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Bea Courtney

Winner, Service to the Society Award, 2016

Citation (by Kathryn Radford)

It is my sincere pleasure to present the 2016 award for the Service to the Canadian Evaluation Society to Bea Courtney. There were so many of us who supported Bea's nomination that I won't risk thanking the supporters for fear of leaving someone off the list.

This award, The Service to CES Award, recognizes the contributions that an individual has made to the work of the CES. As many of you know, Bea has worked tirelessly as the lead organizer of the CES Student Evaluation Case Competition. Bea has been at the helm of this competition for the past 9 years and during this time the competition has flourished.

Bea has demonstrated exceptional dedication to this CES competition that gives students hands-on experience in evaluation. In partnership with other volunteers, Bea helps ensure that the competition is promoted across Canada, new cases are developed in French and English, funds are raised, judges are appointed, events are planned, contributors are acknowledged and websites are updated. And, Bea makes sure to correspond with the top 3 teams, prior to their arrival at the conference, to make sure that everything is covered, from organizing flights and accommodations to explaining the competition day process. Bea spares no effort in making the competition a continuing CES success story.

In the words of one student "Bea is a genuinely warm, inviting and caring person. Her dedication to the evaluation profession and CES is clear, as well as her willingness to act as a mentor to young students and professionals entering the field, specifically with regards to the student case competition."

Please join me in congratulating Bea Courtney as this year's recipient of the Service to the Canadian Evaluation Society Award.

Acceptance Speech

I am truly humbled to receive this award – in the 20th anniversary year of the case competition. It's been more than a pleasure to have played a role in this event. I've gained so much from the volunteers, the students and coaches. It keeps my young! I'd have even more grey hair without the competition.

I want to thank a few of the many people who've enabled me to play this role:

  • Andy Rowe who brought the CES Conference to St. John's in 1998 where I first learned about the case comp. I was hooked.
  • Thanks to CES NL chapter members for buying into a vision of the Chapter coaching teams – something they have continued.
  • Thanks also to the partners and staff of Goss Gilroy who gave me the time and support to devote to this initiative.
  • And my deep appreciation to our committee members – Kathryn Radford, Brian McGowan, Patricia King, Petra Lolic, Sharon Margison and Marla Steinberg. They've done all the heavy lifting.

When I got the call from Benoît that I had been nominated, I was thrilled as I really saw it as way to shine a light on this event and the many people who make it happen. I am happy enough to accept – but really this award is for them. Perhaps we need a new category of CES group award in future.

So how to recognize these people who've contributed over the past 20 years? Well, Michael Obrecht to the rescue. Michael along with Nancy Porteous started the case competition in 1996 with the National Capital Commission Chapter. He has been a mentor, muse and, as you'll see from this short video, he's no slouch as a singer-songwriter. Check it out!

I'd now like all those who've played any of these roles in the case competition - participant, coach, organizer, judge or sponsor - to stand and be recognized for your contribution to the success of this event.

Thank you.