June 2009

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

Ms. Linda Lee

Chères collègues, mes amis,

C'est un grand honneur de recevoir cette distinction. Je tiens ça à coeur, parce que ça se fait à Ottawa — une place qui a beaucoup de mémoire pour moi.

I also hold this distinction to my heart for many reasons... particularly because of the recognition of my colleagues. Knowing the other Fellows, I am honoured to be in such illustrious company.

So thank you Bea Courtney for nominating me, the Manitoba chapter, and all those who provided letters of support. I was thrilled — and truly surprised — when Francois phoned. I thought he was calling because I had not yet done the work I had committed to do on the Diversity Initiative!

Looking over criteria for the award, there are really two pieces: service to CES and work in the evaluation field. Regarding the former, I am fortunate to have worked with (and partied with) and learned from so many people who were part of CES, some of whom are here today and others who are not. I particularly want to acknowledge those people with whom I served on National Council over the years. (I became President because Andy Rowe, interpreted "I will think about being President" as a "yes.") There are too many people to mention, but you know who you are and I want to say "thank you."

Regarding my work in evaluation, I was amazed when I was reading over the letters of support. Wow — people really understand what I believe in and what I have been trying to do in my work as an evaluator. Those letters were very special and I thank the colleagues and clients who took the time to write in support my nomination. I truly have been fortunate to have been able to work and learn from so many colleagues, clients, and people — young and old — in communities from Blavgoevgrad to Vilnius to Eriksdale to Old Crow.

Now, a special thanks to my colleagues at Proactive. Denise Belanger and Larry Bremner have been my critical friends and my support system. Whatever I have been able to accomplish for CES and in evaluation could not have been done without their support. Denise, who was also my co-chair of the 2007 CES Conference in Winnipeg, is someone who believes deeply in what she does and never backs down from a challenge. It is a privilege to call her my friend and colleague. Then there's Larry, my mentor, my biggest fan, my principal support, and my partner in work and Life. Larry, what can I say, the adventure continues!

In closing, I would like to thank CES for honouring me with this award. I encourage all of you in the audience to get actively involved with CES. The people you will work with and learn from become lifelong friends. Active members bring expertise and strengthen both CES and the profession of evaluation, which is why encouraging diversity in CES is so important.

Once again, thank you, merci beaucoup, megwetch.