April Report from the Chair

rocking-wheel-chair-mathias-koehler1April has been a very positive month with the Board Impact Forum: The Influence and The Issues held in Kelowna on April 14  and the call for a BC Social Policy Framework gathering momentum.

The early part of the month was less positive as the Portland Hotel Society story began to affect public perceptions of other community social service agencies and the strength of the governance and financial oversight.  Many of us felt the media was unfairly tarring all agencies with the same brush and that we had to find a way into the public conversation.  Working with the leadership of Family Services of Greater Vancouver and the Lookout Society, we got an article in the Globe and Mail that offered some small balance by outlining measures agencies are taking to demonstrate their oversight.

BoardVoice is in the midst of asking your agencies to renew their membership with us. Your memberships are our bread and butter so please support the work we are doing by signing up for another year.


It has been a month of successes on the Social Policy Framework (SPF) initiative.

BoardVoice Vice-Chair Leslie Welin’s opinion piece on the need for a SPF ran in multiple papers on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland.

BV Board member Terry Moist’s letter to Campbell River City Council drove a council resolution to support the SPF and an article in the Courier Islander newspaper!

I presented to the Burnaby Board of Trade, including Burnaby City Councillor Paul McDonell. The Board is considering supporting the call and Paul will be taking it up with the city. A representative of the Salvation Army was also in that meeting and has introduced the concept to his team.

I met with an Executive Director with the Canadian Mental Health Association to introduce the SPF and explore how they might support the initiative.

The Collective Impact workshop provided an opportunity to connect with several social service organizations and send them follow-up emails on the SPF. I met the head of the Vancouver Board of Trade and got invited to present to their Civic Affairs Committee. My presentation (on the SPF Initiative  page about ¾ down) was very well received and they are considering an endorsement.

Later in the month I presented to the First Call Coalition. It was a one hour Q&A that generated much discussion.

The most recent development on the SFP initiative is the reporting out of the Masters Students from the School of Public Policy at SFU on their research into SPFs. In November, BoardVoice invited the group to explore current creation and coordination of social policy in the province and how a SPF might change that.  The group presented their draft report to our board and will publish the final report soon. We are pretty jazzed about their work.

Board level Skills & Connectivity

Board Impact Forum: The Influence and The Issues was held in Kelowna on April 14 with funding from BoardVoice, Kelowna Community Resources, Central Okanagan Foundation, and City of Kelowna.  BV Board Director Lynn Malinsky helped organize a panel of distinguished speakers with extensive experience in volunteer board governance. They spoke about the impact of 350 local Boards on health outcomes, social barometers and economic indicators in the Central Okanagan, and addressed some current, priority issues for local Boards.

The Panel was followed by networking sessions the 160 attendees. Positive feedback from participants and organizers suggest this may become an annual event to promote board-to-board connections, discuss common issues, increase community awareness of the value of volunteer boards, and provide board development opportunities.

Representatives from Vantage Point, The North Peace Community Resources Society, event sponsor North Peace Savings and Credit Union and I met again to firm up the Fort St. John Leading Edge Boards Workshop. We discussed logistics, the programing, marketing and promotion for the one day event that will be held on May 3 at the Quality Inn Northern Grand.

The BoardVoice website is now getting around 1,500 unique pageviews per month. While I see this as a huge success, it does get a bit Vancouver focused. I would very much like to see contributors from the other regions. So, if you have always fancied yourself a writer / editor, please let me know and I will set you up with a login so you can post articles on activities and issues in your region.

April 6 to 12 was National Volunteer Week which gave me the opportunity to tell you all how much you inspire me:

“We are constantly amazed by the capacity of these volunteers—the engaged and passionate leaders in our communities—and of their potential to be a significant force for positive change in our province.”

“They make a huge contribution to British Columbia and we celebrate them and thank them.”

Thank you all!
Michael Davis
Chair BoardVoice