Donna SmithDonna Smith

The governance model on my Board is a strong representation of the model presented to us. Through efficient leadership and a strong positive relationship between the CEO, the staff and all Board members, it serves us well. Not to say perfection is 100%, as it is sometimes challenging to remove oneself from operations, but the occurrence is rare thus far in my brief tenure.

I have sat on numerous Boards over the years and found that the Model does not capture most organizations. A lot of these have been non profit Boards and often board education has helped, but must remember also in nonprofits the Board is sometimes performing a lot of the operational work.

At first read I was thinking the Diefenbaker Clinic had a pretty odd structure, and would like to know if there are any sought after skill sets or experiences that were looked for in Board members. But perhaps compassion is the first one? I’m not sure, and would be curious how members are recruited.


“I thoroughly enjoyed the Good Governance Matters course offered by Co-operatives First. The course provided a solid background on governance generally and specific examples of good governance practices in co-operatives. It is uncommon to find governance training specific to co-operatives so this was refreshing.”

Janet Taylor (Corporate Secretary)

Libro Credit Union

“The Good Governance Matters Course was a valuable course. I shared it with the [Arctic Co-operatives Limited] Senior Leadership Team. If it ever comes up again, I highly recommend others to take it.”

Mary Nirlungayuk (Corporate Secretary and Vice-President, Corporate Services)

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

“The online course, Good Governance Matters was very informative, easy to navigate and discussed issues relevant to our needs as a Board of Directors. This course is a great tool for boards to build their knowledge to become strong, strategic boards.”

Lori Sanders (President)

Sherwood Co-op

“This course has greatly increased my understanding of what good governance could/should look like and how each part (boards, management, members) plays a vital role in the co-operative’s success.”


“This course was highly enjoyable, and relevant to working in not only the co-op space, but with any group that needs to make decisions.”