2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards – Celebrating our Volunteers

The Volunteer Recognition Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 individual and branch volunteer awards. The recipients will be announced in the fall edition of Sage magazine, recognized at the virtual annual meeting of members in December of this year and honoured at the annual meeting of members in June 2021.

Individual awards

The Claude Edwards Leadership Award 

Bernd Hirsekorn, branch president, Fraser Valley West Branch Bernd joined the Association in 2006 and began volunteering in 2009. Since then, Bernd has volunteered in various leadership roles as communications director, vice president and finally, president, a position he’s held since 2016. Bernd’s personable approach to others in their various roles was especially evident once he assumed the president’s chair in 2016. Since becoming branch president, he has reached out to the other branch boards in BC, inviting them to attend social and official gatherings. He has fully supported any new initiatives that promote an exchange of ideas, sharing lessons learned and making recruitment, volunteering and succession planning a priority. His professional efforts and contributions earned his branch a branch excellence award in June 2018. Bernd’s success as a leader is attributable to his steady vision and his unflagging enthusiasm.

The Collaboration Award  

Gerry Thompson, director, Calgary Branch. Gerry joined the Calgary and District Branch in 2008, served as an office volunteer for many years and has been on the Calgary Branch board as director, president and past president. She is currently serving as a director. As the luncheon coordinator, Gerry sought out relevant guest speakers and activities that continue to serve the interests of our members. She also engaged the Association’s preferred partners, and the Royal Canadian Legion to attend or present at local luncheons and meetings, promoting the value and benefits of Association membership and increasing members’ knowledge of relevant topics. 

The Volunteerism Award

Winston Jenkins, vice president, Central Newfoundland Branch. Winston joined the National Association of Federal Retirees in 2017, just after retirement. He immediately took on the position of vice president with the Central Newfoundland and Labrador Branch. Winston volunteers with eleven different organizations, outside of the Association. From sports to education to community services, Winston plays a leadership role in all of them. Most notably, Winston has been coaching J. M. Olds Collegiate, Twillingate – High School girls basketball team for the last 44 years. Winston has led by example, continuously demonstrating the benefits of volunteering within the community.

Branch awards

The Advocacy Award

Southern Alberta Branch - During the last federal election, the branch undertook a variety of activities to educate sitting MPs and candidates on the Association’s history, role, responsibilities, mandate, and highlighted the Association’s election advocacy priorities. The branch hosted a successful meet and greet with candidates in the Lethbridge electoral district. Candidates from all six political parties participated. Finally, the branch participated in other all-candidates events held throughout the election season, ensuring those in attendance were made aware of the Association’s presence, which yielded additional exposure through television viewing.

The Membership Recruitment and Engagement Award

Edmonton Branch - The branch hosted a pension information seminar for working potential members and introduced the public service employees to the Association and the benefits of membership they could enjoy prior to retirement. Contact was made through public service unions and registrations exceeded expectations. 9 Both sessions filled to capacity, with over 90 names placed on a waiting list. Approximately fifty current public service employees attended each of the two sessions. In 2019 Edmonton’s membership increased by 2.7%, compared to Associationwide losses of -2.4%. They ranked 8/79 branches in terms of growth last year. Their 2019 growth is significant improvement over the three-year average membership losses of -0.17%.

The Branch Excellence Award (large branch)

Ottawa Branch - In 2019, the Ottawa Branch engaged more members than ever before. Over the past year, the branch held a total of 34 workshops that were attended by 1,740 members (and guests). They organized three advocacy meet and greet events attended by 30 candidates and 400 members/other voters. Approximately 430 members attended the branch’s April 2019 AGM. In 2019, the branch distributed 17 electronic newsletters highlighting the its activities and, each time, these newsletters went to approximately 14,000 email addresses. As a result of all this activity, in the last four months of 2019, the Ottawa Branch experienced record growth, with a total net new membership growth of 474 for 2019. Please join us in congratulating the 2020 volunteer recognition awards recipients and nominees! Thank you for all that you do for our fellow volunteers, our branches, our Association, our communities, and our members!

A heartfelt thank you to Léonard LeBlanc, director of the Atlantic district who served as chair of the 2020 Volunteer Recognition Awards Committee, and chair of the 2020 volunteer recognition selection committee, along with Shawn McCord, a senior consultant with Johnson Inc., Larry Menard, executive with the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada, Lesley Brown, executive director of QCC (Quarter Century Club), and Alain Trépannier, former director, District of British Colombia & Yukon.

On behalf of our volunteers, a sincere thank you goes out to one of our most valued preferred partners —  insurance provider Johnson Inc.

Please join us in congratulating the 2020 volunteer recognition awards recipients and nominees! Thank you for all that you do for our fellow volunteers, our branches, our Association, our communities and our members!