It was a pleasure to receive this “Special Announcement” from CFI Canada board of directors and management:
the Board of Directors has established an annual CFI Canada Volunteer Appreciation. While all volunteers across Canada are valued for their unique contributions, some this year went that extra distance. These people are:
1. Zena Ryder, CFI Okanagan
Zena came to CFI Canada after attending events with us in October of 2010 and became a volunteer for the Randi tour of 2011. From there she proceeded to organize social services such as the Kelowna winter clothing drive, Skeptics in the Park – a family based social event – and Kids For Inquiry, a program to give children 7 to 12 an appreciation for science and critical thinking. Zena has also brought a fresh perspective to fundraising and rather than focusing exclusively on donors she has done such things as organize raffles and social events that focus on raising money. Presently she is the assistant branch leader and is becoming increasingly active both at provincial and national levels.
2. Guy King, CFI Okanagan
Guy was an outspoken atheist long before it became socially acceptable and has been very courageous in presenting his views in public. He was a founding member of CFI Okanagan and has been one of the most dependable volunteers in that area. He is always the first person to step forward when the tedious but essential tasks like putting up posters or driving speakers is necessary. If the leadership of the branch needs an errand to be run he is always prepared to drop everything and take care of it. Guy promotes CFI Canada tirelessly in the public square and his provocative shirts have brought many people into the local group. His letters to the editor in the local papers have frustrated many a fundamentalist. When we needed a local media contact for Kelowna’s Atheist bus ad campaign in 2011 he was the obvious choice and did a terrific job.
3. Steve Livingston, Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism
Over the last year, Steve Livingston, now the Co-Chair of the Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism, has become a familiar face at the National and Toronto Branch levels. The contributions he has made are many, from being a go-to media spokesperson on issues surrounding skepticism, to aiding our “Good without God” filming session, to appearing on the upcoming documentary “30 Ghosts” representing a skeptical voice in the media. Perhaps Steve’s greatest contribution has been his untiring ability to work with and grow the community in CASS and to pay special attention to his fellow volunteers. We look forward to all of the great things Steve will continue to produce in 2013!
4. Iain Martel, Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism
For the better part of 2012, all of the accomplishments of CASS could be tied to the tireless work of Iain Martel. From CASS’s landmark Climate Change Report, to overseeing CFI’s involvement in the Shopper’s Drug Mart lawsuit, to continuous management of all projects that affect scientific skepticism in Canada, Iain Martel has played a significant role in leading, managing and contributing to one of CASS’s most successful years to date. But Iain’s commitment has not stopped there. He also sits on the Governance Committee for the CFI Canada Board of Directors, has acted as a media spokesperson and has even been a regular attendee at many CFI Toronto events and lectures. CFI and CASS would not be the same without him and we are honoured to congratulate Iain on making this one of our most successful years to date.
5. Will McDowell, CFI Toronto
Since attending his first Atheist and Friends Meetup event in June Will has easily become one of the most active and adaptive members of the CFI Toronto community. The newly minted CFI Toronto Treasurer has helped set up, table and manage countless events including the four day Fan Expo conference, increased CFI Toronto’s social media following and has taken to the role of Lead Volunteer with gusto. His affable demeanour and boundless energy make him a pleasure to work with, and we are honoured to present Will with this award.
6. Judy Chau, National Office
Judy has been one of the most long-standing and dedicated volunteers in CFI Canada’s history and has worked at both the National and Toronto Branch levels for years. Recently, Judy has been working primarily on overseeing the conversion of our membership database to the new and highly sophisticated eTapestry System. Overseeing a project of this magnitude has required constant commitment, organization and dedication. Judy has given long hours to painstakingly updating our databases and connecting with IT professionals and project managers to see this system come into place. With eTapestry now up, the member relations for the National Office will be revolutionized. Judy has been a great volunteer for years with us and we are happy to acknowledge her with this award.
7. Seanna Watson, CFI Ottawa
Seanna Watson, President of CFI Ottawa, has easily been one of the most active volunteers in CFI Canada. In this year alone Seanna has been the Branch Director for CFI Ottawa, has sat on the Governance Committee for the Board of Directors and has organized CFI Canada’s groundbreaking conference Eschaton 2012. Any one of those three contributions involves a serious commitment, and she has taken on each and every one and succeeded. Seanna has contributed greatly to CFI Canada and has epitomized what it means to be a great volunteer.
8. Jen Carmen, CFI Montreal
Jen Carmen has been among the most recognizable and dedicated volunteers at CFI Montreal. Jen has been very active recently working on the CFI book club there, tabling for events, and acting as a spokesperson in both English and French for many exciting issues in Quebec and across the country. Jen has worked with CFI Canada for years now engaging in meaningful debates, speaking to the public and being a reliable and enthusiastic volunteer, helping CFI Canada break through the language barrier and provide a secular and skeptical voice into the French-speaking community in Canada. Thank you Jen for all of your tremendous work.
9. Kendra Getty, CFI Saskatoon
CFI Saskatoon has seen a very exciting year for headline news. From exorcisms to multiple secular issues that have made it to the forefront in Canadian media, Kendra Getty has shown an enormous commitment to CFI Canada’s work and values. As Branch Director of CFI Saskatoon, Kendra handles all of the local issues that effect her region and this year has seen a lot. Through all of this, Kendra has shown great enthusiasm for providing a voice for skeptics, freethinkers and atheists in her region. We are proud to give this award to someone who has given so much for her community and has advanced our cause so far in this region of the country.
10. Marilee Welch, CFI Vancouver
CFI Vancouver has also seen a very busy year with a lot of changes. Through all of it though, one of the most committed volunteers has been Marilee Welch. Marilee volunteers in many different capacities at her local branch by running the book club, by working on Vancouver’s monthly lectures, revamping CFI Vancouver’s volunteer coordination programming, and working on developing an exciting new debate series to come soon. Marilee has shown herself to be a highly engaged, capable and energetic volunteer and we are proud to acknowledge her incredible work with CFI Canada.
The award will be sent to each of these generous people by the end of January.
Thank you to every one of our volunteers and best wishes for 2013 as CFI Canada continues our positive influence on Canadian society.
CFI Canada Board of Directors and Management
Kevin Smith, Chair
Gary Fitzgibbon, Vice-Chair, Treasurer
Pat O’Brien, Secretary
Michael Payton, National Director
Justin Trottier, National Communications Director