MISA Ontario - President's Message

President's Message

President's Message

To say it is an honour to be your MISA Ontario President for the next two years is an understatement.  I have been part of MISA as a municipal member for over 20 years.  I attended my first MISA Ontario conference in 2006, and from the start I knew this was an organization filled with wonderful people I wanted to be a part of.  For the past ten years I have been actively involved with our Board of Directors and several special interest groups.  To see the growth of our association has been wonderful to see.

I have learned so much from my municipal peers and our partners. The connections I have made and fantastic opportunities I have leveraged through this association have been invaluable.   I want to thank all the current and former board members I have served with.  You have all taught me so much.  I am indebted to our past president Christine Swenor, who did amazing work with this association, and was instrumental in my transition to this role.  I also want to thank you, the members, for trusting me with this great responsibility.  

It’s because of your support that we have been able to accomplish as much as we have.   I would like to take a moment to share these accomplishments with you, and what is in store leading into 2018.

Almost two years after the launch of the 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, the MISA Ontario Board branded 2017 as the “Year of the Build” in support of the plan.

We continue to focus on developing three primary areas:

  1. Networking and Communities
  2. Events and Professional Development
  3. Shared Knowledge – Resources + Toolkits

Networking and Communities

New Full-Time MISA Ontario Team

The board recognized that the association was at a point where full-time staff would be required to support ongoing MISA Ontario initiatives. In 2016, MISA Ontario hired three full-time staff to meet these demands.   Anne Babej was brought on as the new Executive Director to help with the overall and administration of the organization strategy.  Toni McLean was hired under the new role Manager, Sponsorship & Events to support future conferences.  Jacqueline O’Hara was hired under the new role of Community Manager to assist with membership inquiries and foster a community of collaboration among members. 

There are still lots of opportunities for volunteers to contribute to our committees.  If you are interested in participating, please contact MISA Ontario's Community Manager,  Jacqueline O’Hara for more information. 


Website Redesign Launch

Some of you may have already seen our new website design which is has come along way from its original design.   MISA/ASIM Canada officially launched the revamped website at the MISA Ontario Annual Conference held in Windsor Ontario.  The goal was to provide a collaborative space under one MISA brand. 

Main improvements of the new redesign include:

Most popular information easily available to members and visitors

Responsive on mobile devices

Clean and straightforward design for better engagement

Updated navigation to reflect MISA’s current state

Browsealoud toolbar added which provides reading support on websites

All chapters are under one brand with their own unique content that caters to their members

The success of this launch would not have happened without the support of all MISA Chapters.  I hope you love the new look as much as I do.


Events and Professional Development

Our events are a fantastic place to connect and collaborate with your municipal peers.  If you have not attended one of our events before, I would strongly encourage you to take a look at your yearly events that you and your team can participate in.


2017 InfoSec Conference

This conference focuses on all aspects of Information Security targeted toward municipal IT professionals who are front line staff, managers and directors. Training sessions, Keynote speeches, presentations and trade show are just some of the exciting components that you can expect to see at this event. This year’s conference will be held at the Sheraton Toronto Airport & Conference Centre, October 23-25.


2017 Annual Conference and Trade Show

This year’s conference in the City of Windsor, was a huge success with over 95% of delegates who felt the conference either met, exceeded or greatly exceeded their expectations. The City of Hamilton will be the host city for the 2018 Annual Conference and Trade Show from June 3 – 6.  We will be reviewing your feedback from this year’s survey to help shape our conference program.

Those interested in sponsorship opportunities for either conference can contact MISA Ontario’s Events & Sponsorship Manager, Toni McLean.



This year we revised our webinar strategy to great results.  We listened to your feedback and focused on topics that mattered to you and your organization.  This resulted in several successful webinars this year.  Also new this year are past webinars being archived for members to view for free as part of their membership.  Webinars will be commencing again in Q3, keep a look out on our social media and future emails to let you know when you can register.


Shared Knowledge – Resources + Toolkits

InfoBase Launch

Collaboration is critical to the success of MISA Ontario.  Outside of our events, we want to be the central hub our members go to connect with each other to get the information that they need.   MISA Ontario partnered with our colleagues in New Zealand (ALGIM) to develop a directory that will allow municipalities to gain insight about technologies & services that are utilized by other municipalities and connect with each other directly.

We are thrilled to be able to provide municipalities this directory as part of their membership.  This is one of many initiatives to help members remove silos and be able to delve more into why municipalities utilize certain services and products and how it can help them with their own organizations.  This directory is rolling out to MISA Ontario municipal members first and then will be rolled out to the remaining municipal member chapters starting in the Fall.  I want to thank all the municipal primary contacts who actively participated in the build of this directory. This directory would not happen without their support and involvement.   We are also working a version of the directory catered to our Partner members in 2018.


SocialLink Launch

SocialLink launched at the end of June to improve engagement between members across chapters.  MISA Prairies, and MISA Atlantic are also part of SocialLink.  MISA BC will join in early 2018.

The benefits of SocialLink:

  • Allow you to connect with members with a clean and manageable interface
  • Allow you to participate in groups and forums with relevant content that you need sorted in your feed
  • Offer you better sign in options by being able to login with either your LinkedIn or Facebook in addition to standard MISA login
  • Give you the ability to leverage the power of real-time collaboration in one central community regardless of organizational size
  • Give you the ability to utilize the app on mobile devices

SocialLink addresses member feedback on the need to have a better way to connect with each other with a better interface.  I am thrilled to have members be able to further remove silos regardless of what municipality or organization they are associated with and be able to interact with each other directly.

I hope you are as excited as I am with the great foundation of work we have accomplished, moving towards the “Year of Engagement” in 2018. I am excited to see MISA Ontario continue to be an asset to help our members manage upcoming change.

Thank you for your ongoing support and I look forward to seeing many of you at an upcoming event.

Connie McCutcheon, President

MISA Ontario