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.



Welcome to Giselle, Janet and Sandi

As your 2013-14 PBSN/PNPA Co-Chairs strive to build awareness of this national association and its listserve, we’re appreciative of ACCC (Association of Canadian Community College) communications to this end, and delighted to welcome more peers to this association.

  • Giselle, Executive Assistant to the President, College of the North Atlantic, Newfoundland
  • Janet, Executive Assistant to the President and Board, Justice Institute of BC (JIBC), British Columbia
  • Sandi, Senior Executive Assistant, President’s Office and Board of Governors, Holland College, Prince Edward Island

Nova Scotia Community College – Waterfront Campus, Halifax

Thanks, also, to Langara College’s Diana Falcon, who is arranging for the addition of these newest members to our national listserve.

Want to see your institution or people pictured on our site? Please send a .JPEG along with a completed PBSN PNPA Media Release REV 2014-03-28 and we’d be delighted to feature you or your organisation.


The Inaugural PBSN/PNPA Post

Welcome to the PBSN/PNPA’s blog.

Douglas College, BC  - New Westminster Campus

Douglas College, BC – New Westminster Campus

Cue the drum roll as we launch this blog for members of the PBSN/PNPA.

If you’re familiar with the acronym, you’re likely a member. If not, welcome to the public portion of our blog, and read on to learn more.

The PBSN/PNPA represents a network of individuals contributing to Canadian colleges and institutes as board professionals and/or as presidents’ assistants.

The Professional Board Staff Network (PBSN) was founded in 1995 as a peer network and professional development body for people contributing in such governance capacities to Canadian colleges and institutes.

In 2011, in recognition that participation in PBSN meetings and conferences increasingly included peers whose primary or dual responsibility related to Presidents’ offices, members expanded the scope of their meetings and a new, lengthier acronym was born. Today, the latter part of this group’s name represents the Professional Network of Presidents’ Assistants (PNPA).

The PBSN/PNPA meets annually, typically at conferences hosted by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), and members stay in touch and share best practices by means of a listserve.

Members’ Login – Password-Secured Section for PBSN/PNPA Members

If you are key to governance or CEO support at your public post-secondary college, institution or CEGEP, check for a PBSN/PNPA listserve message providing you log-in access to the Members Only areas of this blog. Here, we’ll post conference agendas, minutes and other resources – and we’ll encourage you to contribute.

How Do I Join?

If you hold a role as described above but aren’t receiving messages from the listserve, just click on the speech bubble near the top of this post to reply/comment and tell us who you are. We – one of your 2013-14 PBSN/PNPA Co-Chairs – will be back in touch.