Inaugural Virtual AGM & Year in Review showcases extraordinary year for CIQS

Never in my lifetime did I expect to live through a world-wide lockdown caused by a virus that sees no boundaries, nor holds a bias against age, gender or race. However, despite (or perhaps because of) the heartache and hardship felt by many, we have found the resilience and strength to not only persevere, but succeed, during these uncertain times.

It was with a heavy heart that we cancelled Congress 2020 in Winnipeg due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but through the use of sophisticated and interactive video conferencing technology, we hosted our very first Virtual AGM on July 28th. We had over 140 members registered but just over 60 members actually participated in the event. The Annual General Meeting offers a platform for our members to make their voices heard and to have an active say in how their organization is governed. In a year when our members had the chance to participate from the comfort of their home or office, we were surprised not to have greater participation numbers.

On July 28th, our PQS and CEC members ratified

the by-law amendment allowing this one annual general meeting to be held electronically;
the new directors to the national board; and
the appointment of our accountant.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the 2020-2021 National Board of Directors.

Chair Erin Brownlow, PQS
Past Chair David Dooks, PQS(F)
CEO Sheila Lennon, CAE
Education Director Adam Ding, PQS


 •  Arif Ghaffur, PQS(F)
 •  Hiran Dassoruth, PQS
 •  Jack Chen, PQS
 •  Jerry Crawford, PQS
 •  Roger Ward, PQS(F)
 •  Tammy Stockley, PQS

Our Year in Review was held directly following the AGM, presented by myself and our PR/Marketing Consultant, Alexandra Parliament. This presentation offered an overview of our achievements over the past fiscal year. An encore presentation was offered on August 5th for our student and associate stakeholders as well as anyone that was unable to attend the July 28 webinar. Some of the highlights include:

Organizational restructuring: Over the last two years, five affiliates completed their dissolution and the CIQS Ontario Affiliate is currently in the final stages of dissolution, with an anticipated conclusion in the next month or two.

Registrar’s report: We reached a 90% renewal rate for the 2020-2021 membership year despite the pandemic. This shows the strength of our membership and our profession. Thank you for your loyalty and trust in CIQS. Thank you also to the National staff and consultants who have not missed a beat during the lockdown, working as hard as always on behalf of our members. Stronger than ever – Together!

Strategic Plan 2019-2022: We shared our current achievements within each of the four key focus areas:

CIQS Community Engagement Initiative – To better engage our members across the country, the Institute will focus on reconnecting and rebuilding the relationships between the board, chapters and individual members.
Education – We will identify and improve upon the weaknesses and strengths of the current course and syllabus for the architectural, mechanical and electrical programs.
Identify and Resolve Resource Deficiencies at CIQS – With the National Office now managing operations and administration of the national organization as well as all chapters, it is imperative that the appropriate resources are in place where needed.
Stakeholder Engagement Plan – We will focus more on communications to educate the public, industry and government about our industry and the benefits of working with a CEC or PQS.

We are currently designing a graphic timeline showing our achievements and future projects in more detail. A separate announcement will be made once it is available on the CIQS website.

External Relations Committee: We are proud to announce that we hired a new lobbying and public relations firm – IMPACT Public Affairs – to draft our advocacy principles, schedule meetings with government officials and groups and work with us to create responses to RFI’s.

Congratulations to our new Fellows! Normally our new Fellows would be celebrated in person at Congress but since our event had to be cancelled this year, we are proud to present our newest Fellows – Indu Elapatha, PQS(F) from British Columbia and Edward Traore, PQS(F) from Alberta.

Chapter Highlights: A detailed overview of the events, projects and achievements of each of the CIQS chapters across the country was given.

International Relations: We are focused on positioning CIQS as an industry leader on the global stage by building relationships with senior leaders of industry organizations around the world. Our efforts over the last year resulted in successful meetings at PAQS 2019 and CIQS becoming an associate member of CEEC.

Marketing and Public Relations: The marketing and communications department has been extremely busy over the past year, developing various programs and material to ensure that everything produced by all entities of CIQS (National, chapters, committees) follow our branding guidelines to ensure our message always stays on point to continue building a strong and cohesive brand across all of the Institute’s portfolios. This includes National PowerPoint presentations, Congress promotional material and sponsorship program, member communications and social media messaging and our Annual Report (now available for download here).

We were excited to launch The CIQS HUB, a website focused on the newly developed Student Outreach Program, the YQS Committee and our volunteer Ambassador program. Please visit for details.

For those who were unable to join either session, a copy of the PowerPoint presentation is available to view in the Members Only section at

I look forward to the day it is safe for us to once again get together in person.

Stay safe and healthy!

Sheila Lennon, CAE
CEO, CIQS National