Winner, Service to the Society Award, 2003


The National Service to the Society Award is usually presented in recognition of an individual's outstanding service to the Society. This year, however, it not only recognizes assistance to the Society, but a continued dedication and contribution to Evaluation - regionally, nationally and internationally.

This year's recipient, Linda Lee, has been a member of the Society for more than twenty years. Some say, that she had the foresight to join the Canadian Evaluation Society while she was just a sophomore in high school. Since then, she has been President, Vice President, Treasurer and a national conference organizer for the Manitoba Chapter. After coming to National Council in 1994, she served as Chair of two Committees, became President in 1996 and remained in Council as Past President until 2000. Although her term of very active service had ended and a long overdue rest was deserved, she became and continues to serve as Co- Chair of the new National Advocacy Committee. This, however, only speaks to Linda's length and terms of service. We not only recognize her for that service, but more importantly for her dedication, enthusiasm and continuing contribution to both the Society and Evaluation.

As we know, Linda has frequently contributed to the Journal of Program Evaluation and presented numerous papers at the national conference, as well as, participated in panel presentations and facilitated an infinite number of meetings. At the same time, she has demonstrated an enormous dedication to her Chapter. Because of that dedication, she has been a continuous advocate and strived to develop the state of Evaluation, especially in education, in her province, the West and Northern Canada. Her volunteer efforts go beyond that of evaluation to also include being Vice President of the Board of the Volunteer Centre of Winnipeg.

Both nationally and internationally, Linda Lee has worked tirelessly as an advocate for evaluation, especially in terms of participatory and empowerment evaluation with both adults and youth. Her work in the area of "student voice" and their involvement in research only typifies her contribution to evaluation. She has skillfully managed to "replace the fear of evaluation with appreciation and use". And now, she has taken her approach and advocacy of evaluation to her work with students, teachers and politicians in Eastern Europe.

Over the years, most of us have become familiar with Linda as a figure in National Council as Chair of both the Communications and later Member Services Committees, as President and Past-President. Her service award must also note her effort, sense of duty, and commitment. Her endless energy has always had an infectious effect and motivated others. In times of crisis, Linda has been described as the "unsinkable Molly Brown", "grace under pressure", "unnervingly patient" and possessing remarkable "people and diplomatic" skills. To her tribute, there are only a handful of Councillors who can honestly say that they at least once during their tenure on Council , had said "NO" to Linda Lee.

In both, Chapters and Council, Linda secured members "loyalty and trust". Combined with her many skills and enthusiasm, she ensured that Chapters, Council and the Society addressed and pursued both the smallest and the most national of priorities to completion.

This year, 2003 and in many to come, we salute and say thank you to Linda Lee for her service, dedication and contributions to Evaluation and the Society. We feel quite assured they will continue. Moreover, we especially recognize her with this year's award as a... Leader's Leader and most certainly as a President's President.

Bob Sedgeworth, Karyn Hicks, Shelley Borys, Nancy Porteous, Jean-René Bibeau, Larry Bremner, Joe Kopachevsky

Acceptance Speech

Chers collègues, mes amis,

Je suis très heureuse d'accepter le prix en reconnaissance de service à la Societé canadienne d'évaluation. I am not only happy, but also honoured. I know many of the past recipients and I am aware of the quality of their contribution. I am delighted to be in their company. I would also like to take this opportunity thank all of you with whom I have worked, argued, and celebrated over the course of my involvement with CES. You have been wonderful colleagues. Finally, I would like to invite all of you to get involved with CES at the Chapter or the national level. I am sure you too will find it a rewarding and enriching experience. Thank you again for this award.