Engaged Professionals Key to APEGA’s Continued Success
For more than 100 years, engineers and geoscientists in Alberta have been successfully shaping, guiding, and governing their professions while earning the trust and respect of government and the public. A solid reputation like APEGA’s doesn’t just happen—it takes, leadership, passion, and involvement.
Recently re-elected to Council to serve her third term, Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, P.Eng., has first-hand insight into why it’s so important for members to engage with their professional organization: doing so ensures that APEGA’s future remains strong and vibrant.
She was also one of five members on the Special Committee of Council on Nominations, which assessed the nomination process to ensure that nominations continue to consistently deliver candidates with the skills and competencies needed to govern the profession while also fostering diversity. The committee’s report includes four recommendations, which are being discussed with members in virtual engagement sessions under way now and continuing until May 6.
Diversity is a cornerstone
As a successful female engineer, an immigrant, and an experienced APEGA councillor, Gomez-Villeneuve strongly appreciates the value of diversity. She reflected on some of the barriers to running for Council that were also evident in a member survey conducted by the Special Committee.
“We need to think about how we can be more deliberate in our efforts to engage members in APEGA, whether we are seeking nominees for Council or volunteers to serve in a wide range of capacities,” she explains. “Some people, like me for example, are extroverted individuals willing to jump right in. Others may need more encouragement and support. If we focus on connecting with members and building their exposure to and experience with APEGA, they may feel more confident and inspired to run for Council.”
She also stressed the importance of reminding members that any member in good standing can be nominated or nominate themselves to run for Council. “Getting involved can be a rewarding experience, and I encourage everyone to consider running for Council or volunteering in some capacity.”
Being part of the Special Committee also spurred Gomez-Villeneuve to think differently about how to approach volunteer recruitment. “We tend to reach out to our networks, and that works very well. However, we also need to think about ways that we can connect with people outside our personal networks—people who may work in a different professional discipline or industry, or who are part of a different community or cultural group.”
The next steps
Gomez-Villeneuve is looking forward to further exploring and sharing these perspectives when she takes on her first role as a member of the next Nominating Committee.
“The bottom line is that we need to be purposeful,” she says. “The demographics of our profession are changing. We are at a critical moment in our history, and we have the opportunity to further demonstrate our leadership as regulator of our professions, by intentionally expanding member engagement to the furthest corners of our professional community.”
For more information on the Special Committee’s report and recommendations, visit apega.ca/nomination-feedback.