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OCRA GM June 26, 2024

OCRA is pleased to announce that its 18th General Meeting will be held on Wednesday June 26, 2024 at Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake on the Daniel J. Patterson (DJP) Campus in the Benchmark Restaurant from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The meeting is free to OCRA members and includes the latest news from OCRA, guest speakers, lunch, and an optional wine tour/tasting at the Wine Visitor + Education Centre.

New for this year…the OCRA Board invites non-members to attend and receive one year’s free membership upon registering with the Association.

Evan Howard, CAAT Pension Plan’s Chief Pension Officer, and Michael Dawson, CAAT’s Chief Financial Officer, will present on the Plan’s 2023 performance results, strong funding position progressing to Level 6, upcoming initiatives, and innovations.

Mike Vannelli, Vice President, and Stephen Lee Kam, Human Resources Consultant, both with Benefits and Compensation at the College Employer Council, will update us on matters related to our benefits plan.

Yvonne Brady, Senior Consultant, Affinity Relationships, belairdirect (formerly Johnson Insurance) will provide us with information regarding travel insurance.

David DiPietro

Our keynote speaker is David DiPietro, Manager, Business Development, Research & Innovation, Niagara College. David will provide an overview of applied research in the CAAT sector and will focus specifically on Niagara College’s award-winning initiatives to further industry collaboration and innovation. 

 

Full details about the meeting and how to register have been sent to OCRA members via Canada Post or email depending on the member’s specified communication preference. The deadline to register via email is Friday June 7, 2024 (Canada Post by Friday May 31, 2024). Questions may be addressed to OCRA’s Membership Co-ordinator.

OCRA Executive News 2023

Linda Choptiany Steps Down as President

On June 25, 2023, Linda Choptiany (Centennial) stepped down as President of OCRA. In 2001 Linda was one of the founding members of OCRA and since then has been an active and central member of the Executive. Linda will continue serving on the Executive as Past President.

Changes to Executive Officer Positions

Barb Watts (Georgian) has moved from the role of Vice-President to President of OCRA. Barb was a faculty member, coordinator, associate dean and acting dean in the School of Business at Georgian College. She has been the Vice-President of the Georgian College Retirees’ Club for four years and has experience working with OCASA (Ontario College Administrators Network).

Andrew Dykstra (Georgian) has returned to the Executive as Vice-President. Andrew was a faculty member and coordinator for the Accounting programs in the School of Business at Georgian College. He previously served as OCRA’s Vice-President for five years and was also President of the Georgian College Retirees Club for five years.

Marilyn McDermott (Mohawk) has moved from a director position to that of OCRA Secretary. Marilyn was a faculty librarian at Mohawk College. She is currently the Communications and Membership Director for the Retirees’ Association of Mohawk College.

After serving 17 years as OCRA Secretary, Stella Pulkinghorn (Fleming) has stepped down and taken on a director position. Stella retired from Fleming College having spent most of her 25 years as Executive Secretary to the President and Associate Secretary to the Fleming Board of Governors. The OCRA Executive extends its thanks to Stella for her outstanding service and dedication to OCRA.

Dr. Joseph Mior (Fleming) has joined the Executive and taken over the position of Communications Officer from Barbara Mathers, who will continue to serve as OCRA’s Webmaster. Joe was a faculty member in the School of General Arts and Sciences for over 30 years. He was also an Adjunct Professor at O.I.S.E. (U of T) and Central Michigan University.

New Executive Directors

Rick Williams (Loyalist) was the co-ordinator of the Early Childhood Education program and taught part-time in the Applied degree program. Rick also served as Director/Commissioner in the Social Services field and as President of the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association. Currently, Rick is the Chair of the Loyalist College Pioneers Association.

Doug Greenwood (Sheridan) taught ethics and entrepreneurship at Sheridan in the Pilon School of Business. Doug was also the coordinator of the Marketing diploma program and the post-grad Marketing Management program.

OCRA GM 2023 – Thanks to All

The success of OCRA’s 17th General Meeting, held on June 21 2023 at Fleming College, was thanks to many people.

Thanks to Fleming College for hosting our event, especially Adele Russell, Senior Development Officer Advancement and Alumni Relations and Matt Markovic, Manager College Services for their support in the planning of the event and also to Drew Van Parys, Vice-President Corporate Services for welcoming our attendees.

Thanks too to our speakers, Kevin Rorwick, Chief Operating Officer CAAT Pension Plan for sharing good news about the pension plan and hinting at exciting new developments and Cindy Plunkett, Senior Director of Learning and Development at PointClickCare for providing lively and engaging information about being safe in the online world.

Finally, thanks to the all the members of the OCRA Executive, especially Stella Pulkinghorn, Yvonne Glenville and Barb Watts who worked tirelessly to ensure that the GM ran smoothly.

Linda Choptiany
OCRA President

OCRA GM June 21, 2023

OCRA is pleased to announce that its 17th General Meeting will be held on Wednesday June 21, 2023 at Fleming College in Peterborough from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The meeting is free to OCRA members and includes the latest news from OCRA, guest speakers, lunch, and an optional tour of the Fleming Sutherland Campus after the meeting adjourns.

Kevin Rorwick, Chief Operating Officer of the CAAT Pension Plan will talk about pension matters in his presentation “Better Pensions for Everyone”.

Our keynote speaker is Cindy Plunkett, Senior Director of Learning and Development at PointClickCare, Executive Director of the Canadian Learning Conference, and part-time professor at Ontario Tech University. Cindy is an expert in learning design and development with a PhD in educational technologies. Her presentation will be about our digital shadows and how to protect ourselves in the online environment.

Full details about the meeting and how to register has been sent to OCRA members via Canada Post or email depending on the member’s specified communication preference. The deadline to register via email is Friday June 2, 2023 (Canada Post by Friday May 26, 2023). Questions may be addressed to OCRA’s Membership Co-ordinator.

 

New OCRA Director Marilyn McDermott

OCRA is pleased to announce that Marilyn McDermott (Mohawk College retiree) has joined the OCRA Board as a director. Marilyn was a faculty librarian at Mohawk College. She is currently the Communications and Membership Director for the Retirees’ Association of Mohawk College. Marilyn is responsible for email communication to members of Mohawk College Retirees’ Association.

Welcome aboard Marilyn!

OCRA GM 2022 – Many Thanks

OCRA’s 16th General Meeting, held on June 29 2022 at Georgian College, was a resounding success thanks to the many people who participated.

First, thanks to Georgian College, President Kevin Weaver, and the ABSC Event Centre staff for providing the perfect venue for our meeting. Thanks too, to our guest speakers, Yvonne Brady from Johnson Insurance, Derek Dobson from the CAAT Pension Plan, and Connie and Sherry Campbell from The Move Planners, for presenting informative and entertaining topics of great interest to our membership. And finally, thanks to the members of the OCRA Executive for planning and running the GM. I appreciate all of your effort.

Linda Choptiany
OCRA President

Opportunity to Serve on the 2022 OCRA Board

OCRA (Ontario Colleges Retirees’ Association) is currently looking for one retiree to serve a two-year appointment on its Board. OCRA is an organization that advocates for its members on issues of concern to Ontario college retirees and to retirees of associations served by the CAAT Pension Plan.

As a member of the Board, there will be opportunities to work on projects to provide information and assistance to OCRA members.

To serve on the Board, the retiree must be a member in good standing with OCRA and be interested in learning about the CAAT Pension Plan and Ontario college system group benefits. A candidate should be able to communicate by email and have basic computer skills. The typical time commitment for a Board member without a portfolio is a few hours most months of the year.

Board meetings are held online via Zoom with an option to phone in to the meeting.

For more information, please contact Linda Choptiany, OCRA President, at .

New OCRA Director Barb Watts

OCRA is pleased to announce that Barb Watts (Georgian College retiree) has joined the OCRA Board as a director. Barb was a faculty member and Dean at Georgian College.  She is currently the Vice President of the Georgian College Retirees’ Club and has experience working with OCASA (Ontario College Administrators Network). Welcome aboard Barb!

OCRA’s First Webinar a Success

After many weeks of preparation, OCRA conducted its first live Zoom webinar. It was quite a learning experience for OCRA’s directors and there was a collective sigh of relief when the webinar ran smoothly.

Many thanks to the OCRA members who registered and attended. There was representation from 18 of the 24 Ontario Colleges. Members who attended the webinar are encouraged to provide feedback to . For members who missed the webinar, a summary will be made available in the upcoming OCRA newsletter (February 2022).

Ontario Colleges Retirees' Association