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For the past 40 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!

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Board of Directors

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!

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Tim Foster, Board Chair
Term expires 2026

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Leo Racette, Vice-Chair
Term expires 2024

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Kathy Stewart, Treasurer
Term expires 2026

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Christine Coccimiglio, Director
Term expires 2025

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Greg Lefebvre, Director
Term expires 2024

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Andres Escobar, Director
Term expires 2024

Contact the Board at  

Learn more about the Board’s Obligations and Responsibilities.

If you'd like to join the Board, please visit our AGM page for details, or contact 

Board of Directors
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Audrey Aczel, DFC Manager

Master of Arts Communications


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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The Ontario Co-operative Association (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. 

The OCA provides the DFC with conference and AGM support services including: 

  • Pre-conference registration support  

  • On-site support during the in-person conference 

  • Production and management of the Virtual AGM 

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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! 

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Virtual Governance Series

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.


Our virtual sessions will be announced soon. 

Annual Conference

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 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.  

2024 Conference

The 40th Annual Directors' Forum conference will take place on October 25 - 27, 2024 at the Hilton Mississauga /Meadowvale. Registration opens May 15th - stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Half-Day CUDA® CE Course 

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. The session topics are designed to be relevant to ALL directors, even though only credit union participants will receive half a continuing education credit under CUDA®. There is NO additional charge for attending this session as it is included in the conference registration fee - a great value add!

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For more information about the CUDA® program in general, please visit them online or contact Client Solutions by phone at 1-888-367-1386, or by email at 

Awards & Bursaries
Awards & Bursaries



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


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. 

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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.  

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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 toview/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:

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As a member of co-operative, you are entitled to all of the rights and responsibilities provided to you under the 

Co-operative Corporations Act  and our  By-laws.


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 2024 AGM will open later in the year.  

Please scroll below to view our AGM page for more details specific to this year's business meeting. 

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Membership & Governance
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Annual General 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. 

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2024 AGM
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Stay tuned for information on the 2024 Annual General Meeting coming soon.


Official sponsor of the 2023 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.  

Our 2024 sponsorship package will be available soon. We thank you in advance for your consideration and appreciate any level of support your organization is able to provide. 

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"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.

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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 2024 event will be available for download in the coming months.

Stay up-to-date... Subscribe to our Newsletter!

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