HRPAO moves annual general meeting

Webcasts allow members from afar to participate

Canada’s largest association of HR professionals is changing the date for its annual general meeting. The meeting, which had been held at its annual conference in February for the last few years, will now be held several months later in May.

“The conference has become so successful. This year we have 120 sessions and 250 exhibitors. Just trying to squeeze in the AGM was just impossible,” said Bill Greenhalgh, CEO of the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario (HRPAO). “When people go to the conference, we didn’t want them to have to be torn between going to the AGM or going to a session.”

Diane Mathieu, the membership director for the North Bay chapter, said members in the city — located about 350 kilometres north of Toronto — support moving the general meeting out of the conference.

“They try and fit it in at the annual conference and there’s so much going on, it’s really difficult to actually attend it,” said Mathieu. “We actually felt that it was probably a good idea.”

However, holding the general meeting and the conference at the same time meant that members from chapters all over the province only had to travel to Toronto once. Separating the two events has some members worried they won’t be able to participate in the meeting.

“We do share a concern in our chapter because we’re not in the Toronto area,” said Pennie Carr-Harris, president of the HRPAO Kingston chapter, which has more than 160 members. “Given that lots of our folks go into Toronto for the annual general meeting, it seemed most appropriate to align it with the conference dates.”

However, Greenhalgh said several chapters had asked to have the annual general meeting in different parts of the province, and separating the general meeting from the conference makes this possible.

The HRPAO also plans to webcast the meeting so members across the province can participate without having to travel.

Holding the meeting later in the year will also give the executive the chance to finalize and present the association’s financial results to members at the meeting, said Greenhalgh.

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