For the year of 2011
To: the members of the National Capital FreeNet
Another year has gone by and on behalf of the Board of Directors it's my pleasure to review and report on the activities of the National Capital FreeNet.
In my opinion, the most important event this year was our need to recruit a new Executive Director. When our former ED Rowland Few informed us with lots of lead time that he was not planning to renew his contract when it expired in September it kicked off a search that was not only careful but finally extremely successful. A Search Committee was struck by the Board in June. During the ensuing months, the Committee conducted a wide search using personal networks, word-of-mouth appeals, distribution among existing NCF members and through advertisements on many online job boards. The search resulted in our finding about 21 qualified individuals, which in turn lead to interviews of 2 candidates early in the process and then interviews of 5 additional short-listed candidates. The search was finally narrowed down to three excellent candidates who were reviewed again, and a decision reached to ask Ross Kouhi to join the National Capital FreeNet as its new Executive Director.
Ross offers tremendous strengths in all aspects of the position. He has solid experience managing a variety of complex situations many which involved Internet-rich solutions and developing business strategies. For the last 10 years or so, Ross has been an independent consultant, and before that he held a variety of positions at Alcatel-Lucent (Bell Labs), Nortel Networks, Ottawa Heart Institute, Bell Northern Research/Northern Telecom and was a founder of Personal Health Sciences Inc. In his second interview, Mr. Kouhi demonstrated not only that he has an intimate knowledge of the National Capital FreeNet, having been a member right back to the formation days, but has exciting and realistic ideas about how to move NCF forward.
Please join me in welcoming Mr. Kouhi. And please join me in thanking Rowland Few for his contribution to the organization and wishing him well in his continuing career in high technology.
Another significant accomplishment, this year is our very successful fund-raising drive. We went well over our $25,000 target and now can move forward on several fronts to improve our services. In the coming year, Ross has much work before him to modernize and strengthen our infrastructure and services, but the task for him is even more rewarding when he knows he has the support and confidence of members who every day demonstrate their commitment, but even more so during the fund-raising campaign.
We close out the year in a strong position, well poised to face the challenges coming in 2012. Again this year we have seen good solid growth in revenue with more than a 10% increase for the second year in a row. As the treasurer has reported we ended the year with a $27,475 surplus this year and that is an important achievement having ended the previous year with a comparable deficit.
I wish to thank all the people who contribute to our ongoing success. We have an incredible group of volunteers who donate their time and expertise to keep the organization running smoothly. Our staff too are dedicated and committed to the organization and I'd like to thank them also. The combined effort of members, staff and volunteers means a quality service delivered with strong human values. That sets us apart when compared to commercial Internet providers.
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 continuing commitment, your generous contributions and most of all, your ongoing participation in this great organization.