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Click on the buttons to download workshop materials for Member Education Forum Co-operative Management Conference

Thursday, June 7 - 9:00 am - 11:30 am

A1Listening to your members: the satisfaction surveyEngaging members

Co-ops of every kind are organized to provide services to members. But how do we know if we’re doing a good job? And how can we involve our members in a discussion around what we could do better? We’ll look at CHF Canada’s Member Satisfaction Survey from beginning to end. We’ll talk about gathering information from members, how to tackle the results and share information with your members afterward! Join us to learn how to be responsive and accountable to your members’ needs.

Workshop Leader:
Mary Beth Watt is Client Services Officer at Housing Alternatives Inc. in Saint John and a CHF Canada workshop leader.

A2 FULLBrilliant board meetingsBoard skills

If you have organized agendas, well-chaired meetings and good minutes, you shouldn’t need long or frequent board meetings – once per month unless there are arrears, evictions or special circumstances. We’ll review the essential elements of good board meetings like:

  • effective orientation for new board members
  • standard board calendars and planning
  • advanced distribution of meeting packages, and
  • useful management reports.

We’ll also discuss the roles and responsibilities of individual directors in ensuring a meeting’s success by acting ethically, sticking to the board’s governance role, and celebrating achievements. Join us in a discussion about how to make your monthly board meetings shine!

Workshop Leader:
Doug Sider is a workshop leader with the Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation.

A3Five star members meetingsMeetings

If you were asked to rate your meetings, what score would you give them? A well-prepared, well-run meeting leaves people feeling good and motivated to be involved in their co-op’s governance and community. We’ll discuss how to:

  • plan the agenda and prepare for each item
  • involve members in the meeting, and
  • share the work.

You’ll also have a chance to put your learning into action with an interactive mock meeting. Watch and learn and you’ll come away with practical ideas on how to hold a great meeting that keeps your members coming back for more!

Workshop Leader:
Blair Hamilton is Program Manager, Manitoba at CHF Canada.

A4 / P16Risk management: best practicesCo-op business

Risk management is becoming even more important for co-ops in order to reduce your co-op’s future insurance premiums. Many insurance claims can be prevented — we’ll show you some practical things you can do to keep your co-op safe, and tips that could help you save money in the future. We will also review the importance of following good loss prevention practices in your co-op.
This is a joint session.

Workshop Leader:
Ward Henderson is National Loss Control Manager for The Co-operators Insurance Group Ltd.

A5 FULLWhat is the board’s role in capital repairs?Assets

Do you have a roof replacement, new windows, siding, flooring or other major renovations in your future? With limited funds for capital repairs, as a board you need to ensure that you spend your dollars wisely, get the work done right, on time, and on budget. We’ll talk about the board’s role in:

  • hiring consultants
  • the bidding and award process, and
  • contract administration.

We’ll give you practical ways to get the most value from your capital budget and protect your most valuable asset – your homes.

Workshop Leader:
Jamie Eyers is Regional Manager, Nova Scotia with the Community Housing Management Network.

A6Budgeting for beginnersFinancial

Members care how the co-op’s money is spent and the operating budget is your annual financial plan. You can’t operate without one. If it’s done properly, getting members to approve the budget can be a positive experience that unifies the co-op and lays a solid foundation for the next year. You’ll learn:

  • about your co-op’s operating budget
  • how the budgeting process works, and
  • ideas for successfully getting the budget approved by your members.

Workshop Leader:
John Wilkinson is a co-op consultant, specializing in co-ops in difficulty and a CHF Canada workshop leader.

A7 / P15What’s next for affordable and co-op housing in Ontario?Laws and regulators

The past year brought a lot of changes to the affordable housing sector in Ontario. The Province released its Update to the Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, and passed the Promoting Affordable Housing Act. The federal government completed its consultations for a National Housing Strategy, and led a significant reinvestment in affordable housing in Budget 2016. These actions created new ways to provide and build affordable housing in Ontario, including portable housing benefits and inclusionary zoning, as well as new funding programs for retrofits in co-ops including SHIP, SHARP and SHEEP. Hear from this expert panel on what these new ideas and programs mean for co-ops, how your co-op can best prepare itself to respond to new programs when they are announced, and what may be coming next.
This is a joint session for Ontario co-ops only.

Simone Swail is Program Manager, Government Relations at CHF Canada (Ontario Region).


Andrew Balahura, Director, Housing Services, Social and Community Services, Halton Region
Carol Latimer, Director, Housing Policy Branch, Ontario Ministry of Housing
Doug Rollins, Director, Housing Stability Service, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, City of Toronto
Adam Sweedland, Manager, Social Housing, Housing Services Division, City of Hamilton

A8Co-ops working together!Planning

Have you ever wondered what impact size has on the operation of your co-op? Are there opportunities for your co-op to help itself and other co-ops by working together? We’ll look at examples of how housing co-operatives are finding ways to collaborate as businesses and communities, and discuss how your co-op can start working more closely with other housing co-ops.

Workshop Leader:
Karen Brodeur is Program Manager, Co-operative Services (Atlantic) at CHF Canada.

A9Diversity and inclusion in your co-op: beyond the multicultural potluckHealthy community

Would you like to address issues of diversity and inclusion, and increase awareness in your co-ops? You may have a lot of experience and want to share your successes, or have little experience and want to know more! In a supportive and welcoming environment that models principles of diversity and inclusion, we’ll talk about:

  • understanding the many facets of diversity and inclusion and how it applies to you and your co-op
  • how to make the case for diversity and inclusion with your members
  • troubleshooting resistance and barriers to full involvement by all co-op members, and
  • helpful ways to incorporate diversity and inclusion into your co-op.

Workshop Leader:
Nadia Bello is a diversity and organization development consultant in Toronto.

A10Human rights and the co-op’s duty to accommodateHealthy community

Is your co-op aware of its human rights obligations? Does your co-op understand what duty to accommodate actually means? Join us for an opportunity to hear from a co-op legal expert as we explore practical suggestions about how co-op boards can meet their duty to accommodate co-op members.

Workshop Leader:
Celia Chandler is a lawyer at Iler Campbell LLP in Toronto, and specializes in issues primarily geared to housing providers.

A11Communication: It's a two-way street!Communication

The word is in from experts: Communication is a two-way street and clear language gets the job done! We’ll explore writing bulletins, notices and reports, using language and design choices that send the messages that we want to send. Communication also needs to flow from the members to the co-op as well. We’ll also look at how to help members speak up at meetings and use survey tools to gather feedback — to make sure everybody is effectively heard on both sides!

Workshop Leader:
Moira Dunphy is Program Manager, Communications at CHF Canada (Ontario Region).

A12Building a member orientation toolkitEngaging members

Remember when you moved into your co-op? How did you feel? How did you learn about co-op living? For a new member, joining a housing co-op is usually a new experience. New members need key information to make good decisions and take part in the democratic and social life of the co-op. Are there different and better ways to get new members settled and engaged? Are there tools that can help? You will leave this workshop with sample materials to help you build a custom kit to welcome and orient your co-op’s new members.

Workshop Leader:
Judy Shaw is a co-op consultant and a CHF Canada workshop leader.

Thursday, June 7 - 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

B1Recruiting new board membersEngaging members

Does your co-op have a plan for when the current leaders retire from your co-op’s board? How does your co-op find new leaders in your community? It’s one thing to work hard to make sure the board you’re on is getting governance right, but what about the next board, and the ones after that? What can we do to make sure the directors we’ll need tomorrow are ready and willing to do the job? We’ll talk about how to put in place a solid recruitment plan, like an active nominations or elections committee that seeks out candidates, encourages new and younger members to get involved in the co-op, and offers training for interested members.

Workshop Leader:
Denise McGahan is Program Manager, Member Services (Southwestern Ontario) at CHF Canada.

B2What makes a good director?Board skills

Are you new to the board or considering running for election? Do you want to know what is expected of you when you are a director? In this introductory workshop, you’ll learn what goes into making a good director. We’ll cover:

  • why good directors are good members first
  • how you can contribute to the results your board needs
  • what all directors need to know about their basic legal duties, and
  • the qualities principled leaders possess to practise good governance.

Workshop Leader:
Angie Armstrong is a workshop leader with the Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation.

B3Energize your monthly board meetingsMeetings

Wrestling with the drudgery of board meetings? There are lots of routine things at board meetings – that’s how directors keep an eye on the results. But meeting after meeting, directors’ energy and enthusiasm can dip and even drop off completely. Come to this dynamic workshop and experience firsthand some ways to energize your board meetings and help keep them focused, productive and even fun!

Workshop Leader:
Mary Beth Watt is Client Services Officer at Housing Alternatives Inc. in Saint John and a CHF Canada workshop leader.

B4Marketing and vacanciesCo-op business

Vacant units mean income that you’ll never get back. In tough times, co-ops that market creatively are losing less money to vacancies than those who haven’t responded to the current rental market. We’ll discuss streamlining the application process and learn about creative ways to market your co-op for today and beyond! If your co-op is struggling with vacancy loss, this workshop is for you!

Workshop Leader:
Suzanne Wright is Senior Property Manager at the Zock Group and a CHF Canada workshop leader in Southwestern Ontario.

B5Introduction to refinancingAssets

Your board and co-op manager will have a lot of decisions to make even before your co-op applies to refinance. It’s a task not to be taken lightly and it’s your role as a board to ensure you make well-informed decisions. Join us in this introductory session, to learn the basics needed to navigate all the terminology and concepts related to mortgages, assets and refinancing – so as a board, you can better understand your financial commitments. We’ll also hear from representatives of CHF Canada’s Refinancing program to learn more about how this program could work for your co-op.

Workshop Leader:
Dave Howard is Program Manager, Refinancing at CHF Canada is Program Manager, Refinancing at CHF Canada
John Wilkinson is a co-op consultant, specializing in co-ops in difficulty and a CHF Canada workshop leader.


B6Ten things to look for in your co-op’s financial statementsFinancial

Have you ever looked at your financial statements and wondered what it all means? It can be difficult for co-op board members to get much out of the co-op’s financial statements. Most directors don’t have training in finance or accounting. And yet these statements are the most important indicators of your co-op’s financial health. We’ll help the non-expert co-op director get more from the financial statements without going back to school. We’ll learn about ten key things to watch for when reviewing your co-op’s finances.

Workshop Leader:
Judy Shaw is a co-op consultant and a CHF Canada workshop leader.

B7 / P25Laws that affect your Ontario co-opLaws and regulators

Is your co-op aware of its legal obligations? Are your directors and staff knowledgeable about their legislated responsibilities? Recent changes to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) highlight the need for housing co-operatives to keep up with legislation. Join us to discuss how recent and upcoming changes to AODA and OHSA affect how your co-op conducts business in Ontario and how these specific Acts relate to the Human Rights Code.

Workshop Leader:
Peter Gesiarz is Program Manager, Co-operative Services at CHF Canada (Ontario Region).

B8A planning session for your co-opPlanning

Co-ops that do regular planning are healthier financially and have happier members. Why? Because planning allows the board to identify priorities for the coming year and for years to come. It ensures that there are people in place and money to carry out those priorities, now and in the future. We’ll discuss balancing short-term and long-term planning needs and review the key elements of successful planning so you can go home and hold your own planning session.

Workshop Leader:
Tracy Geddes is a co-op manager and Golden Horseshoe Co-operative Housing Federation workshop leader.

B9Welcoming new CanadiansHealthy community

Every day hundreds of newcomers begin a new life in Canada. Some are refugees fleeing persecution, others come to join family, and others are seeking to make a better life for themselves. Their backgrounds and personal histories may be widely different and each one’s experience on arrival is unique. The communities across Canada into which they integrate differ too in their character and in the manner of their welcome of new members. Join in the discussion about how co-ops can work together with new Canadians to create beneficial links and lasting partnerships in our co-op communities.

Workshop Leader:
Dawn Richardson is Program Manager, Co-op Services at CHF Canada (Ontario Region).

B10 / P26Aging in place: capacity issues and substitute decision-makingHealthy community

We know that co-op communities provide excellent support for members to age in place. As our population ages, co-ops will increasingly find themselves housing members with diminished or diminishing mental capacity. What is the role of the co-op in these situations? To what extent must the co-op accommodate their needs? What are the privacy considerations? Who can make decisions for an incapable member? We’ll aim to tease out these questions and provide a practical approach for co-ops to work through capacity issues as they arise.
This is a joint session.

Workshop Leader:
Lauren Blumas is a lawyer at Iler Campbell LLP in Toronto.

B11Getting involved: engaging your member in green practicesSustainabililty

We all know about “thinking green” but being green is the key to ensuring an environmentally sustainable future for all of us. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get members excited and on board with green initiatives. Come and hear how Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) developed its Green Commitments program along with other tools to engage their residents in making simple greener lifestyle choices. You’ll come away with strategies and tips on how to engage members in green living.

Workshop Leader:
Natalia Snajdr is a Sustainability Facilitor at Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation in Ottawa.

Cathy Volans is Co-ordinator, Co-operative Services (Atlantic) at CHF Canada.

B12Urban regeneration: lessons for housing co-ops from Toronto and South AfricaInternational

With the end of operating agreements and limited remaining life span of buildings, many housing co-ops are considering redevelopment opportunities. This workshop will focus on what we can learn from experiences such as the Regent Park, the Lakeshore Hospital and Goodyear redevelopments in Toronto, and Rooftops Canada’s work on social housing and urban regeneration in South Africa.

Barry Pinsky is Executive Director of Rooftops.

Workshop Leader:
Mark Guslits is an architect, development consultant and former Chief Development Officer at Toronto Community Housing.

Thursday, June 7 - 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Monday, June 4 - 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

P1Property and building administrationIHM courses

This course is designed to provide insight into the functions of management in the income, breach of contract procedures, collection procedures, insurance and liability, management information systems, building start-up and take-over and marketing/advertising of units. administration of non-profit housing. Topics will include the Co-operative Corporations Act, rent geared-to-

This workshop begins on Monday morning and ends on Friday morning. When you register for this workshop, you will be registered for the entire session.

Workshop Leader:
James R Mellor is Director of Operations for Precision Property Management and Vice-President of IHM. He also serves on IHM’s Board of Directors and Education Committee and is a Distant Learning and Humber College Instructor.

P2Make the connection with your community!IHM courses

Each housing community has unique characteristics and qualities. This workshop will discuss ideas and strategies to help energize and motivate your community to care about what’s happening. Participants will learn how to:

  • create a community profile
  • identify common messages that will unite the community
  • develop the right incentives to create positive involvement and motivation
  • effectively manage those who may prefer limited community engagement.

This workshop begins on Monday, June 5 morning and continues all day on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. When you register for this workshop you will be registered for the entire session.

Workshop Leader:
Philip A. Eram is an accredited property manager with the Institute of Housing Management (IHM) and President of Precision Property Management Inc. As a volunteer, Phil sits on the Board of Directors and serves as the Chair of the Education Committee with IHM.