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Shelley Borys, FCES

June 2014

One new fellow has joined the ranks of the Canadian Evaluation Society Fellowship.

Mrs Shelley Borys. Here is a transcript of her introduction and acceptance speech.

Introduction speech by Benoît Gauthier

Today marks an important celebration. We honour the accomplishments of my dear friend Shelley Borys.

Shelley has been active in the field of evaluation since 1987. Shelley left her mark wherever she went, in the world of the consultation, in the federal government, in academia and in the nonprofit universe.

Shelley worked for seven years within the CES structure as a board member and then president of the National Capital Chapter President, and as a member of National Council, Chair of Membership Services, and co-chair of the 1997 Conference.

Shelley actively participates in the work of the CES Credentialing Board since 2010 and is an assiduous advocate of the Credentialed Evaluator designation within the federal public service. Shelley has participated in the preparation of numerous articles published mainly in the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation and documenting the practice of evaluation in Canada. She delivered countless presentations at annual CES conferences and elsewhere on best practices in evaluation. At all times, Shelley has actively promoted CES as a professional society representing the best interests of the discipline.

Shelley also supported the professional development of dozens of employees and students in the field of evaluation, either through her influence as a supervisor or as part of his university courses.

During the past 27 years, Shelley has acquired an unparalleled prestige in the profession with an astute intelligence, an unfailing commitment, hard work, striking charisma, the patience of an angel, an uncommon energy, and a full complement of endearing charm.

Shelley Borys possède tous les attributs requis d'un membre titulaire de la Société canadienne d'évaluation. Attribuer ce statut à Shelley n'est pas simplement reconnaître une évidence, c'est aussi un acquis extraordinaire pour le fellowship lui-même.

It is with great emotion that I present you Shelley Borys.

Acceptance speech

I am deeply honoured by this. It means so much to be recognized by my colleagues in evaluation, and to be welcomed into the fellowship by evaluators whom I greatly respect and admire. I cannot believe I'm in the same group as you!

I would like to thank the National Capital Chapter for nominating me, in particular, Simon Roy, for organizing my nomination and Benoît Gauthier, Natalie Kishchuk, Alexandra Dagger, Janice Remai, Linda Lee, Andy Rowe, Tim Aubry and Frank Graves for supporting my nomination.

Benoît, Natalie and Simon are owed special thanks. If it hadn't been for Natalie a gazillion years ago, I may never have ended up here. I wasn't sure what to do after grad school, so I just followed the footsteps of Natalie (as she was always so wise) which brought me to apply for evaluation work in Ottawa. And then Benoît offered me my first job in evaluation, despite what I recall as a less-than-impressive job interview (if you ever want to know the most ridiculous answer to an interview question, I will tell you later)! And over the years, with Simon, these three individuals have become my cornerstone for evaluation – pushing me to learn more through our learning circle and, through our ongoing research on evaluation, helping me fuel my curiosity about, and continue to make a contribution to, this profession I've landed in. I also feel very indebted to the tremendous colleagues and team members I've had the pleasure of working with – the evaluation teams at EKOS, Environment Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and now at the Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada have been composed of such talented and dedicated evaluators – every day of my career has been one where I've been stretched or challenged... in a good way!... or simply so very impressed by the work I see.

My colleagues on the variety of CES roles I've held have also been an inspiration to me – really smart people who work so hard to make the CES a strong organization that supports us all. But also, I have to say, people who are also just really great to spend time with! I can't recommend getting involved as a volunteer with CES highly enough!

I also have been blessed by supportive deputy ministers – senior managers who see the value in evaluation and who have encouraged the function to deliver to higher and higher standards. They have made me a better evaluator.

I'm very lucky to have my parents here today so I can publically offer them a thank you for serving as incredible examples for me to follow of the importance of volunteering, of pitching in to help make a difference.

It is a very exciting time to be in evaluation (although I think I have said that every year for the 25 years or so that I have been in evaluation). As a Society, we are making tremendous strides forward towards the professionalization of our field. The growing interest in and uptake of the Credentialed Evaluator is something to be particularly proud of. Each of us is an ambassador for evaluation – so I encourage you to consider obtaining the designation and of using every opportunity you have to help senior decision makers see the value in the work we do.

Nothing could make me prouder, however, than this incredible honour you've bestowed on me today. Thank you very much.