Looking Forward: Roles at The Federation Team for 2021

Last week, I offered a bit of a road map in terms of where The Federation was headed in 2021—highlighting some of the biggest issues and initiatives ahead of us. This week I want to take a moment to re-introduce you to the staff team that will be focused on doing this important work. There have been some changes over the past year (and there will be some more over the coming weeks) and I want to make sure you know who you can contact and about what.

Day to day and year to year, The Federation is guided by our members and by the board of directors that are elected by our membership. Over the past week, we have hosted four regional meetings and many of you will have had a chance to connect with your regional directors and other board members. (The Vancouver Coastal meeting is on Monday.) You can find contact information for your entire board of directors on the member’s area of The Federation website. With a new provincial government, your board is even busier than usual meeting with ministers and deputy ministers and helping to ensure that the issues of our sector are making it onto the desks of decision-makers.

Many of you will have also heard that our Associate Executive Director, Rebecca Ataya Lang, will be going on maternity leave at the end of January. I know you all will join me in wishing her and her family well at this very exciting time. Our staff team has been hard at work planning for this transition and you will see that reflected in some new contract positions we posted this week and in some changes in who will be representing The Federation as part of certain projects and initiatives.

Sherry Sinclair joined The Federation team this time last year and will be taking on some of the committee work that Rebecca was focused on. While starting in her new role a month before the outbreak of a global pandemic was not ideal, Sherry’s leadership as our Director of Programs and Services has proven invaluable. Working alongside Bess Williams and Pam Alcorn, Sherry oversees the various programs and services offered to our membership and ensures that everything we do is guided by the experiences and insights and needs of our members. (We have a number of new initiatives in the works so you will be hearing a lot more from this team in the coming months.)

Under the leadership of Taylor Logan, The Federation admin team continues to ensure that we have the structures and systems in place to be able to support all of our programs, initiatives, and advocacy work. Many of you will have met Erin Mallette and Corinne Kornelson on member calls, but those meetings are one small piece of the complex puzzle these two manage behind the scenes in order to keep the starship Federation running smoothly.

We were also joined this year by Christine Smith-Martin and Sheldon Martin who are coordinating the Community Social Services Training Fund that The Federation is hosting (with funding provided by the BC government). Calls for applications will launch soon so sign up for the distribution list to help ensure you get all the up to date information.

And of course, our Communications Coordinator Marshall Watson continues to guide our communications strategy, keep our website running, collect and send you sector news updates (and animal videos), while also overseeing some of our research initiatives and the Oral History Project.

I feel privileged and honoured to be the captain of this crew. They are proof of what altogether better is all about. Like you, they have shown up with compassion, creativity, and commitment over the tumultuous past ten months.

And I also want to thank you, our members, for continuing to be a part of this very big team. There is a lot of potential among this broad federation us and because of your support and engagement, we have an opportunity to make some real change over the year ahead. So stay connected, contact us with your questions, ideas, and concerns, and stay tuned for some important updates in the coming weeks.

Rick FitzZaland
Federation Executive Director