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AGM 2020 Highlights By Aleksandra Vasic, PAVRO President

July 14, 2020 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The PAVRO Annual General Meeting (AGM), for 2019, held on June 18th 2020 was an unforgettable one for me, for so many reasons. Firstly is that it was held virtually for the first time ever. Secondly, it was my first time running PAVRO’s AGM. Thank you to Past President Kathleen Douglass for her guidance in helping me navigate the learning curve. And finally, the level of positive engagement we received in the chat feature was incredibly affirming to all of us. PAVRO Members are truly amazing and graciously patient with the inevitable small technical glitches we encountered running the polling feature in Zoom. And to cap it all off, we got hacked! Next time we will follow member Kristen Loblaw’s advice to use the waiting room feature.

We had well over 50 people on the Zoom: 53 members in attendance along with our two amazing independent contractors, Johanne Deschamps and Sharon Jones supporting the process. Nine members submitted proxies. We easily made our quorum of 10% of current membership, which currently stands at 231. In order to entice members to what the Board members thought would be a dull business meeting, we offered up a $25 Starbucks gift card to all members who attended and sent in proxies. Congratulations to Member Rodigo Konigs for having his name drawn at random!

You can find the annual report slide deck and financial pages here: (you will be required to log in). The year 2019 ended very positively for us financially. We finished with just over $25,000 in surplus from a combination of a successful conference in Ottawa, offering our Standardized Volunteer Opinion Survey, and tightening up on general administrative costs. 

The second major order of business was to introduce a by-law change in the number of directors required for our Board. The Board recommended that we reduce the number of Board directors from a minimum of nine to seven members and a maximum of nine from fourteen. Our rationale for this change reflects the trend of smaller not-for-profit boards and it acknowledges the challenge of recruiting leaders. We felt that this change would also contribute to a more efficient governance system and to enhance our decision-making process. In fact, this past spring we had some serious concerns about recruiting the minimum nine Board members our by-laws require. 

Members voted overwhelmingly for this motion, and it was carried, with much positive feedback from our members. A number noted that the motion was a very good move. And some felt that PAVRO’s challenge in recruiting leadership was reflected in their experience at the local AVA level.

The final order of business was to elect the new slate of directors again to much support and appreciation from the membership. At this point, we have all but one Director position that of Vice President. Sadly for us, VP Kari Astles had to step down after one year in her role. Like  the majority of our Board members, Kari works for a hospital and, as many of our colleagues working in the hospital and healthcare sector, she was  redeployed and found her  workload overwhelming, to the point that she was  unable to fulfil her Board commitment. Our Secretary and 2019 Conference Co-Chair Sherri Daly also left her position earlier this year, in March. 

It was under these difficult circumstances that we reached out to our list of Past Presidents seeking to fill a couple of vacancies: Past President and Vice President. Fortunately for us, Past President Kathleen Douglass stepped up to serve for one year as Past President once again! Our members were excited by the new Board composition, given that our new Board members come from a variety of organizations. The new Board looks forward to working together and in the process appointing a new Vice President within the next year.

After the election, we thanked our outgoing Board members: Helena Finn-Vickers who is stepping down as Past President (and now assumes the role of Honorary Lifetime Member), Kari Astles and Sherri Daly, as mentioned previously, and Gillian Brunning and Vanessa Martinez as Directors of Communications and Marketing. 

We also took advantage of this opportunity to thank the committees that served in both 2019 and 2020. Most of our services could not take place without the work of our essential committee members. 

One omission that I would like to now redress: thank you to our long-served AVA Liaison Network Coordinator, Christine Rushton. Her name has now been added to the Annual Report found on this page:

We wrapped up the meeting by reviewing some of the highlights outlined in the Annual Report itself. 

Helena Finn-Vickers then took a break from her role as the Motion and Chat Moderator to announce some tantalizing details about our fall 2020 virtual conference Creating Connections. While Helena is stepping down as VP, she has generously agreed to stay active as a Conference Co-Chair. More information about this innovative two half-day conference on October 1st and 8th is coming your way! 

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, PAVRO members were incredibly engaged and encouraging throughout the whole AGM, and provided us with lots of great comments and questions. We were so thrilled with the interaction, that we collected the questions and created a Q&A document and posted it online. Thank you so much for your enthusiastic support! We want to keep the dialogue going during these challenging times for our society as a whole and in particular for our profession. 

Please stay in touch and email me at with your ideas, comments and questions. 

Take care and stay safe!


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