Siemens takes the helm of Alumni Association board

Updates from the 2019 AGM

ABBOTSFORD – The UFV Alumni Association welcomed a new chair, bestowed an honorary life membership, welcomed three new directors, and celebrated two outgoing members of the executive committee at its Annual General Meeting on September 26.

UFV’s Alumni Association will continue to be led by a committed leader, as Ali Siemens takes the torch from Navtej Bains as association chair.

Siemens (BA ’13), who is Manager of Alumni Relations at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, takes on the chair role after serving as vice-chair.

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Bains receives chair emeritus status from Siemens

“Nav led the UFV Alumni Association with enthusiasm,” says Siemens. “Kicking off his term by leading the board through the creation of a new strategic plan, he ensured the whole team was able to use this work as a guiding star. Nav put inclusion and diversity at the forefront, making engagement for all students and alumni a big piece of his mission.”

Bains (BBA ’13), founder and CEO of Bains Marketing and Communications Group, will now serve the association as chair emeritus.

“I have been very fortunate through your trust and support to have had this opportunity to serve as your chair for such an amazing association,” Bains says.

“I have been part of the UFV Alumni Association for six years and have seen a huge amount of positive changes take place. From connecting with our broader communities, to collaborating with outside groups and organizations, fundraising for our students, and reaching the 40,000 alumni mark in 2019, it’s been quite a journey.”

Siemens plans to lead with a focus on continuing to strengthen the relationship between the UFV Alumni Association and UFV. The Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations requires re-signing in 2021 and this is an opportunity to ensure alumni engagement is top of mind for everyone. Siemens also says she would like to “take a deep dive into the revenues and our endowments to ensure we are optimizing our support for students, alumni, and future growth.”

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Ali Siemens presents an Honorary Life Membership to Dr. Eric Davis

Shortly after taking the helm, Siemens’ first order of business was bestowing an honorary life membership on Dr. Eric Davis, UFV’s former Provost and Vice President Academic, who will now be taking on a new role as Special Advisor to the President.

“Eric is a treasure,” explains Siemens.

“He has dedicated himself to the greater UFV community as an educator, an ally, and a leader. He has made a commitment to our students and continues to make good on his promises. From leading the charge with Vision 2025 to making Indigenizing UFV a priority, we are proud to welcome him into the UFV alumni family.”

In addition to Siemens assuming the chair position, Auriel Niven (Cert ’08) and Derek Froese (BCIS ‘13) have both been elected to the role of associate vice-chair.

The Alumni Association welcomes new directors-at-large:

  • Derrick Uittenbosch (BA Crim ’13)
  • Vessal Jaberi (BSc ’17)

A fond farewell was given to Bains and to outgoing associate vice-chair Wayne Ortner (BBA ’12). Ortner served on the alumni board for five years, having spent time as chair of both the governance and fundraising committees.

With all these pieces in place, Siemens feels the association is stronger than ever.

“I believe in our students and I believe in our alumni. As we continue to grow, we can position ourselves in a way that helps the Alumni Association shape what UFV looks like in the future and for future generations.”

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From left to right: Joe Johnson, Ali Siemens, Navtej Bains, Kelly Blakeborough, Derek Froese, Derek Ward-Hall, Derrick Uittenbosch, Ashley Ward-Hall, Whitney Fordham, Seamus Heffernan, Kevin Renso, Auriel Niven, Wayne Ortner
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