Karen Cooper is the new Chair of the Board of Directors for the Kemptville Campus. She was recently appointed by Mayor and Council to take over the helm of the Kemptville Campus and lead the organization forward.
Karen will be working with the new Board to set direction for the future of the Kemptville Campus and is equipped with the Masterplan, which was a two-year undertaking to set the course for the Kemptville Campus. The Masterplan is a huge undertaking that will require the development of a Strategic Plan by the Board of Directors. Currently the site hosts educational and multi-use facilities, with representations from four school boards (French and English), service groups, as well as government agencies serving the community and eastern Ontario.
Karen was handed the reins on March 18 by the Mayor and Council, and will replace the interim Chairs Mayor Nancy Peckford and Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman who have served on the interim board since 2018.
As the Chair, Karen will be tasked with establishing the Board of Directors, who will be working with her develop the plan for the Campus. A call for Board Members has gone out to fill the eight positions on the Board. The campus is seeking out individuals with extensive experience in business, service organizations, government, and philanthropy. Applicants will be screened based on criteria that include professional skills using a matrix that was developed in an earlier governance study. The deadline for applications is April 2 at 4 pm.
Karen says she is excited and challenged by this opportunity. As a 20-year resident of Kemptville, she experienced the campus site when it was operational and through its closure, and then along to the community acquisition. “I am excited about what it can become. It’s a completely new venture for North Grenville and the other partners.”
There is a lot of work to be done, and Karen calls it a “shoulder-to-wheel” challenge. The early work of the board will be focused heavily on developing governance policies and procedures. Most of this development will be supported by an earlier governance study that was commissioned, so much of the groundwork will be available.
Karen believes strong governance will lead to excellent outcomes. When she was the Chair of the Kemptville hospital board, the hospital received the highest accreditation possible in the province and she attributes that to the strong governance procedures that were in place to support the board and staff in their work.
As the new Chair, she brings a strong governance background to her role. Karen said her strengths include her very high regard for ethics, and a strong financial acumen. She believes in collaboration and though she has strong opinions, she is willing to hear other views to support collective decision making that will be based on consensus.
The Board will be hiring an Executive Director who will be dedicated specifically to work with the Board in developing the campus. Up until this point, the campus has relied heavily on Mayor, Council and municipal staff to support the campus efforts.
The vision for the campus is to establish an educational and multi-purpose community hub for Eastern Ontario based on three foundational principles, which include education and learning, health and wellness, and economic development. Karen expects that community consultation will be ongoing and the campus Board will be open to suggestions. The aim is to ensure the community is satisfied with development efforts.
The Board will operate at arms-length from Council and will be responsible for operations, with the Chair reporting to the Mayor and Council.
Currently the Kemptville Campus Educational and Community Centre is an educational and multi-use facility with over 500 students from four school boards (French and English), service groups, as well as government agencies serving the community and eastern Ontario.
For more information about the call for Board Members at Kemptville Campus visit: www.kemptvillecampus.ca