Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 34 – Feb. 3, 2020

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

Supporting Digital

By Steve Hornsby, Executive Director, Advancement Services

Leigh Kalin

In last week’s newsletter, Scott referenced our most recent ALT meeting and touched upon a few of the topics we discussed that day. Another short but important agenda item was titled digital dreaming. The discussion played out as a quick idea sprint on our digital aspirations for the Office of Advancement and identified a number of interesting opportunities. 

As was apparent from our discussion, the word “digital” has potentially broad application as organizations wrestle with effectively evolving their digital strategies in this constantly changing space. While the Office of Advancement continues to define and refine a comprehensive digital strategy, I wanted to introduce and provide some thoughts on an upcoming project that supports this digital transformation.

As many of you will already know, Advancement has been engaged in an RFP process to choose new constituent engagement software. With the RFP process nearly completed, we expect to announce a successful vendor in approximately one month. The new software will support an initiative that will focus on implementing an integrated, online communications and engagement solution for email marketing and event management. In addition, the project aims to improve business processes and policies related to event management and email deployment. Ultimately, one measure of our success will be our ability to improve the digital experience for both internal and external stakeholders.

The Email and Event System Project represents an important step forward in our digital journey and we’re excited to get started. At the same time, it’s all a bit daunting. For one thing, a complex software installation of this nature forces us to review our established business processes and challenge the way we currently do things. The need for considerable vigilance is paramount as we plan, implement, launch, sustain, and continue to evolve this foundational piece of our digital future.

One of the more remarkable news stories in recent times involved disturbing details of the failed Phoenix pay system for federal employees. One article described it as an incomprehensible failure that will undoubtedly take years and considerable dollars to rectify. It is clear that a myriad of factors lead to the issues, including poor project planning and oversight, a lack of defining principles, inadequate training for end users, a management culture that discouraged the elevation of issues and honest discourse, and a lack of testing and piloting that lead to a failed and premature launch. Why do I mention Phoenix? It simply serves as humbling reminder of the complexity of these types of projects and the need for a thoughtful, collaborative, and transparent process regardless of scale.

I am pleased to introduce two groups of your colleagues that have been proactive in considering these very things. Led by our project co-chairs Rachel Deir and Julia Bryan, the Digital Communications Steering Committee and User Group will help guide our implementation efforts. The two teams began their work in the Summer of 2019 and have already put considerable thought into a number of topics with more to consider as the project ramps up. The following represent a few of the key topic areas the teams will tackle.

  • Define project deliverables, guiding principles, and milestones
  • Plan stakeholder socialization
  • Define key success criteria for our external stakeholders and staff users
  • Establish a culture of trust and collaboration among project teams
  • Establishing new procedures to improve processes
  • Develop a comprehensive end-to-end testing program
  • Developing training, support, and sustainment programs
  • Establish and communicate project milestones and phases 

I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts thus far in setting the stage for this exciting and foundational project for Advancement. I expect that within the next couple of months, your colleagues in Communications, Marketing, Events, and Donor Relations and Advancement Services will heavily immerse in what will be our primary strategic focus for the better part of the next year and beyond. On behalf of the co-chairs, the Steering Committee and the User Group, we look forward to providing a more detailed outlook on milestones and regular communications on our collective progress as things begin to take further shape. This project will require the collective efforts of all of us and we look forward to your contributions and insights.

Steering Committee:

  Member Role
1 Jessica Duggan Smith School of Business
Director, Alumni Engagement
2 Emily Edwards Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Associate Director, Development
3 Sarah Roth Faculty of Arts and Science,
Executive Director of Development
4 Matthew Shepherd Faculty of Law,
Director, Marketing and Communications
5 Jennifer Valberg Faculty of Health Sciences,
Director of Communications
6 Danielle van den Brink Office of Advancement,
Manager, Alumni Communications & Marketing
7 Judy Griffiths Office of Advancement
Associate Director, Advancement Events
8 Lisa Riley Office of Advancement
Director, Annual Giving
9 Liz Gorman Office of Advancement,
Director, Advancement Regional Strategy
10 Melanie McEwen Office of Advancement,
Manager, Alumni Services
11 Lesley Kelly Office of Advancement,
Associate Director, Finance

User Group:

  Member Role
1 Louise Atkinson Smith School of Business,
Development and Alumni Engagement Co-ordinator
2 Viki Andrevska Faculty of Law,
Development Co-ordinator
3 Samantha Chow Faculty of Law,
Alumni Events and Communications Co-ordinator
4 Jess Boland Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Stewardship and Annual Giving Officer
5 Kym Cook Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science ,
Faculty Co-ordinator
6 Nancy Hoogenraad Faculty of Health Sciences
Development Co-ordinator
7 Colleen McGuire Faculty of Arts and Science,
Stewardship Officer, Communications and Engagement
8 Danielle Gattinger Athletics & Recreation,
Development Co-ordinator
9 Chantal Valkenborg Office of Advancement
Events Officer, Advancement Events
10 Lenore Klein Office of Advancement,
Events, Marketing, and Communications Officer, Advancement Events
11 Erin Skippon Office of Advancement,
Events Assistant, Advancement Events
12 Kathryn Vilela Office of Advancement,
Alumni Officer, Volunteer Relations
13 Marnie Girard Office of Advancement,
Development Co-ordinator, Donor Relations
14 Talia Sproul Office of Advancement,
Administrative Assistant, Alumni Services
15 Jennifer Miller Office of Advancement,
Administrative Assistant, Annual Giving
16 Carey Morrison Office of Advancement,
Alumni Officer, Reunions
17 Michelle White Office of Advancement,
Financial Assistant
18 Ellen Babb Office of Advancement,
Assistant, Communications, Marketing, Events, and Donor Relations
19 Jon Bennett Office of Advancement,
Service Desk and Training Specialist, Information Technology Management

Supporting Mental Health

Advancement staff gathered for a photo to mark Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 29. The photo, which took place outside of Summerhill, marked the raising of a Bell Let’s Talk Day flag.

Thank you to Bill Leacy and the Health Sciences team and all who participated in this special event.  

A New Tool for Digital Assets

During our rounds of needs assessment for the new email and events system, users also shared their challenges with finding and organizing photos.

In the fall of 2019, we joined with University Relations, Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Law, and Smith School of Business to pursue a solution.

Earlier this year, we finalized the purchase of Canto, a cloud-based digital asset management solution.

We got access to this new system last week and will begin the process of migrating our existing assets into the system. We have planned for this to take roughly three months.

In the coming weeks, Advancement Communications and Marketing will be reaching out to individual teams to map and plan for the migration of their visual assets.

The new tool brings some new and very helpful functionality like facial recognition and AI smart tags.

In support of this project, University Relations has been developing Photo and Video Guidelines to help to reinforce and ensure a common understanding of best practices for planning, producing, and managing Queen’s assets, and for building and preserving a collection that serves the university’s digital communication needs into the future.

If you have any questions, please contact Julia Bryan.

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 resume) 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 Positions:

Relationship Manager, Alumni Engagement Smith Development & AR  Feb. 4, 2020 08
Development Officer, Annual and Leadership Giving Department of Development, Arts & Science Feb. 10, 2020 08

Coat of Arms

The translation of the Latin wording at the bottom of the Queen's crest, Sapienta Et Doctrina Stabilitas is:

"Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times."