May 31, 2018
Recap: OMSSA's 2018 Leadership Symposium, Annual General Meeting and 2018-2019 BOD
OMSSA hosted more than 275 delegates in Windsor May 27-29 for our 2018 Leadership Symposium and Annual General Meeting. We would like to thank the City of Windsor for their incredible hospitality and for welcoming all of us to their beautiful city.

Highlights included:
  • Mahesh Prajapat of the Toronto Children's Aid Society on leading and transforming organizational culture to centre around the needs of clients
  • Dr. Gary Bloch of St. Michael's Hospital on why income is the most important social determinant of health, and how the health and social services sectors can make connections to address this
  • Michael Brennan of Civilla on overcoming the bureaucratic barriers to put the user at the centre of service design and delivery
  • 20 concurrent sessions featuring case studies, innovative approaches and best practices from expert speakers from the human services, government, social policy and community development sectors
  • Recognizing our 2018 Award Winners at the Awards Banquet and throughout the conference

If you weren't able to join us, or want to review what you learned, many conference presentations are now posted on our website , and additional presentations will be posted in the coming days.
Join us next year in Thunder Bay!
OMSSA is pleased to announce that our next Leadership Symposium will be hosted in partnership with Thunder Bay DSSAB.

We hope to see you in Thunder Bay in May 2019!
Annual General Meeting Recap
Elaine Baxter-Trahair
President's Report

In her report, President Elaine Baxter-Trahair highlighted key 2017 accomplishments, including:

  • A swift financial turnaround
  • A renewed focus on strengthening capacity
  • Engaging broadly with members to understand their priorities through face-to-face visits
  • OMSSA's 2018-2022 Strategic Plan
  • Investments in policy, partnerships and professional development
  • A focus on becoming a more active, unified and influential voice moving into 2018

Executive Director's Report

 In her report, Executive Director Elisa McFarlane outlined key steps taken in 2017 to strengthen operations, including:

  • An Operational Plan
  • Sourcing a new, more affordable office space
  • Implementing a policy development process rooted in consultation
  • Partnership Strategy and stronger cross-sector relationships
  • More accessible education opportunities
  • A focus on communications and member engagement moving into 2018

Secretary-Treasurer's Report

 Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Holmes gave an overview of key elements of the 2017 financial statements:

  • Strong financial recovery fueled by lower operating expenses
  • A surplus in net assets of $405,375 at year-end 2017
  • 2017 investments in policy capacity and a new, more appropriate office space

Dennis also outlined 2018 budget priorities, including investing in communications capacity and new Association Management Software.

OMSSA's 2017 Annual Report
OMSSA's 2017 Annual Report and financial statements were shared with members at the Annual General Meeting, and are now posted online. Click here to view and download the Annual Report and financial statements (PDF).
OMSSA's 2018-2019 Board of Directors
OMSSA welcomed its 2018-2019 Board of Directors at the 2018 Leadership Symposium.

Newly Elected Board Members
At the 2018 Annual General Meeting, voting delegates passed a motion to elect the following Board Members by acclamation:

  • Cathy Cousins, Director, Homelessness and Community Engagement, Community Services, Region of Niagara
  • Laura LePine, Manager, Ontario Works, County of Renfrew
  • Grace Mater, Director, Children’s Services and Neighbourhood Development Division, Healthy and Safe Communities Department, City of Hamilton
  • Dan McCormick, CAO, Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board
  • Shelley VanBuskirk, Director, Housing Services, City of Ottawa

Returning Board Members
In addition, the following members are returning for the second year of their terms:

  • Luisa Artuso, Director, Children’s Services, County of Wellington
  • Elaine Baxter-Trahair, Acting Deputy City Manager, City of Toronto
  • Stella Danos-Papaconstantinou, Director, Community Access, Human Services, Regional Municipality of Peel
  • Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer, Kenora District Services Board

Executive Committee
The Board confirmed the appointments of its Executive Committee as follows:
  • President: Elaine Baxter-Trahair, Acting Deputy City Manager, City of Toronto, who is returning for the second year in her term
  • Vice-President: Dan McCormick, CAO, Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Cathy Cousins, Director, Homelessness and Community Engagement, Community Services, Region of Niagara