The UFV Alumni Association convened on Wednesday May 26 for its Annual General Meeting, the twentieth in its history. The event was once again held virtually.
The board was joined by UFV president, Dr. Joanne MacLean, together with Alumni representative to the Board of Governors, Maxine Bouthot (BBA ’07), who each addressed the meeting and praised the work being done by the Alumni Association in creating lifelong connections between and among alumni and spreading the stories of success that current and future students need to hear.
A territorial acknowledgement was given by the UFV Alumni Association’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Kihci Têpakohp Iskotêw Iskwêw – Emily Henry (Cert. Social Work ’05). The UFV Alumni Association acknowledges that it regularly gathers upon the traditional territory of the Stō:ló people. Stō:ló territory extends from the mouth of the Fraser River to Boston Bar. The Alumni Association is grateful to the Stō:ló people and their ancestors for sharing their land and resources with us.
The Chair’s report was delivered by newly appointed board Chair, Derrick Uittenbosch (BCIS ’13), stepping up from his position of Vice-Chair last year. Uittenbosch highlighted the two major strategic initiatives undertaken by the board this year. The renegotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UFV, is in its closing stages following several months of negotiations led by now-Chair Emeritus, Derek Froese (BCIS ’13). The Association’s organizational Mission, Vision and Values were updated as a result of the Alumni Survey conducted last fall. A copy of the UFV Alumni Association Annual Report can be seen here.
Anita Nielsen, Executive Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations, provided an update on fundraising initiatives at UFV, including the Alumni Association Bursary, Leadership and Outstanding Alumni Award Endowments, which are all in their final phases. The Commemorative Paver project launched in the fall of 2020, will create a welcoming environment at the threshold of the Abbotsford Campus. The project raised $50,000 for the Alumni Association’s Bursary endowment, despite a downward turn in fundraising across the post-secondary sector this year due to COVID.
Diane St-Denis, Interim Manager, Alumni Relations, spoke to the ongoing focus on digital engagement within the department, referencing initiatives such as the upcoming relaunch of UFV Connect, the Alumni Book Club and reimagining of the Association’s website, social media channels, and digital platforms.
Several changes to the Board of Directors were announced – a full list of the directors can be found here. Alongside new Chair Derrick Uittenbosch, Marc Bergen (BA ’98) was elected to the position of Vice-Chair, while Derek Ward-Hall (BBA ‘17) was re-elected to the position of Associate Vice-Chair. Ward-Hall also serves as the UFVAA Representative on the UFV Senate.
Two newly appointed directors were welcomed to the board, Ashmeet Saran (BBA ’18), currently a Senior Accountant at Grant Thornton LLP (previously known as “Friesen Pankratz & Associates LLP”) and Sunny Kim (BA Crim ’17), who is an Accessibility Advisor at UFV.
(BA Crim ’17)
The board recognized outgoing interim Chair, Derek Froese. Froese was appointed as chair in September 2020. He moves to the role of Chair Emeritus having served at every level of the board since 2014. Uittenbosch thanked Froese for his more than five years of service to the association, during which time he has invested extensive hours leveraging his own experience as a consultant to spearhead negotiations, encourage creativity and champion board recruitment.
Also stepping down was Seamus Heffernan (MA Crim ’17), after three years of board service, who Uittenbosch thanked for his insightful perspective and contributions as an enthusiastic member of the board.
The complete list of board members can be found here.