Message from the President: Rosa Paliotti
As my term nears completion as President of the Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC), I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the Institute’s success and to congratulate and extend special thanks to those who made it possible.
It’s hard to believe almost three years have passed since I became President in November 2016. During that time, much has changed and RPIC is today as strong as it has ever been. While I’ve enjoyed my leadership role, credit for the Institute’s success must be shared among the many individuals and organizations that make it possible.
The Institute is a perfect example of “the whole being greater than the sum of its parts”. RPIC can only achieve what it does by leveraging the contributions of its many volunteers, program partners and service providers to create professional development offerings and other services of value to the federal Real Property workforce.
RPIC’s primary business continues to be the development and delivery of professional development workshops, offering training on a wide range of real property topics. Our cornerstone event is the annual Real Property National Workshop – the event RPIC was first established to deliver. Our other cyclical workshops, held biennially, are the:
- Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop,
- Federal Contaminated Sites Regional Workshop,
- Marine Infrastructure National Workshop,
- Forum on the Workplace.
Our last three workshops have drawn record attendance and were strongly supported by our many partners and trade show exhibitors.
Attendance at all RPIC workshops has been trending upward. Besides providing training, RPIC’s events are networking opportunities. They are an excellent platform for horizontal knowledge sharing. In addition, they bring together Real Property professionals from the federal workforce with partners from the private sector, other levels of government, non-profit associations, and academia.
Registrations at the 2019 Federal Contaminated Sites Regional Workshop nearly doubled, with 399 people attending, compared to 214 in 2017. Meanwhile, the 2019 Forum on the Workplace drew the attendance of 437 real property professionals – a more than 30% increase over the 2017 event’s attendance of 329. Last year’s Real Property National Workshop drew 796 people, setting a record for that event, 19% higher than the 2017 workshop.
This year’s Real Property National Workshop, to be held November 19 to 21, 2019, is shaping up to be another blockbuster event. So many excellent proposals for presentations were received that we added an extra stream of concurrent sessions to the program! It promises to be an exceptional workshop.
Attendance levels are especially important for RPIC because, as a non-profit association, the success of past events provides the fuel for our future programs and activities. Another vital factor, of course, is the generous support of our myriad partners and trade show exhibitors, whose involvement in our workshops strengthens the connection between the federal RP workforce and its partners.
Revenues from partners and exhibitors helps keep registration fees lower for workshop attendees. Add to that the thousands of hours of volunteer time and expertise that go into RPIC’s operations and its easy to see that RPIC is generating value by leveraging a variety of resources to provide high quality, timely and relevant training opportunities.
As its roster of workshops has grown and flourished, RPIC has also invested in developing other programs and services to support the federal Real Property workforce. Over the past couple of years, we’ve grown our regional activities by recruiting local representatives to help coordinate and deliver free “Breakfast Speaker Series” and “Lunch and Learn” sessions in centres across Canada.
We are also developing and pilot testing a new private sector orientation course intended to enhance companies’ understanding of the federal government’s real property and decision-making framework. The goal is to help companies be better informed when developing value solutions for government. Once complete, we plan to roll out the course to test markets across Canada in the fall.
Another key priority is to enhance engagement with Senior Executives in government. To that end, RPIC recently established a Senior Advisory Council that will serve as an autonomous think-tank. It is expected the new Council will provide insight and advice that will help inform and influence the RPIC Board’s strategic decisions regarding future programming and direction.
The RPIC Board also recently adopted a Volunteer Management Framework and work plan for 2019/2020 to encourage greater volunteer engagement by actively promoting and filling vacancies in RPIC’s committee structure.
I encourage you to subscribe to our eZINE, to visit our website from time to time, and to follow RPIC on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed of volunteer opportunities and our upcoming professional development workshops and training events. In addition, we welcome your thoughts and ideas, so feel free to get in touch through the contacts on our website.
In closing, there are many, many people who deserve special thanks and recognition including our past and present volunteer committee Chairs and their committee members. Likewise, I wish to thank those who currently serve as well as former members of RPIC’s Board of Directors and Executive. Their collective experience, commitment and professionalism is the basis for the excellent stewardship that has steered RPIC where it is today.
Deepest gratitude is also extended to Kevin Radford, Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Real Property Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada, who has served as RPIC’s ADM Champion since 2016. He has truly been an outstanding champion for RPIC and the federal Real Property workforce, helping raise awareness of RPIC among government executives, encouraging greater attendance at our workshops, promoting and helping judge our awards programs, and attending and speaking at RPIC workshops. As his term comes to an end, we welcome with great enthusiasm incoming ADM Champion Diane Orange, Assistant Deputy Minister, Fixed Asset Review, Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada!
Finally, I wish to thank Robin Baldwin and the staff of The Willow Group, whose management of our workshops and RPIC’s day-to-day operations has kept the Institute running smoothly for many years. We also benefit from the thoughtful advice and guidance of our Executive Advisor Ruth Brady and Executive Director Steven Brasier, who work closely with me, RPIC’s Board and Executive, our committees and volunteers, and The Willow Group, to help bring everyone’s contributions together seamlessly, with an eye to the future and continued good governance.
At our Annual General Meeting in October 2019, it will be with great pride that I turn over the presidency at a time when RPIC is thriving. I have the utmost confidence that the Institute will continue to prosper and under the guidance of the incoming President and our exceptional Board of Directors.
First Vice-President, Communication and Outreach Portfolio
Second Vice-President - Professional Development Portfolio
Maurice Arsenault, Department of National Defence
2018/2019 Ex Officio Members
Catherine Daillaire, KPMG
Non-Board Members - Chair/Lead
Chair, Federal Contaminates Sites Wrokshops (2019 Regional / 2020 National)
Chair, 2020 Marine Infrastructure National Workshop