As I write my final comments for the President’s Observations, I think of the great strides that Council has made over my tenure as president in addressing the needs of the Institute. This column is too short to really do justice to all the attendant issues that we have worked on over the last year.
Suffice to say, the commitment of the District VPs in advancing principles of CIM through new communication protocols has been well accepted. The ongoing work of Council members in understanding the role they need to play in taking CIM to a new level, through the development of the new strategic plan, has been very rewarding. The tireless work of our national staff in Montreal, led by our executive director, Jean Vavrek, in managing the financial affairs of the Institute and fulfilling the mandate that Council has given in terms of spearheading a new direction for the Institute cannot be overstated.
I have been very impressed by the thought-provoking discussions that have come from our membership, through Council, in terms of making CIM what we all want it to be: a powerful and important venue for the promotion of the Canadian minerals industry.
As we prepare to take the new strategic plan to our membership, it needs to be understood how difficult it is to change an organization that has over a hundred years of history. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that we all have day jobs – we are volunteering in our capacities with CIM, so our ability to stay on top of all the issues we face between Council meetings creates its own challenges. As CIM is an inclusive body, we want to hear and understand the divergent views of our membership – all of these points make advancing change a difficult task.
The incumbents on Council have made an outstanding contribution to your Institute over the past few years as they’ve struggled with the financial viability of the Institute as well as its ongoing relevance to our members. It appears we have turned the corner on the financial side; we have staked out important ground on the technical and non-technical side, where CIM can provide significant value to CIM members as we have continued to strengthen the CIM brand.
As your outgoing president, I feel fortunate to have been involved in helping to facilitate this process and look forward to providing support for our new president, Francois Pelletier, as we work towards making CIM one of the world’s most prominent mining organizations.
Russell Hallbauer, CIM President