Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 40 – March 23, 2020

Advancement Leadership Team
Advancement Leadership Team: Steve Hornsby, Leigh Kalin, Scott Anderson, Karen Bertrand, Deanna Bennett, and Tom Hewitt

Gratitude in Uncertain Times

The following is a message from Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand.

I hardly know where to begin.

Let me first share a reflection on what it was like for me last Monday afternoon following the Principal’s announcement “encouraging staff, where possible, to work remotely.” Following initial steps to roll out the plan we had built for exactly this scenario, a lump formed in my throat. I walked around Summerhill and Old Meds to give a personal send-off to whomever was still on site — accompanied by a sense of sadness fostered by the uncertainty of when we would return to campus.

That sense of sadness was exacerbated because I was unable to give that personal send-off to all the staff who had already left for vacation. I missed everyone working in the faculties. And I missed everyone who had departed before I could make that walk.

What happened with this team after that March 16 announcement, however, was extraordinary. There is not enough space in this newsletter to talk about all the incredible things that YOU ALL did to make this difficult transition as smooth as possible, and begin to refocus on how we move forward. So I will just say one thing: Thank you.

The past two weeks have unfolded in ways that I could never have imagined. There is still a lump in my throat, but it is now because I have never been prouder of this team.

Steve Hornsby

By Steve Hornsby, Executive Director, Advancement Services

Our "New Normal"

I originally crafted this newsletter on March 12. How things have changed nearly two weeks later! I considered redrafting the piece, but it remains relevant as it contains important updates on programs of continued importance as we discover our new normal. Most importantly, it contains a note of sincere thanks.

What’s In the Way Might Just Be the Way

At the recent Advancement staff Meeting, members of the Advancement Leadership Team (ALT) team spoke to the priorities for 2020-21 that directly support the first year of our new strategic plan. Particularly unique to this process was the confirmation of an ALT “lead” and a “person responsible” for each objective. It was great to see the emergence of a few not-so-obvious matchups that transcend our traditional unit boundaries. As we strive for enhanced integration across our organization and across Queen’s for that matter, the necessity of cross-unit collaboration and partnership will be paramount as we dive deeper into the strategic plan.

Top of mind for me now is an ongoing project of this very nature. In a little over one month’s time, the Office of Advancement will roll out a revamped Gift Agreement Process. Co-led by Jodi Snowdon and myself, the successful implementation of the revised process will better align the university with contemporary practice in the sector and provide a more consistent mechanism for the creation and approval of gift agreements on campus.

While seemingly straightforward at the outset, the emerging complexity of the project challenged me in ways I was not expecting. Without a doubt, I let long-standing practices or “norms” cloud my thinking when they should have been challenged and potentially turned on their heads. Furthermore, it would have been beneficial to engage our campus partners at an earlier juncture as we received valuable insight and support, but somewhat later in the process. Finally, I think I could have better mapped out what the end state looked like with a more in-depth assessment of organizational alignment and resourcing needs. As you enter into your planning cycle and consider your unit’s contribution to the strategic plan, you might take to heart a few of these reflections.

This initiative has required the input and partnership of many across the campus including the Secretariat, University Council, Student Awards, deans and Financial Services. In addition, a number of you were involved spanning Development, faculty teams, Donor Relations, Gift Services, the VP’s office, Data Governance and Alumni Relations. I would have surely missed someone by name, but please know that all the many contributions along the way were greatly appreciated.

For special mention however, both Jodi and I must single out and extend our personal thanks to the tremendous work of Jeanna Faul, Michelle Lean, and Christa Walsh. Without their doggedness, insights, and embrace, this project simply could not have come this far. While this new process will ultimately put us in a better place, it will prove disruptive in the short term. With a collective role in guiding this new way of doing business, we appreciate your patience and continued insights as we embed this process successfully into our daily operations. Please stayed tuned for training dates, which should be set within the week.

icon of web browser with line graphIntroducing LiveAlumni

Over the course of the next year, the Office of Advancement will be piloting a new tool called LiveAlumni. This platform will allow us to link our alumni to public profiles on LinkedIn. Once the link is in place, staff will have the ability to query alumni’s latest employment information, organizational memberships, and volunteer roles. Advancement will also benefit from a broad update of employment information, into Advance, for all those alumni whose details are available via the tool.

This software is open to all Advancement employees and training dates will be shared in early April. Please contact Rachel Deir with any questions.

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancy below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and résumé) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Katelyn, Carla, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:


Manager, Special Projects

Smith Development & AR March 29, 2020 08

photo of 2 musical performers with audience watchingFun Fact


Pronounced kayleeceilidh is the Gaelic word for an informal gathering for music, dance, and storytelling. The Upper and Lower Ceilidhs are open spaces at the heart of the John Deutsch University Centre and are used for a variety of university and community activities.