Winner, Service to the Society Award, 2005

This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the work of the Canadian Evaluation Society. This contribution would normally be made over a period in excess of two years; however, individuals who have performed in exemplary fashion during a shorter period of time may receive the award. While work at a Chapter or local level will be considered in determining the award, the individual's contribution should be predominantly at a national level or produce national benefit. Contributions may take the form of service on the Canadian Evaluation Society Council or a committee of the Canadian Evaluation Society, publications, organizational development initiatives, management of programs or projects, or international representation relevant to the Canadian Evaluation Society.

Russ served as Yukon rep to Council for about 6 years, as Chair of the Finance and later of the Administration committees, and as Vice President of the Society. When he first took on chairing the Finance Committee, the Society was unable to make budget projections, there was no accountability or oversight of the major publications expenditures, and it was very difficult to generate a reliable consolidated set of financial accounts. Within a year Russ had tendered the contract for the journal, lowering costs by over half while also obtaining additional services; contracting with agreed deliverables, schedules and related performance criteria. Within the first six months Council saw a unified and internally consistent set of accounts for the Society and was able to embark on financial planning with improved financial accountability.

As Chair of the Administration Committee, Russ took on a number of internally important initiatives to establish an operating and decision making structure for Council, producing the initial policies and procedures for Council and committees. Prior to this Council would have been unable to describe a consistent decision making process and was vulnerable if challenged by members. As one of his final duties as Chair he identified succession planning as a major issue for both the Executive and Council and outlined options to address this problem.

Any review of the transformation in the way that Council does business over the past twelve years will easily reveal that much of the credit goes to the hard and strategic investments directed by Russ while chairing the finance and administrative committees. Subsequent chairs and executives have been able to proceed with confidence and build on the structures and processes that Russ put in place. Without his contributions CES would continued to have problems managing its finances and running National Council for many years.

As Vice President of CES, Russ was invaluable, bringing wisdom and clarity to the work of the Executive and Council. He resolved some of the succession issues facing Council with the early recruitment of Linda Lee as the (then unknowing) Presidential heir, invaluably and graciously assisting during the hectic planning days of the 1995 joint Vancouver conference with AEA, ensuring that protocols were followed with relations with other societies, awards, and with Chapters. This first joint meeting with AEA was exceedingly frictional and Russ was an invaluable resource during this period.

The period during which Russ was on Council was one of urgent clarification and articulation of how Council did business, and of rapid growth in the services to Chapters and members. The accomplishments that were put in place by Russ enabled this to occur with limited stress and uncertainty — and his vision of what was good for members and evaluation provided a valuable guide for the changes.

Russ' service to CES exemplifies what serves CES best - willing, gracious and high quality service without ego or personal ambition. The Society has been hugely enriched with his service, and it is appropriate and timely to recognize this with the CES Service award.

Nominated by:

Andy Rowe Past President CES
Linda Lee Past President CES
Joe Kopachevsky Past Council member CES and past CES Vice President