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The President’s Report

Tuesday, February 12 was Techsploration’s Annual General Meeting; a review of the previous year and a peek at what’s to come in 2013—our 15th anniversary. Please read below the report presented by Laurie Edwards, President of the Techsploration Board of Directors, for her review of the year’s successes.

President’s Report
Annual General Meeting 2013
Techsploration Society

Thank you very much for this privilege to report to you on the work of the Board of the Techsploration Society for this past year. To prepare my report for the AGM, last week I took some time to review our minutes and have conversations with Board members, new Board members and staff.  And lucky me, a snow storm this past weekend allowed me additional time for reflection and ask myself if my perceived reality of this year’s activities could be named concretely or was I simply caught in the glow of another successful year?

I am happy to report that I am able to provide you with the evidence that your Board of Directors have worked hard to renew our strategic vision; to engage in discussions about evidence-based program delivery; and deliver on our promise of more young women having the information and experiences they need to choose a skilled trade, technology or work in applied sciences.

This year we started celebrating 15 years of delivering on our promise with our Launch in December. When the Executive Director committed to the Board to help us celebrate 15 years throughout the life cycle of our programming year, I had no idea how creative and inspirational this would be. The December Launch was a terrific way to begin our new year—thank you Tricia Robertson, Executive Director and Techsploration staff for coordinating a fabulous event. And thank you to the Halifax Regional School Board for hosting us this year.

As some of you may recall, my report to the membership last year was framed using an Appreciative Inquiry approach, which is how the Board conducts its strategic visioning. Discovery, Dream and Design—these three words have enabled us to build upon our collective vision and design the future of Techsploration. Building on last year’s report I am pleased to update you on the following:

  • The Infiniti Project work has been completed and the Board has moved this project into the core work of the Marketing and Communications Committee.
  • The Board has accepted and endorsed a robust fundraising plan as proposed by the Fundraising Committee.
  • The Board has completed the second cycle of renew engagements with an external auditor that speaks to our fiscal responsibility and financial health of the organization.
  • The Board has secured the future of its work with the recruitment of talented new members in Steve Ashton and Anna Marenick. And at the same time we’ve planned for future succession with new members being presented to the membership today who will fill vital roles.
  • The Board is also getting caught up with the world of social media. Board members are using our Facebook account, sending tweets regarding our events, and celebrating our Techsploration experiences through our LinkedIn profiles. Now this might not be all that significant to some, but it does speak to the impact of the Infiniti project had in helping us individually understand the tools and communication streams our next generation of Techsplorers are using.
  • Significant discussions have surfaced about the reach of influence Techsploration has and so the Board supported staff in presenting to provincial and territorial representatives for the Status of Women, as well as The House of Commons Standing Committee and presenting to the Collaborative Partnership group meeting hosted by Labour and Advanced Education.  Our Board is realizing that we have agency and a responsibility to deliver a message not only to the girls who participate in our programming but to the many influencers and decision makers who can affect change.

And so, you can see with this list it is all about how we as a Board supported the dreaming and designing.  And how, with 15 years we can move our work to the next stage of Appreciative Inquiry work—that of Destiny.

I think for the Board, there is no better word to describe the work we will undertake in the next few years. We have the opportunity to build upon the vision of pan-Canadian impact while balancing the importance of raising funds and supporting staff, role models, team leaders, sponsors, school administrators, teachers, government leaders, and employers in becoming actively engaged partners. This notion that “every woman counts” will continue to inspire the Board to ensure girls have the opportunity to pursue their destiny without the constraints of men’s work or women’s work.

As we move ahead with our vision for the year, my hope is that our work will be seen as positive transformation and that our membership will help us empower and support all of the Techsploration community to connect, cooperate and co-create so that we can continue to grow in innovative and bold ways.

In saying this, I am pleased to report that the Board will focus on data gathering, and we are looking forward to the results of the Alumnae Tracking Project currently underway. We are excited about the continued pursuit of expansion of Techsploration through our web presence and the possibility of securing funding for online delivery of some of Techsploration’s programming. And finally, as we look to the future—Our Destiny—I am inspired by the work our Marketing and Communications team who will be undertaking the task to help bring the data we collect together with the compelling stories of our participants.

Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny. My personal thank you to the Board members who continue to serve with enthusiasm and energy. And to our retiring board member Anil Mohan—a special note of gratitude for your leadership, cogent advice, and playful spirit you brought to our Board.  I also want to thank Tricia Robertson, our Executive Director, who reminds me that she is contracted to help us fulfill our mission for so many days per year, and yet, she is always thinking, managing, strategizing, meeting, and executing our plans in ways that I know takes her well beyond her contracted amount.  As well, I have the gift of working at the IT Campus with Arylene, Donna, Natasha and Teri—we have a dedicated staff who are the face of Techsploration. I am so proud to have my name associated with them and the work they do.

It’s been a great year, and on behalf of the Board, we know 2013 will be an even bigger year for all of us.

Thank you,

Respectfully Submitted,

Laurie Edwards
President, Techsploration Society