For the second year in a row, our Vancouver Chapter has been recognized by ICF Global for our accomplishments!  The ICF Global Chapter Recognition Award for 2016, was presented to our current President, Smita Singh, at the recent ICF Global Leadership Forum in Krakow, Poland.


This award celebrates the hard work and accomplishments of our Chapter Board, volunteers and supporters in 2016.


In the minds of the ICF Global judges, two programs really stood out, CoachingWise and Coach Giving.


CoachingWise, the brainchild of Donna Howes, Board Director for this program, was launched in May of 2015.  With the support of our Chapter, Donna has grown and developed this initiative to the point where it is now being recognized globally within the coaching community.  ICF Vancouver has grown the number of designated CoachingWise organizations from seven to 14, and has been instrumental in helping to form and expand a growing Community of Practice, a unique community of organizations committed to building and sustaining a coaching culture.

From an ICF perspective, CoachingWise and the Community of Practice is a way to raise awareness of the value of coaching across business and not-for-profit organizations, and to embed coaching as an integral part of society by recognizing and celebrating best practice within CoachingWise organizations.


The second program highlighted by the ICF Global judges in presenting our award was our Coach Giving program.  The concept of the Coach Giving Leadership program was envisioned by former ICF Vancouver President, Karole Sutherland and a version of this initiative was initially supported by the Minerva Foundation.


The concept was to offer executive coaching to mid- and senior-level leaders in non-profit organizations who ordinarily may not have the resources nor the opportunities to seek coaching.


Pooja Khandelwal, the Board Director for Coach Giving, supported by a small group of dedicated volunteers comprising Linda Finkelstein, Tony Arimare, Louann McCurdy and Sean Wang, piloted Coach Giving in 2013 and then launched this one-of-a-kind program in 2014.  Since then, it has grown from helping a handful of organizations in 2013 to its current involvement with over a dozen non-profits, and with over 80 accredited ICF coaches participating.


Client focus is on non-profits that have a vision and support programs that provide positive social impact.  It also provides ICF accredited coaches with a tremendous opportunity to gain coaching experience and make a real difference in their community.


In 2016, our Chapter invested in a streamlined, web-based management system for Coach Giving, which now has the ability to track, manage and match the growing number of non-profits with the growing number of coaches, while containing administrative costs and ensuring the long-term viability of this program.


Like CoachingWise, Coach Giving is another home-grown initiative that has the potential to become an impactful mainstream program within the Global ICF community.


Although CoachingWise and Coach Giving were the focus of the presentation of our award at the ICF Global Leaders Forum, there were a number of other Vancouver Chapter initiatives and accomplishments in 2016 that also caught the eyes of the ICF Global Judges and were highlighted in their written comments.


The ICF Global Judges were struck by the great success of our 2016 PRISM event. We had almost 200 people attend this event at the Pan Pacific, and we had outstanding Prism and Coach Impact Award finalists.


As well, six new organizations received CoachingWise designations at Prism and again, as the ICF Judges commented, Coaching Wise is definitely becoming a pipeline for Prism candidates, with both the Prism Winner and Honourable Mention recognized with CoachingWise designations.


Former Director of Events, Charmaine Turner, was the driving force behind Prism, with exceptional support provided by Donna Howes.  Also key for Prism 2016 were the efforts made by Rochelle Davidson in Sponsorship and Smita Singh for organizing the MC and program schedule. Suzanne Ricard-Greenway also did a great job in organizing the award judges.


And we must not forget the many other Board members and volunteers that contributed to the success of Prism and that also supported our other Chapter initiatives and programs.  Our sponsors also provided exceptional support throughout the year.,


The ICF Judges were also impressed by our innovative Board Development initiatives, such as implementing a Board Coach. Lesley-Ann Marriott was a tremendous help in this role, keeping us focused, on track and as a result, much more effective.  As well, having seasoned ICF coaches for individual Board Members, was another program on which the judges commented. Our thanks to Lynn Harrison, Joni Mar, Steven Moyes and Laura Spiegel for volunteering their time and coaching expertise in this role.  I would also like to thank Janet Harvey and Sarah Smith for their valuable coach support for me as President over the 2016 year.  I am pleased to share that the Coaches for Board Members program is continuing and expanding in 2017 – kudos to Smita Singh and Ceyda Gultan for keeping this initiative going.


In our submission to ICF Global for this award, other Board work was also highlighted, and I would like to thank our 2016 Board Members for their hard work on these initiatives as well:


  • >Our new website, spearheaded by former Board Director Kristin Constable, which gives us a new platform to improve our communications and in the future, expand member resources and benefits
  • >Another successful HRMA roundtable program managed by Director Louise Cook
  • >Seven Chapter events and webinars organized by Director Helene Ilffe that attracted over 200 ICF members
  • >And implementing a new accounting system, supported by Director Suzanne Enderton


In short, this award celebrates the work of a dedicated Board and the wider support of the coaching community here in Vancouver. We can all be proud of the contributions that were made to our Chapter in receiving this award.


As current Past-President, I want to say thank-you again for the hard work and enthusiasm that you all contributed to our Chapter in 2016.  It was a great experience for me to work with such a dedicated group of volunteers and professionals.


And at this time, I must bid you all a fond farewell. I will be resigning from the Board this month, as my wife and I begin the exciting process of building our retirement home on Mayne Island.  I wish you continued success as you strive to support and encourage the development of professional coaching in our community.  I look forward to staying connected.


Yours in coaching,

Mike Jahraus, MBA, CEC, PCC

2016 ICF Vancouver Chapter Board Members from left to right: Rochelle Davidson, Helene Iliffe, Smita Singh, Mike Jahraus, Suzanne Enderton, Louise Cook, Charmaine Turner, Donna Howes (missing from photo: Kristin Constable, Pooja Khandelwal, Suzanne Ricard-Greenway) 

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