I am just back home after attending the CIM Conference & Exhibition in Montreal. We all owe a word of thanks and hearty congratulations to chair Martin Poirier and his dedicated organizing committee, all session chairs and speakers, the many exhibiting firms and delegates, and our steadfast CIM national office staff for pulling off this stupendous event. When a conference goes as smooth as silk, as Montreal 2011 did, the huge and sustained effort to make it happen is not apparent to most attendees. This does not happen by accident, so we all should pause and appreciate the perseverance and professionalism that makes these events seem so effortless and fun for us.
The record of 1,523 delegates was impressive. However, to my mind, even more impressive was the confident, upbeat mood at the conference. This bodes well for the future of CIM.
At the same time, our industry's current shortage of skilled, dedicated workers is an enormous challenge. It affects all aspects of the mining, metals and materials industry that CIM serves – including academia, engineering, construction, operations and finance. This is a worry not just for those of us working in our industry, but for society as a whole, because our products are, and always have been, the foundation of our civilization, helping house, feed, clothe, heat, move and energize humankind.
For over six years, CIM has addressed this issue through M4S, our educational show on mining, minerals, metals and materials for society. CIM is ramping up this effort with two new initiatives. We have a big push underway to foster and nurture CIM student chapters at all colleges and universities across Canada teaching the skills and knowledge our industry needs. And we are rolling out the CIM Leadership Development Program to ensure that our industry is defined by leadership excellence in addition to technical excellence.
I am truly honoured to begin serving as CIM president and excited about the future that beckons for our institute. The most successful organizations imagine the future they want, and then make it happen. I hope you will join the CIM adventure into our future.
Chuck Edwards, CIM President