When Elizabeth Parker and Arthur Wheeler founded the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) more than 100 years ago, they shared a love of Canadian mountains and a vision – but there were no thoughts given to a mission statement, values and goals let alone a strategic plan and governance. Today the ACC Board of Directors has to address: marketing plans; fundraising; positioning the ACC in a competitive marketplace; reputation management and visibility; environmental advocacy. The ACC is the national voice for mountaineering in Canada. The ACC offers a range of services – hut and hostel accommodation; mountaineering camps and mountain trips; leadership development; publications. The ACC Board must look at how the ACC can operate effectively and efficiently in a changing world and move forward in its second century of operation.
If I am elected I commit myself to working as a member of the ACC Board of Directors on behalf of the Sections as well as Club members. The Sections are where Club members are engaged and participate in outdoor adventures. Under the new bylaws, while members are represented and championed by their Section Representative on the Section Council, the voice of the Sections on the ACC Board is the Vice-President for Sections. It is important that the Vice-President for Sections supports, represents and articulates the views of Sections as well as acting as a resource and a mentor for Sections concerning best practices for Section management and operation. I commit myself to listening to Sections and will represent and articulate their interests at the National level in the best interests of the Club.
I have been an active ACC Ottawa member for more than ten years and have served on the Executive – as Chair, Section Representative, e-Letter Editor and Summer Camp Organizer. I was the ACC Ottawa Section Representative for six years. I have seen the Ottawa Section change to meet the evolving needs of our members. I have witnessed the positive evolution of the ACC. Change is driven by members, by the ACC Board and by ACC stakeholders – our insurance provider, customers, sponsors, donors, suppliers, different levels of government. The ACC must be responsive to the needs of our members and must ensure it maintains working relationships with our stakeholders.
The Vice-President for Sections must be consultative, innovative, collaborative, an advocate, a problem-solver, and a communicator. The Vice-President for Sections must be accountable to Club members and to stakeholders in the outdoor community. I bring to the position my professional experience as a management consultant where my strengths include: results-driven analytical problem-solving; dealing innovatively with complex issues; consensus-building; developing and supporting high-performance and self-regulating teams; leading organizations through change.
We live in a challenging world of distractions. Our day-to-day life has been taken-over by instant communication, social media, unlimited graphics and instant gratification. Many of us carry this ‘world’ in our pockets – constantly recharging its batteries. For many of us there is an inherent need to recharge our personal batteries. We find being in the mountains and the outdoors invigorates and sustains us; and allows us to distance ourselves from day-to-day distractions. The ACC nourishes old friendships and encourages new friendships through activities and trips. The ACC is the ‘doorway’ to positive health and personal growth. I want to ensure that the ACC continues to provide these opportunities for generations to come.
I am passionate about the ACC’s philosophy and vision and I want to be involved in its future. It would be an honour and a privilege to serve ACC members as Vice-President for Sections.
I am asking you to vote for me.
My name is Sandy Walker and I have put my name forward for the new position of Vice President for Sections. When I first became a member of the Alpine Club of Canada in 2001, several ACC members took me under their wings and patiently introduced me to the world of backcountry skiing and climbing. Since I will never be able to adequately return the favour to those people, I chose back then to “pay it forward” by volunteering for the ACC wherever possible so that others, like me, could be introduced to the wonders of the backcountry.
I have a fairly unique history with ACC that has provided me with the skills necessary to carry out the responsibilities of this role. Over the past 12 years I have been Treasurer, Chair and Section Camp Coordinator for the Calgary Section; Vice Chair, Section Rep, and ROCK Program Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Section; and Chair of the Alberta Sections. Throughout I have been a leader for alpine, rock, and ski trips for those Sections; Camp Manager for several National Camps; and an amateur leader at the General Mountaineering Camp. In addition to my volunteer involvement in the ACC, I worked at National Office for 4 years as the Director of Club Services which gave me a breadth of knowledge of the benefits and services offered by all Sections across the country. For all of these contributions, I was awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the Alpine Club of Canada in 2010 through a joint nomination from the Calgary and Rocky Mountain Sections. More importantly, this level of involvement has allowed me to experience, first hand, the challenges ACC Sections face in finding and using volunteer and financial resources; the incredible commitment from volunteers and leaders; the positive impact Section and National activities have on members; and the value that training programs have for our leaders. I would like to hold the position of VP for Sections since it would provide me with an interesting challenge and a productive means of increasing my involvement with the ACC and is the next logical progression in my volunteer commitment to the ACC.
What I will do as VP for Sections
If elected, my goal for effectively carrying out the role of VP for Sections is to use these accumulated skills and experiences to represent the Sections’ interests on the Board of Directors. Based on what I have experienced first hand and heard from Sections over the years, my four immediate goals would be:
- Ensure Sections are represented on the board after discussing with them the challenges they face and the assistance they require.
- Assist Sections in implementing programs that will attract volunteers and trip leaders.
- Seek out ways for Sections to share positive and challenging experiences easily throughout the year to avoid duplicating efforts.
- Facilitate ways for Sections to attract and retain members, respecting the unique nature of each Section.
Thank you for taking the time to read my bio and I hope that I have convinced you to vote for me, Sandy Walker, in the upcoming election for VP for Sections. Merci d’avoir lire ma biographie et j’espère que je vous ai convaincu de m’élire à la position de v-p des Sections. Je vous souhaite une bonne et sûr saison d’escalade et du ski!