For the past 38 years, the Directors' Forum Co-operative (DFC) has provided professional development, education and networking opportunities for credit union and caisses populaires directors. Our programming includes a series of virtual governance sessions, an annual in-person conference, and a virtual AGM. Guest speakers are invited to share their knowledge and expertise on topics of relevance to board directors.
Since 2021, the DFC has expanded beyond the credit union system to include directors from non-financial co-operatives and mutuals, recognizing that there is much overlap and knowledge in governance practices that can be shared and learned between these sectors, that operate on very similar values and principles and with similar needs.
Also in 2021, the DFC began inviting credit union directors to become individual members of the co-operative. For a one-time, lifetime membership fee of $2, individuals can choose to join when registering for a DF event. We hope to open up the membership to include directors of mutuals and co-operatives in the near future!
Board of Directors
Leo Racette, Board Chair
Term expires 2022
Greg Lefevbre, Secretary
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 of Directors is comprised of six credit union and caisse populaire volunteers including:
Tanya Gracie, Vice-Chair
Term expires 2024
Kathy Stewart, Treasurer
Term expires 2023
Ken Chan, Director
Term expires 2022
Anthony Piscitelli, Director
Term expires 2023
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.
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Effective April 1, 2022, the DFC staff office hours will be 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.
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 are doing a three-part series in February, April and June 2022:
February 2nd: The Board's Role in Member Representation
April 25: The Board's Role in Diversity and Inclusion in the ESG Context
June 15: The Impact of Human Behaviour on Decision-Making
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 38th annual Directors' Forum "The Fundamentals of Good Governance" conference will take place on Thursday, October 27 to Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale. The sessions at this year’s hybrid conference will focus on strengthening the board’s effectiveness in strategy and oversight for board directors.
Registration opens online June 1st, 2022 and closes October 14. Click here for fees and details. Delegates are eligible for a special discounted rate for a standard room at the conference venue for $175/room. Click here for more information.
Click the button below to visit the dedicated conference website for more specific details, including the program agenda, speaker line-up, and information/materials for those attending the conference, in-person or virtually.
Each year, our Premier Partner Sponsor, the Canadian Credit Union Association/Cusource® partners with the DFC 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!
This year's session is called "Cases in Strategy" and will take place on Friday, October 28 from 1:00 – 4:30pm.
The session will build on what directors learned in our 2021 “Strategy: Planning and Oversight” session, by providing directors with a framework for setting and evaluating strategy. Participants will revisit and then apply some of the concepts previously taught, including, taking a deeper dive into Blue Ocean Strategy (pun intended) and the Innovators Dilemma. Case studies allow participants to explore the real work application of the material.
LONG-TERM SERVICE AWARDS
One of our long-standing traditions is to recognize Directors who have demonstrated their commitment to the credit union system. The Long-Term Service Awards (LTSA) are presented each year at the conference as a way to pay tribute to individuals for their many years of volunteer service, to one or more Ontario credit union and/or caisse populaire.
2021 LONG-TERM SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS...
The following individuals were recognized for their long-term contributions to the credit union system at the November 26, 2021 Annual General Meeting:
Norm Ayoub, Alterna Savings & Credit Union
Brian Cairns, Northern Credit Union
Bette Choquette, Sudbury Credit Union
Stan Colley, The Police Credit Union
Jacquie Davison, Libro Credit Union
Rick Martinello, Windsor Family Credit Union
Cary Wheeler, Windsor Family Credit Union
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).
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.
Currently, all current credit union and caisse populaires directors are eligible to become a member of the Directors' Forum Co-operative.
Note: At the November 16, 2022 Virtual AGM, the DFC Board will be asking the current membership to pass a motion accepting individual directors from mutuals and non-financial co-operatives to be allowed to join the membership.
Membership is a one-time, life-time fee of $2.00 + HST. Individuals can opt in for membership when they register for one of the Directors' Forum events, including the virtual governance sessions and Annual Conference.
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 email@example.com.
These include attending the Annual General Meeting, passing resolutions, approving financial statements and running for the Board of Directors.
To submit a resolution to the Board, review and submit the Resolution Form by 4:30pm EST on October 12, 2022.
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 (effective 2021) 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.
This year, we will be hosting a Virtual AGM on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 from 1:30 – 3:30pm EST.
There will be an opportunity for interested candidates to join the Board, as the terms are expiring for Leo Racette, who is running for re-election, and Ken Chan, who is retiring from the Board. If you or someone on your board is interested in running for election to the DFC Board, please complete the Board Nomination package by the October 18, 2022 deadline.
STAY TUNED FOR REGISTRATION LINK AND DETAILS.
If you would like to submit a Call for Resolutions, please complete the Resolutions form and return it by the October 13, 2022 deadline.
The AGM Package will be posted prior to the business meeting.
2021 AGM Meeting Highlights...
The AGM was held on Friday, November 26, 2021 prior to the Annual Conference.
There were four seats available on the Board of Directors, as the terms for Anthony Piscitelli, Kathy Stewart, Tanya Gracie and Tim Foster were up. The Board received exactly four nominations, and therefore, the following four directors were acclaimed:
Anthony Piscitelli for a two-year term
Kathy Stewart for a two-year term
Tanya Gracie for a three-year term
Grégoire Lefebvre for a three-year term
The Board bid farewell to retiring Director Tim Foster, who served on the Executive and Board since 2012. They also recognized the contributions of seven long-serving Directors with a Long-Term Service Award.
The DFC provides organizations with a unique opportunity to invest in the professional development and continuing education of credit union Directors.
As the system is constantly evolving, so is the Directors' Forum, to ensure that we remain relevant and address the unique needs of our leadership. Credit unions and other stakeholder 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 take a moment to check out our Sponsorship Proposal for the 2022-23 program year below!
We thank you in advance for your consideration and appreciate any level of support your organization is able to provide.
Thank you to all the amazing organizations that have confirmed their sponsorship for our 2022 fall conference and 2023 virtual sessions...
The Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA is the national credit union trade association that provides services to Canada's credit unions, caisses populaires (outside of Quebec) and regional central organizations. CCUA is distinct in its commitment to co-operative values, and is the first national credit union governed organization in Canada.
Cusource® Education supports the success of credit union employees and board of directors. They provide best in-class learning solutions for credit union leaders, employees and board directors. Their comprehensive programs are designed specifically for credit unions by industry experts and credit union professionals.
As a socio-economic leader, Desjardins actively supports the economic vitality and well-being of the community; they’re always working to positively impact the places where they live and work. In 2020, they generously provided $1,294,093 to support an abundance of projects through their funding programs, donations and sponsorships. Alphonse Desjardins, founder of the credit union, introduced the belief that “a credit union is above all else, an association of people, not dollars”.
Alterna Savings has been the good in banking for 113 years. They are the third largest credit union in Ontario, and one of the top ten in Canada. Alterna shares its expertise with more than 185,000 members. They were the first credit unioni in Canada to offer micro-loans to the under-banked through their over 20-year, award-winning Commnunity Microfinance Program. Members and customers also benefit from an industry-leading online brokerage, investment management services, and a fully digital national bank delivered by subsidiary Alterna Bank.
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Please help us promote the 2022 fall Conference using your available networks and communication channels. Follow the link below for all the resources you need!