NCF President's 2008 Message
To: the members of the National Capital FreeNet
We are living in an age of worry and economic uncertainty, but nonetheless this is an era where the keys to success lie with the ability to communicate, create new knowledge and discover new ideas. Everything we know about today's economy, global competitiveness, health and social well-being tells us that having access to modern telecommunications tools is among the most important and perhaps the key enabling service to ensure that everyone can participate.
Just as we did in September of 1992 when NCF was first incorporated as a not-for-profit company we continue to provide access to technology that otherwise might not be available. Both then and now, knowledge and affordability are still key elements, and what better way is there to deliver technology than to use a model whose strength is based on collaborative and cooperative ownership with members helping members. The tools look different than what our founders envisioned, nevertheless, we haven’t lost sight of the goal.
2008 can best be characterized I think, as a year of challenge, change and opportunity. We bid farewell to John Selwyn, who was our Executive Director from 2002 until last fall. John leaves a legacy of new services, improved systems and a steady growth in membership. It was John who oversaw the launch of DSL service and John who saw us through the move of our offices from Carleton to the Trailhead Building. Our new Executive Director, Rowland Few has proven already that he has the right stuff to keep us on course. Within weeks of his arrival, he had to cope with ways to get staff and volunteers in to the office in face of Ottawa’s transit strike and all the while keeping our service humming along as if it was easy. Since coming on board, Rowland has had the pleasure of reporting to the Board that our membership is continuing to grow to well over 9,000 members with more than 2,000 of these using the high-speed service.
Rowland’s report, together with a report from Alan McRae, our Treasurer will provide details on financial and operational issues, but I think I would be remiss for me if I did not congratulate our outgoing ED and his replacement for their fine stewardship of our operation. In these most challenging of times, we continue to flourish; we close the year showing nearly one million dollars in revenue and a healthy reserve with plans to upgrade key hardware.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the staff, the many volunteers and the thousands of people in Ottawa who make up the National Capital FreeNet Community, I want to say thank you for your commitment, your generous contributions and most of all, your ongoing participation in this great organization.