IEEE Canadian Foundation
Annual Meeting of the Members, April 3, 2008
The Past Year
As I will note in my reports to IEEE Canada, the IEEE Foundation and the IEEE Executive Committee, 2007 was another good year for our foundation. In terms of philanthropic activities, the Board awarded a total of $49,532 as 8 IEEE McNaughton Learning Resource Centre Grants (all upgrades), 7 IEEE Canadian Foundation Scholarships, 6 IEEE Canadian Foundation Special Grants, 1 IEEE Canada Power Quality Scholarship, 1 IEEE Canada Women in Engineering Prize and 2 IEEE Canadian Foundation Québec Science Fair Prizes. In terms of the previous year’s income, we received $38,500 in interest and $22,100 in donations for a total of $60,600.
Representation from All Parts of Canada
Over the past four years the percentage of Sections with foundation members has climbed from 50% to 60% to 80% to 95% and will reach 100% if this year’s nominations committee recommendations are approved. We are now in a position to develop closer ties with Section operations. It has been our custom that Scholarship and Prize certificates are provided to Section Chairs for presentation locally. We are preparing sample presentation text and will be asking foundation members to attend these Section events and participate in these presentations to ensure that information about the foundation is promulgated.
This past year has seen a change in the pattern of donations arriving into our treasury. The most recent IEEE renewal process used the new IEEE “Business Management System” that is the cornerstone of all IEEE membership and financial processes. Due to the switch-over to the new system, the renewal mailing was later than normal. More important, the new web interface is less user-friendly (especially for those who intend to donate online as part of their renewal process). The IEEE Foundation noticed a drop in donations and instituted a special email solicitation to all members who had not donated – with a special mention of our online donation service for recipients in Canada. I also included a request for donations in the January IEEE Canada newsletter. As a result, there has been increased use of our online donation service.
At our December Board meeting, our Donations Chair, Om Malik, proposed that we raise the profile of our foundation by developing monthly articles in the IEEE Newsletter, and publically acknowledge our donors by creating an Honour Roll of donors on our web site. One article appeared in the January issue and a second article was submitted for the next issue. Luc Matteau is in process of developing a data base which will be used for the Honour Roll. An ad-hoc committee was struck to investigate the creation and operation of an investment advisory committee.
Evolving our Foundation Structure
In previous reports I have documented the continuing evolution of our foundation. This year, I want to suggest that we should look at two relatively minor changes in our bylaws – the addition of a formal executive committee and the designation of our donations committee chair as Vice President, Donations. Your board evolved the practice of holding one meeting in the spring (immediately following the annual general meeting) and a second in the winter. The other two original meetings (summer and fall) have been replaced by email discussions and email votes,
followed by ratification at the next formal board meeting. This results in a saving of valuable resources I believe it would be more appropriate to formally define bylaws that define the makeup and responsibilities of an executive committee with power to act in between board meetings. The existence of two vice presidents, one for grants, the other for donations, illustrates the balanced emphasis a foundation needs to foster for the dual imperatives of disbursing and raising funds. Both of these changes would be in line with IEEE Foundation operation. Having briefly raised these concepts with a few directors, and received their feedback, I propose that the board begins to implement an “executive committee” and experiment with this function until next December when, with the blessing of the board, I will appoint an ad-hoc committee to draft bylaws for the necessary approvals. At this point, I will ask any members who wish to speak on these matters, to do so when I present this report.
Awards and Recognitions of Foundation Members
Congratulations to the following IEEE Canadian Foundation members
Ray Findlay received the IEEE Canada McNaughton Gold Medal at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Vancouver on April 23, 2007.
Celia Desmond received the IEEE Canada Outstanding Service Award at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Vancouver on April 23, 2007.
Dominic Rivard received the IEEE Canada Eastern Canada Merit Award at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Vancouver on April 23, 2007.
Denard Lynch received the IEEE Canada Western Canada Merit Award at the IEEE Canada Awards Banquet in Vancouver on April 23, 2007.
In previous years, IEEE Canada did not announce recipients until after the annual awards ceremony. Starting in 2008, award recipients are announced in the January newsletter, so we can recognize the 2008 recipients at this time.
Janet Bradley is being awarded the 2008 IEEE Canada Central Canada Merit Award for outstanding dedication and service to IEEE Canada and student activities.
David Gregson is being awarded the 2008 IEEE Canada Western Canada Merit Award for promotion of IEEE Canada student activities and the establishment of student awards.
H. S. (Flip) Lunan, Emeritus Member, passed away peacefully on September 2, 2007. His obituary, contributed by member Dave Kemp, has been added to our founders’ memoriam.
I thank all my fellow members of the IEEE Canadian Foundation, the volunteer leadership of both IEEE Canada and the IEEE Foundation, and associated staffs, for your inspiration, advice and support
Robert T.H. (Bob) Alden, Ph.D., P.Eng., F EIC, LF IEEE