Garry Bezruki Honoured with Peter Bennett Award
October 2, 2013
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
Garry Bezruki, a founder of MISA/ASIM
Canada who is still working to nurture its national vision, has been honoured
with the Peter Bennett Award.
Bezruki received Canada’s highest municipal IT award
September 9 during the Municipal
CIO Summit in Whistler, BC. Delegates
gave him a prolonged standing ovation for his contributions to both MISA/ASIM
Canada and MISA Ontario.
Bezruki, from the City of Waterloo,
is treasurer of both organizations. He
is the only person, in fact, who has ever been treasurer of MISA/ASIM Canada, and
was an organizer of its formal launch in 2006.
His detailed financial reports, analyses and recommendations have formed
the core of MISA/ASIM Canada’s sustainability plan, which has now enabled
long-term national initiatives to be supported.
Bezruki has done much the same in Ontario,
noted Kathryn Bulko, president of MISA/ASIM Canada, in presenting the Peter Bennett Award to Bezruki at the Summit’s annual dinner at the
Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
"Garry has been a strategic leader for the Ontario municipal IT
community,” Bulko said. "During Garry’s
term as president of MISA Ontario in 2009-11, he initiated a process for the
development of a five-year strategic plan that has put the association on a
solid path of driving benefits to membership.
His plan continues to be implemented by the MISA Ontario Executive.”
Bezruki’s 28-year career at the City of Waterloo has illustrated
how information-technology expertise has become increasingly central to
municipal governance. In recent years he
has progressed from the position of director of information management and
technology services to his current position as director of strategic
initiatives and CIO. He is leading a
newly formed division within the City, reporting directly to the CAO, on
matters of strategic importance to the corporation.
Accepting his award, Bezruki recalled how
the late Peter Bennett, manager of information systems for the City of Winnipeg, had provided information to the City of Waterloo to help it
implement an enterprise GIS system.
"More importantly from my perspective is
being able to honour Peter by bringing to reality the vision that he had along
with Roy Wiseman, and that’s MISA/ASIM Canada,” Bezruki said.
The national association
created the Peter Bennett Award in 2005, shortly after Bennett’s sudden
death. He was the founding president of
MISA Prairies and a leader of the process that culminated in the signing of a
Memorandum of Understanding among representatives of five regional associations
in 2005. This led to the formal launch
of MISA/ASIM Canada in Ottawa
in June 2006.
Since then the Peter
Bennett Award trophy has been presented annually to an individual (or
individuals) who has made an outstanding contribution to the Canadian municipal
IT community and to the MISA/ASIM Canada mission and objectives, while
exemplifying Bennett’s spirit of demonstrated leadership and working
"beyond the call” with humour and humanity.
for the 2014 award, which will be presented in April at the MCIO Summit in
conjunction with the MISA Prairies annual conference, can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include "2014 Peter Bennett Award” in
the subject line of the e-mail.