m.  This year’s conference theme is NA’TSA’MATH – Working Together as One. The event will be held from April 29 to May 1, 2018.

We do hope you will join us in Victoria! 


GPOP’s 2016 Conference and AGM to Begin With Welcome from CICan President & CEO Denise Amyot

fairmont-le-chateau-frontenac copyright Shelagh DonnellyWelcome! to all members who have arrived in Québec City. We look forward to welcoming CICan President & CEO Denise Amyot to help launch our 2016 conference this morning, and to a great day ahead.



GPOP Welcomes CICan’s Denise Amyot to 20th Anniversary AGM

GPOP members from across the country welcomed CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot to their 20th anniversary AGM today in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Amyot extended CICan’s congratulations on the occasion, and discussed the significance of members’ roles in the success of their Presidents’ offices and the effective governance of their organisations.

The group also discussed CICan’s leadership development initiatives, and future conference programming.

Amyot, Denise

GPOP, Denise Amyot May 2015

GPOP Leadership Opportunities: Notice of Two Vacancies on Board of Directors

A message from Shelagh Donnelly, Chair, GPOP/PGBDG Nominating Committee and Board of Directors

If you’re looking for an opportunity that combines professional development and service to your national peers, submit your expression of interest in a leadership role on GPOP’s Board of Directors. Expressions of interest should be sent to the Nominating Committee on or before May 14, 2015.

Secretary-Treasurer Jennifer Clark will conclude her service on the Board effective upon the conclusion our May 2015 AGM, and past Director Nicole Blanchette is enjoying a new career in another sector. With appreciation for both Ms. Blanchette’s and Ms. Clark’s expertise and contributions, the Board has established a Nominating Committee to fill these two vacancies.

You’ll want to know that, while capacity to attend the 2015 or 2016 AGM is ideal, that is not a requirement for the role of Director. What is required? A readiness to serve on one or more of GPOP’s three standing committees, which conduct business by email and conference call. You’ll want to be prepared to participate in meetings of the Board of Directors, which are conducted by conference call and in person at our AGMs; we also turn to email for decision making that must be accomplished within tight time frames.

Click here for more details and the formal Call for Expressions of Interest in these important roles. Service as a Director will commence on May 24, 2015 and will conclude upon the close of GPOP’s 2016 AGM. The Board has established a Nominating Committee consisting of Joanna Campbell, Shelagh Donnelly and Jenny Forestell. If you have questions or would like to discuss the opportunity, don’t hesitate to contact any member of the Committee.


Please direct inquiries and expressions of interest to

Shelagh Donnelly, Chair, Nominating Committee, on or before May 14, 2015.

 Email:    Telephone: 604-527-5388



GPOP’s 2015 AGM and Conference Programme

A message from Laureen Dailey, Chair, Professional Development and Conference Committee

2015 GPOP Conference Programme

The 2015 conference programme is now available!  Here’s a glimpse of three of Sunday’s sessions:

Leading Change: Governance, Learning, Teaching, Engagement  This presentation will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Network, highlight its defining moments, and speak to the professional and personal benefits of leading change.    Margo Baptista, University Secretary, Grant MacEwan University and Founding Member of the Professional Board Staff Network (PBSN)

Fine-Tuning the Executive Ensemble   Like a musical ensemble, the executive ensemble requires a good sense of rhythm and coordination of effort to be effective.  It also requires constant fine-tuning to stay fresh and maintain peak performance.  Engage in a discussion with President Kathy Denton about the working relationship between the President’s Office and the Board Office and explore tips to maintain harmony in your executive ensemble.  Dr. Kathy Denton, President, Douglas College

Event Management & Protocol  Whether you’re in the President’s Office or Board Office, chances are you’re often called upon to create and manage events that will position your institution and president in the best light, yet you probably don’t have any kind of formal training in this area. This session will provide you with tips on how to become successful event planners, covering the five elements of event design and theming, design activity, and international etiquette and protocol.   Sarah Khan, Lead Instructor, Administrative Assistant Certificate Program, Red River College

Be sure to check out the recently updated GPOP website for full conference details at



GPOP to Celebrate 20th Anniversary

A message from Shelagh Donnelly, Chair, GPOP|PGBDG Board of Directors

Welcome to GPOP. As we prepare to celebrate our association’s 20th anniversary, we’ve established a Board of Directors and by-laws, and launched our new name and logo. GPOP is the short and snappy version of our formal name, CICan:GPOP|PGBDG. We are a network of individuals contributing to Canadian colleges and institutes as board professionals and/or as president’s assistants.

We are an independent 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 cegep, college or post-secondary institute, we ratified our name change in both English and French.

So: 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 our Membership page.

In launching our new name, we proudly reflect our alignment with CICan, Colleges and Institutes Canada, formerly known as ACCC. We also applaud our association’s founders and all who have contributed to its evolution over the past 20 years.

  • 1995: Members founded the Professional Board Staff Network (PBSN)  as a peer network and professional development body for people contributing in governance capacities to Canadian colleges and 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, s/he knows 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 her or his 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 increasinglyreflected 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.

Watch for more posts as we begin our countdown to GPOP’s 2015 AGM, workshops and networking session in Winnipeg, Manitoba.