President’s Update

I hope and pray this update finds you and your family at peace, healthy and doing the activities and disciplines that maintain your well-being.  As I interact with the residents in our community, I find we have all faced personal challenges over this past year and there is a willingness to share our stories.  I know I am one that has a tendency to withdraw when struggling through things and I am sure there are many of you like me, but it is, at these times, sharing and carrying each other burdens brings healing in itself.

2019 AGM Final Word: Last month, I provided the 2019 report and brief 2020 update that I shared at our delayed AGM; we hope to return to our regular routine of hosting the SACA 2020 AGM in the Spring this year which hopefully includes the regular fellowship we experience at the event! I am in the process of completing the SACA 2020 Business Plan final results and it has been sobering to see how our plans have shifted from what we intended to do early last year! SACA, in an effort to reduce our annual audit expense and ensure we procured a service provider who was aligned to current technology, entertained proposals from a number of auditors in 2020 and proposed a change of auditor which was approved by the membership at the AGM. Our new auditor for 2020 is Lingard & Dreger, who has experience with our cloud-based accounting system Xero and who also submitted the lowest bid. I believe this is the first time we have changed auditors in our 35 year history.

Board Membership: As I have mentioned previously, SACA has been operating with a historically small Board which has placed additional workload on our complement. There was significant investment done in 2020 to recruit new Board volunteers and we welcomed four new directors to the Board at the November AGM meeting. 

Anita Lamarche is a realtor and previously worked at Shell in various Marketing and Communication roles.  Though Anita and I did not know each other previously, we discovered we have many mutual colleagues from our time at Shell.  Anita will serve as Board Secretary but may progress to other Board roles as SACA determines its future plans.  Ryan McGrogan is relatively new to Scenic Acres and works as Business Services Manager for Precision Drilling; he hails from Medicine Hat originally.  Awad Loubani is also new to Scenic Acres and is a Risk Management Expert.  He has worked as an instructor and consultant and has a wealth of experience on other boards and with other non-profit initiatives.  Awad recently retired from government service.  Lee Syhlonyk is a 30 year resident in Scenic Acres and has served at Advent Lutheran Church in various executive roles.  She is retired from the oil and gas industry as well and expecting a grandchild very soon.  I am excited to welcome these new members to the SACA Board!

Katherine Hawkins the SACA Treasurer, will not be serving another term on the Board.  She brought a unique perspective to the Board in that she had technical knowledge that most with financial background don’t have.  The work she did to move us from manual processes, multiple data re-entry points using a desktop accounting package to an integrated, cloud-based system would have cost SACA thousands of dollars if she had not volunteered to do it.  We are now best in class in terms of financial systems with more opportunity to leverage it for better and timely reporting.  I want to thank Katherine for her significant contribution to SACA.

As we begin 2021, the SACA Board is now at eight directors; one more than the minimum Bylaw requirement.  The Board is in the process of finalizing the Business Plan for 2021 and based on organization need and personal interest and development, we will then assign portfolios and expectations for each individual.  We also have four existing directors whose terms expire at the next AGM planned for the Spring and we must work through any resulting transitions.  As President, I will have termed out in the role, having served three consecutive two-year terms.  As these are volunteer roles, our intent always is to spread the work so no one is burdened with too much to do!

If you cannot accommodate the requirements associated with the SACA Board, there is always opportunity to join one of committees.  We have opportunities on LEAF, Community Development and Community Engagement Committees and often form temporary committees to enable specific community initiatives (like the current Gazebo committee or the Canada 150 Committee a few  years ago).  If you have a well-considered proposal that needs a committee and SACA support, we will work to establish the initiative and recruit for it.  Our annual Business Plan is intended to step-by-step execute our longer term Strategic Plan.  As a result, there is opportunity for you to contribute to completion of these strategic initiatives. 

Contact me at scenicboard@shaw.ca if you have the skills, experience and passion to see our community remain vibrant and a great place to live.

Jim Palmer
President, Scenic Acres Community Association
scenicboard@shaw.ca

To download in PDF form this, or any past updates from Jim Palmer, SACA’s President, please click on the appropriate link below:
February 2021
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Covid-19 Special Message
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Last updated February 21, 2021