This is the seventh in a series of monthly blog posts representing perspectives on potential governance changes at PAN. These posts represent voices across the network – staff, board members, people living with HIV, and community members – sharing their thoughts on these changes. This month we hear again from J. Evin Jones, PAN’s Executive Director.
In 2013, as part of our last strategic planning process, PAN adopted the expanded mission “We lead an inspired, strong, and effective community-based response to HIV/AIDS, HCV, and related communicable diseases and conditions.” PAN’s 2013-2018 strategic plan was the culmination of a comprehensive consultation process with: member groups, stakeholders, and all people living with HIV (PLHIV) who had been involved with PAN or participated in PAN programs in the previous two years.
At that time, it was recognized that PAN’s bylaws – originally adopted in 2003 – would now need updating. The board of directors has been reviewing PAN’s current governance structures, and how to bring the bylaws in alignment with the mission. This included presentations to the membership by the Governance Committee at the 2016 and 2017 fall conferences.
The board has not taken this task lightly, and the work has intensified over the past year, what with the introduction of the new-ish BC Societies Act and with our current 5-year Strategic Plan coming to an end. The board has been extensively deliberating on the best way forward, working in parallel with and informed by ongoing consultation with the membership. Throughout this process the board Governance Committee has created multiple opportunities for feedback. PAN’s Members and Stakeholders Survey asked directly for member input and the data was used to inform the conversation. Community members have shared their views via monthly blogs. Informal discussions have repeatedly sprung up in community and in all regions, as the process has progressed.
And now, the board is ready to bring to the membership proposed changes to reflect the needs of our members and to ensure that our governance matches our mission. A set of proposed bylaws for discussion will soon be circulated later this summer and into early fall – which will then be presented and voted on by the membership at the October 30th AGM.
The bylaws being proposed honour the legacy of people living with HIV at PAN and across our network. The proposed changes also explicitly invite the voices of people with lived experience of hepatitis C. Additionally, we wish to include Indigenous leadership at the board level. There will continue to be dedicated representation of all geographic regions in BC – which is essential to PAN’s work as a truly provincial network – while at the same time allowing for greater flexibility in how board members are elected.
As Executive Director, what I find very energizing is a parallel commitment by the board and staff, to also look at how operationally, we can more meaningfully engage the voices of PLHIV through the PLDI and the annual fall meeting; and ways in which PAN’s work can also be informed by people with lived experience (PWLE). Everyone at PAN is committed to ensuring that we remain a responsive provincial voice and support to the many organizations and stakeholders invested in best outcomes for people living with HIV, hepatitis C and those most “at risk”.
- Please see the attached FAQ on the draft bylaws, that summarizes what is being proposed at this time by the PAN board of directors by way of governance changes.
- The draft set of proposed bylaws has been sent to a lawyer to ensure consistency/conformity with the requirements of the BC Societies Act.
- After we have received the ‘green light” from the lawyer, the actual bylaw document will be circulated for comment and sent to all PAN member organizations by end of summer.
- Members are invited to comment on the proposed changes, ask questions, and/or request to be contacted by a member of the PAN Governance Committee through this gateway that has been in operation since the start of the year: [email protected].
- We are excited to offer a virtual Town Hall meeting on September 12 from 12-1 PM where we welcome all members to meet with the board Governance Committee and provide their final thoughts – before we meet at the AGM in October. Register for Town Hall meeting.
Thank you to everyone that we have heard from since January, including those who completed the Members and Stakeholder Survey 😊! The proposed bylaws provide for more diversity of voices, better reflect the work being done by PAN members across the province and align our governance with our Mission.
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Jennifer (Evin) Jones, Executive Director, [email protected]