Well, it’s done. The IPAC 2019 National Conference took Winnipeg by storm for three days. For those of us who’ve been involved from the beginning, it hardly seemed real, but August 18 through 21 whipped by.
There are many, many people to thank, and if you attended the last half day of the conference you heard everyone being fairly effusive (a few tears were even shed!)
However, there are two people who deserve to be thanked most of all: Jessica Drakul and Calvin Hawley.
Jessica is IPAC Manitoba’s resident dynamo. Jessica is now in her fourth year as Chair of the Board, and has been on the board since… well, for a while now. It goes without saying that the Chair of the Board during a conference year does not face the same challenge as a Chair normally would. Jessica knew this better than anyone and still charged full steam ahead. If you know Jessica, you know she’s everywhere. She convinced and cajoled, kept an eye on all of the different planning elements, and made sure nothing was going awry. She took the initiative of asking whether the University of Winnipeg would lend us a project manager (they did). And she did all this while leading the regular, non-conference activities of IPAC Manitoba.*
For his part, Calvin got involved by reaching out to us. Responding to a presentation Jessica made, Calvin volunteered to take on the mammoth task of chairing the conference. Calvin lived and breathed the IPAC 2019 conference for nearly two years, working with the previous hosts, with IPAC National, and with our local planning committee. Most importantly, Calvin built and managed, a team. The Core Planning Committee was 15 or so people who each led their own committee, with its own budget, workplan, activities, and so on. That’s a lot of moving parts. To see Calvin manage it was to see the benefit of his years of experience volunteering in these kinds of roles.
I really can’t stress enough that both of these people did this work, basically a second job, as volunteers. It was off the side of their desks, and it was also many, many evenings and weekends.
I speak for IPAC Manitoba’s board and members when I say: Thank you Jessica. Thank you Calvin.
*Incidentally, have you signed up for our next event yet? It’s a lunch and learn discussion of threats and opportunities facing the voluntary sector, featuring research from Wales.
Emmet Collins is the Vice-Chair of the board of IPAC Manitoba.