For the past 39 years, the Directors' Forum Co-operative (DFC) has provided professional development, education and networking opportunities for board directors. Our programming includes a series of virtual governance sessions, an annual hybrid conference, and a virtual AGM. Guest speakers are invited to share their knowledge and expertise on topics of relevance to directors.
Since 2022, the DFC expanded beyond the credit union system to include directors from mutuals and non-financial co-operatives, recognizing that there is overlap and knowledge in governance practices that can be shared and learned between these sectors that share similar values.
We also began inviting directors to become individual members of the co-operative; for a one-time, lifetime membership fee of $2, individuals can join the co-op!
Board of Directors
Leo Racette, Board Chair
Term expires 2025
Christine Coccimiglio, Director
Term expires 2024
As a co-operative, our mission is to recognize, promote and support the unique role of Directors through the provision of education, professional development and networking opportunities.
The current Board is comprised of six volunteer directors - please click on their photos for bios!
Greg Lefebvre, Vice-Chair
Term expires 2024
Kathy Stewart, Treasurer
Term expires 2026
Tim Foster, Director
Term expires 2026
Daniel McCoy, Secretary
Term expires 2025
Audrey Aczel, DFC Manager
Audrey works closely with the Board throughout the year to develop and execute the annual conference, virtual governance sessions and AGM. She brings to this role many years of project management and event planning experience, as well as her passion for organizing conferences, receptions and fundraisers. She has been employed in the co-operative sector since 2007 with the Ontario Co-operative Association and has been working with the Directors' Forum since 2012.
Contact Audrey at firstname.lastname@example.org with
your questions and she will reply during her during her office hours on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00am - 4:30pm.
The Ontario Co-operative Association (OCA) provides the DFC with support services including:
Pre-conference registration support
On-site support during the in-person conference
Production and management of the Virtual AGM
OCA is a separate entity from the DFC and does not benefit in any way from any of the sponsorship raised by or for the co-operative.
Each year, the DFC hosts a series of virtual governance sessions designed specifically for board directors of credit unions, caisses populaires, co-operatives and mutuals. A director does not have to be a current member of the co-operative, nor have attended a conference, in order to register and participate in these sessions.
Stay tuned for more information on the winter and spring 2023 sessions, coming soon!
Virtual Governance Series
The DFC’s annual programming includes a series of virtual governance sessions, an annual hybrid conference, a half-day CUDA® session for a half continuing education credit through CUDA® and an AGM. Learn more about all of them below!
This year, we hosted 4 virtual sessions:
March 30th at 6:30 - 8:00pm: Open Forum Discussion
June 1st at 6:00 - 7:30pm: Risk Management in Financial Institutions
September 27th at 6:30 - 8:00pm: From Strategy to Action: Leveraging Demographic Shifts & Trends to Increase your Market Share
October 11th at 7:00 - 8:30pm: Board Chairs & Vice-Chairs Session: On-boarding New Directors and Interactions with our Regulator
The DFC produces and hosts an annual fall conference tailored to the unique needs and interests of board directors. It is an event designed specifically by and for board directors, with the objective of creating a space to share and learn best practices in governance.
Delegate feedback and evaluations consistently confirm that the conference provides a high value for the cost to attend for directors. The annual event is also a great opportunity for new and young system directors; the learning, mentoring and scheduled networking breaks provides a strong foundation for their role on the board, and enhances their ability to make significant contributions to their organizations.
Directors of credit unions, co-operatives and mutuals from Ontario and across Canada are welcome to register and attend. The topics that we will explore and the interactive discussions that are encouraged, will benefit from a wider lens and a greater diversity of participants from across these sectors.
The 39th Annual Directors' Forum "The Future of
Co-operative Governance" conference took place October 27 & 28 at the Hilton Mississauga /Meadowvale. The sessions at this year’s hybrid conference focused on building and strengthening the director's capacity to govern their organizations in the current economic climate.
Each year, our Premier Partner Sponsor, the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) partners with us to develop and execute a half-day facilitated workshop during the conference. Participating credit union delegates receive a half continuing education credit under CUDA® - and there is no additional charge for attending this session as it is included in the conference registration fee. The session topics are also relevant to directors outside of the credit union system, even though they will not get accreditation for participating.
YOUNG DIRECTORS' BURSARY
The Young Directors' Bursary was established to assist Board Directors (39 and under) with their professional development and governance training.
The annual conference is not only a great learning environment, but a wonderful opportunity for young Directors to network and engage with system leaders from across Ontario and meet potential mentors to help them through their governance journey.
The Bursary covers the cost of conference registration, including all meals and activities that take place during the conference. It does not cover the cost of transportation to and from the conference venue, accommodations, or the evening meals (which are not part of the conference).
The application process for the 2024 conference will open next spring and applicants will be considered on a first come, first serve basis.
LONG-TERM CO-OPERATIVE SERVICE AWARDS
One of our long-standing traditions, the Awards are presented each year at the Annual Conference, to pay tribute to individuals for their many years of volunteer service to one or more Canadian credit union, caisse populaire, mutual or co-operative.
Directors who qualify can indicate their interest in receiving the award at the 2024 conference by contacting us at email@example.com.
Through their annual programming, the Directors' Forum Co-operative provides professional development, education and networking opportunities for board directors. Being a co-operative allows us to stay true to our values and principles, while supporting the credit union and co-operative sector.
A motion was passed by the membership at the November 16, 2022 AGM, expanding eligibility to become a member of the DFC, to include individual board directors of credit unions, caisse populaires, mutuals and non-financial co-operatives across Canada.
Membership is a one-time, life-time fee of $2 + HST. Individuals can opt in for membership. Members will receive advanced notice of our programming and events, as well as maintain voting privileges at the AGM.
As a member, you have the ability to view/edit your account with us online. Here, you can see your event activity, update your contact info and more. (Please log in with the most recent email address used to register for a Directors' Forum event). Your credit union will also have an account with us and have access to additional information. If you need assistance with your account, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These include attending the Annual General Meeting, passing resolutions, approving financial statements and running for the Board of Directors.
Applications for nominations to the Board for the November 15, 2023 AGM are now closed.
Please scroll below to view our AGM page for more details specific to this year's business meeting.
The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for all DFC members to exercise their democratic right to vote on issues that are presented during the business meeting, as well as to elect the members of the Board of Directors.
Every paid registrant who has paid the $2 membership fee has the right to vote at the AGM, even if there is more than one delegate from the same credit union or caisse populaire present. There is no additional cost to attend the AGM.
Scroll down for more information on this year's AGM!
This year's AGM will be held virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 from 7:00 - 8:00pm EST. Registration opens on Monday, October 2 and closes at noon, on November 14.
There are three seats up for election as two directors are retiring from the Board, and one whose term is up and is running for re-election. 2 seats are for a three-year term, and one is for a one-year term.
Following the business meeting, we will be joined by John Taylor, President & CEO of the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association, for a special presentation on Directors Facing Regulatory Uncertainty from 8 -8:30pm.
We would like to thank and recognize PenFinancial Credit Union for generously sponsoring this year's AGM!
The DFC provides organizations with a unique opportunity to invest in the professional development and continuing education of credit union, co-operative and mutual Directors.
As the system and sector is constantly evolving, so is the Directors' Forum, to ensure that we remain relevant and address the unique needs of our leaders and decision-makers.
Organizations that support our mission through sponsorships, and/or with registrations to our virtual governance sessions and Annual Conference (or both!) is what enables us to plan, produce and execute the highly-valued programming each year.
Please click the button below to check out the Sponsorship Proposal for the 2023 - 2024 program year.
We thank you in advance for your consideration and appreciate any level of support your organization is able to provide.
"As a long serving director, I find good value in every Directors’ Forum I attend; I’ve done both virtual and in-person events. Virtual is an excellent option for those who can’t attend in person, but the latter is more satisfying because of the interaction with directors and CEOs from other organizations. I attended the Annual General Meeting last November and I’m glad I did. The subject matter of the various presentations was interesting, thought-provoking, and touched on numerous topics with good advice to offer."
- Paul Harris, Director, Mainstreet Credit Union
Click below to discover the numerous ways you can stay connected and up-to-date with Director's Forum news and events.
Each year we ask that you help us promote the Annual Conference using your available networks and communication channels. All the resources you need for the 2023 event are available for download by clicking the button below!
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