Join Us in Ottawa for GPOP’s 2017 AGM and Conference


An update from your 2016-17 Conference and Professional Development Committee – left to right, Marlene Beaulieu (College of New Caledonia), Nicole Blanchette (NorQuest College) and Cheryl McMurray (Fanshawe College)

Saturday, April 29/17: We will kick off events with a reception at a local Ottawa establishment. This will be a perfect opportunity to put the face behind the email and meet your GPOP colleagues in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The cost of the reception is included in the CICan:GPOP pre‑conference registration fee.  Keep checking this page; we’ll have more details in the weeks to come.

Sunday, April 30/17: Now that you have made lots of new friends, don’t forget to join us for our AGM and a day full of professional development. The day will kick off at 8:00 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast. 

Heather Allaby

We will welcome speaker Heather Allaby, Community and Government Relations Advisor, New Brunswick Community College.  Heather’s presentation is Connections that Count: Positioning Boards and Presidents’ Offices for Strong Media, Government, and Community Relations.

One of the most important aspects of our group is the ability to share best practices and learn from each other. In order to maximise our annual opportunity to meet in person, the day will also include interactive roundtable sessions where you can share best practices, ask questions and learn from each other.

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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.