As 2023 comes to a close, I look back on this past year with gratitude, while looking forward to new experiences, great programming and new relationships at OMHRA. I am thankful for the people who contribute to OMHRA’s passion for cultivating excellence in municipal Human Resource management.

I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the OMHRA Board of Directors for their constant support, encouragement and for the valuable input and time they generously dedicate to OMHRA. My thanks also goes out to OMHRA’s Executive Director, Member Services Coordinator, Finance Manager and Communications Coordinator who work tirelessly to innovate, deliver quality programming, serve our members and support our sponsors.

Perhaps most of all, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to thank our members for putting your trust in OMHRA and for making us a “go-to” source for insight and resources.

Our success is the direct result of the many members who volunteer their time and skills to give back to our OMHRA community in various capacities. My sincere thanks goes to:

Our Education Committee which develops and executes knowledge-sharing opportunities to support all OMHRA members. Its members are:

  • Natasha Grmusa, City of Waterloo
  • Lorena Krasnai Caprar, County of Brant
  • Jeanette Pillitteri, City of St. Catharines
  • Kerry Pletch, City of Guelph
  • Ian Roger, Township of Guelph/Eramosa
  • Andrea Short, Town of Cobourg
  • Janice Stubbs, Town of Saugeen Shores

OMHRA’s Collective Bargaining Working Groups have provided members with the opportunity to hold informal and confidential discussions to exchange information on collective bargaining, mediation, arbitration, policies, procedures, and trends. The Chairs of our Working Groups are:

  • Fire – Lori Bolton, City of Orillia
  • Inside/Outside Workers – Danielle Leonard, Loyalist Township
  • Long-Term Care – Amy Smith, Oxford County
  • Paramedic Services Group – Kayla Martell, Simcoe County
  • Public Health – Jeff Garritsen, Niagara Region
  • Transit – Joshua Doreen-Harfield, City of Mississauga

Our Communities of Practice offered informal opportunities for confidential discussions to generate new knowledge and to identify solutions to common problems. They are chaired by:

  • Compensation and Benefits – Karie Ortgiese, City of Thunder Bay
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Kathy Weidhaas, City of Waterloo
  • Mental Fitness – Lorena Krasnai Caprar, County of Brant
  • Organizational Development – Kerry Pletch, City of Guelph
  • Talent Management – Susan Hsiung, City of Markham

The Communications Working Group which is mandated to increase awareness and visibility of OMHRA, its vision, mission and objectives as well as the programs and services it provides to its members. Its members are:

  • Annie Beck, City of Port Colborne
  • Jennifer DiMartino, County of Dufferin
  • Melissa Laufman, City of Brantford
  • Trina McGarvey, County of Lennox and Addington
  • Emily Mellors, County of Brant
  • Kerry Pletch, City of Guelph
  • Patrycja Sannachan, Regional Municipality of Halton
  • Kathy Weidhaas, City of Waterloo

After three difficult years, celebrating our 60th Anniversary over the past twelve months was a welcome change and uplifting experience. Our 60th Anniversary Planning Committee led the celebrations, recognition initiatives and events for our diamond jubilee. The members were:

  • Magda Leski, City of Cambridge
  • Tamara Obee, Township of Oro-Medonte
  • Kerry Pletch, City of Guelph
  • Brittany Wilson, Township of Ramara

One of the highlights of our anniversary celebrations was the Glitter Ball held during our Fall Conference. The Dinner Committee members were:

  • Andrea Daisley, City of Welland
  • Megan Jamieson, Haldimand County
  • Emily Mellors, County of Brant
  • Liana Patterson, City of Kawartha Lakes

I’m sending heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you. Through your volunteerism, you are already shaping the next 60 years of OMHRA.

Lastly, I would like to thank our sponsors who continue to support all of OMHRA’s programming and those who offered their expertise, thought leadership and contributions as professional development and conference speakers over the course of the year.

Together we are contributing to a strong and robust municipal Human Resources community in Ontario. I am excited for what lies ahead as we turn the page on a new year and I wish all of you a safe, healthy, relaxing, and happy holiday, and the very best year in 2024!

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