Information Exchange
Performance Improvement
Municipal Independence

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Institute People

Institute Associates
These individuals are responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the Institute.  Before joining our organization, they spent much of their careers working for or with local government.
David Barber Director
William E. Ogden Editor (deceased – read a tribute here)
Richard Rowe Circulation Manager
Eugene Brown Information Systems
Diane Miller Information Exchange Co-ordinator
Andrea Gibbs Office Manager

Editorial Advisory Board
Institute activities are conducted with the invaluable input of our Editorial Advisory Board.  Their generous contribution of time and ideas is gratefully acknowledged.  Current and past Board Members (listed alphabetically by surname) are:
Richard R. Arblaster Barrister & Solicitor, practising in the municipal and land development fields, Markham, ON
Philippa R. Campsie President, Philippa Campsie Editorial Services, and Deputy Editor, Ontario Planning Journal
G. Ian Ferguson Specialist (retired), Strategic Directions, Heritage Canada, Hull, QC
Alex J. Grant Chief Administrative Officer (retired), Township of Uxbridge, ON
Peter M. Holle Founder, Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and Principal Associate, Cog Associates, Winnipeg, MB
Clayton A. Hudson Barrister & Solicitor, and President, Strathmore Communities Corporation, Toronto, ON
Ronald W. Jensen President, Ron Jensen & Associates, and former Director of Public Works, City of Phoenix, AZ
Robert P. Mills Financial Analyst, and President, The Blythwood Group, Toronto, ON
William E. Ogden Planning Consultant (retired), practised with local governments in the Provinces of Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Ontario
C. W. (Chuck) Wills Chief Administrative Officer, City of Windsor, ON

Institute Ambassadors
Eric Williams (deceased), former Manager, Montego Bay Airport (now Sangster International Airport), Montego Bay, JA
At age 91, Eric Williams said he was still learning.  His love of learning can be summed up in his favorite quote: "All men are my betters in that I learn from them."  Born in the Jamaican Parish of St.Thomas, he was the 13th of 14 children.  As you can imagine, growing up in such a large family during the depression, he was out working at an early age.  While he had older brothers out working as well, he was expected to contribute to maintaining the household.  During World War II, he joined the RAF (Royal Air Force) and spent 4 years overseas.  Those responsibilities left him very little time for formal schooling.  Instead, life around him became his classroom.  A keen observer of people and events, he carefully studied the results produced by various behaviors.  Over the years, he said, you will come to know what works and what doesn't.  He credited these studies for his success in whatever he tackled.

John Lean (deceased), former Deputy Reeve, Township of Hamilton, ON
Hamilton Township is the rural municipality which surrounds the Town of Cobourg and stretches from Lake Ontario north to Rice Lake.  John had a farm which overlooked Rice Lake.  When he retired there from council in his 70s, he continued to take an active interest in civic affairs.  Whenever he wrote 1 of his many letters to the editor, he would send our Director a copy with a request for his comments.  One day, David asked John, half jokingly, why he wanted his input.  After all, John had no problem expressing himself.  David was surprised when he became very serious.  "Anything from the hand of man can be improved," he said.  "Perfection is reserved for God."  That was his way of explaining the need for humility.  When we started this Institute in 1994, John volunteered to become our 1st Ambassador.  We were very pleased to have him on our team but we were curious to know why, at his age, he wanted to take on this responsibility.  This time, his eyes twinkled as he said, "I like the idea of your Institute.  But, anything from the hand of man ..."  Thanks, John.  That's always a good reminder.

Volunteer Opportunities
We are very fortunate to have the participation of a group of dedicated volunteers.  They assist us in many aspects of our day-to-day operations and represent the Institute in a variety of forums.  If you share our dedication to excellence in local government, have experience working for or with local government, and would like to be part of a team making a real difference, we currently have the following volunteer opportunities.
Institute Ambassador
These challenging positions offer you the opportunity to continue to play an important role in the local-government field and to expand your peer network by representing the Institute in a variety of forums.  Our ultimate goal is to have at least 1 Ambassador in each region of the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K., as well as at least 1 Ambassador in every other country where our publications are read.  So, wherever you may live, we will be interested in speaking with you.
Research Associate
Our Research, Publication, and Information Exchange Programs all rely on timely information.  Obtaining that information is the responsibility of our Research Associates.  If you are interested in learning more about public policy and improving the performance of local government, this is an opportunity to interview the innovators in these fields and to report on their latest projects.  Whether you are a student, an experienced professional, or a retiree looking for a challenge, we have a role for you to play

How to Apply
If you would like to join our team or to learn more about these opportunities, just send us an
email with the word 'Volunteer' in the subject line.  Please provide a brief description of your skills, interests, and experience.  Also, let us know the best times to reach you by telephone so that we may discuss your application and answer any questions you may have.

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