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 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 operate on very similar values and principles and with similar needs.
We also 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. At the November 16, 2022 AGM, the membership passed a motion to include mutuals and non-financial co-operatives across Canada into their membership!
Board of Directors
Leo Racette, Board Chair
Term expires 2025
Greg Lefebvre, 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
Daniel McCoy, Director
Term expires 2025
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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You can reach Audrey during DFC 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 held a three-part virtual governance series including:
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 took take place October 27 to 29, 2022 at the Hilton Mississauga /Meadowvale. The sessions at this year’s hybrid conference focused on strengthening the board’s effectiveness in strategy and oversight for board directors.
Click the button below to visit the dedicated conference website for details, including the program agenda, speaker line-up, and information/materials for those who attended the conference, in-person or virtually.
Mark your calendars for next year's event, taking place October 26 - 28, 2023 at the Hilton Mississauga/ Meadowvale. Stay tuned for information in the coming months!
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, "Cases in Strategy" took place on Friday, October 28. All conference attendees who signed in to the session will receive a half-day CE credit from CUDA®.
The session built on what directors learned in our 2021 “Strategy: Planning and Oversight” session, by providing directors with a framework for setting and evaluating strategy. Participants revisited and then applied 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 world application of the material.
Click here to view the recipients of the 2022 Long-Term Service Awards and their bios, which were presented during the Welcome Cocktail Reception portion of the conference on Thursday, October 27, 2022.
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 2022 is now closed, and will reopen for 2023 in the spring.
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.
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 when they register for one of the virtual governance sessions or the 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These include attending the Annual General Meeting, passing resolutions, approving financial statements and running for the Board of Directors.
Please scroll down to 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 (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.
Scroll down for more information on this year's AGM!
& FSRA Presentation
This year's AGM was held virtually via Zoom on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. The AGM Package was shared with the membership and registrants in advance.
The membership approved the exemption of the
Directors’ Forum Co-operative from appointing auditors for the 2023 financial year. They also approved a By-Law amendment expanding the co-operative's membership qualifications to include current and/or past members of a credit union, caisse populaire, mutual, and/or co-operative board of directors in Canada.
There were two seats available on the Board of Directors, as the terms for both Leo Racette and Ken Chan were up. The Board received exactly two nominations and therefore, Leo Racette (Sudbury Credit Union) and Daniel McCoy (Northern Credit Union), were acclaimed.
The Board bid farewell to retiring Director Ken Chan, who served on the Executive and Board since 2019, and thanked him for his commitment to director education and contributions to the Board and the DFC's mission.
Immediately following the business meeting, we were joined by Mark White, CEO and Mehrdad Rastan, Executive Vice President, Credit Union & Insurance Prudential, of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario. Mark and Mehrdad shared their views on the principles-based scenario and the recovery plan, among other important issues relevant to credit unions. The delegations greatly appreciated their participation and the dialogue that took place. A copy of their PowerPoint presentation is available here.
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.
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.
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”.
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. Follow the link below for all the resources you need for the 2022 event!