Winner, Award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada, 2008

Acceptance speech

I love the movies and last summer I found myself at the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. I got to walk across the big stage and stand where all the stars make their acceptance speeches. I never thought I would make one of my own!

The problem with being an independent consultant is that no one sees your body of work or how it develops over time because your projects are episodic. No one sees you build your process knowledge or your evaluation practice. Your clients accept you as the evaluator who walks through the door—not knowing that you are different from the evaluator who walked through someone else's door last year because of the experience you have gained. And no one knows of the innovations you have made, the lessons you have learned, unless you take the time to share them through workshops, presentations and conferences like this. A couple of years ago I stumbled on the well-kept secret of some of our most esteemed evaluators—that being a reflective practitioner and sharing your field-based knowledge brings its own rewards—rewards that you couldn't even imagine! I want to encourage all the independent consultants in this room to get involved in this, your evaluation community. You can make it stronger. Evaluation is getting more central to decision making all the time and we need you to share your practice experiences—the good, the bad—and the beautiful!

I want to thank Frankie Jordan and the CES National Council; Anita Myers, a long-time friend who valued my work enough to nominate me; my family for supporting all my evaluation endeavors; my staff; my colleagues; my clients; and most of all, my students, who continue to inspire me — merci a tous!