The biographies and position statements for the position of 2016 IEEE Treasurer are listed below. The sequence of candidates is alphabetical by last name and indicates no preference.
Rob is currently working for Itron Inc located in Liberty Lake, Washington. Itron is a world leader that provides meter equipment and information management solutions to electric, gas and water utilities. Rob is a Principal Consultant who performs engineering tasks as part of Itron’s North American Professional Services Group. In his role, he uses business process engineering to develop technical solutions and management processes for the implementation of single systems or enterprise wide solutions using Itron’s metering hardware and software products. Outside of work, Rob actively supports his profession. He has spoken to first year engineering students at the University of Calgary regarding careers in engineering and participated as a judge for student projects/paper competitions on a regular basis. In May 2004, Rob received the IEEE Western Canada Council Ted Glass Merit Award for “Outstanding contribution, dedication and leadership to the Southern Alberta Section, Western Canada Council and IEEE Canada.”
Activities | Committees/Boards:
Past MGA Treasurer 2012, MGA Treasurer 2010 - 2011, RAB MDC (Membership Development Committee) 2000-2003, RAB Finance Committee, Member 2004
Activities | Regions:
2004-2009 IEEE Canada (Region 7) Treasurer, 2007 Judge at IEEE Canada TELUS Innovation Competition, 2004 Judge IEEE Canada Web Page Competition, 2000-2003 Membership Development Chair, 2002 Region 7 Sections Congress Coordinator, 2001 Chair Electronic Services Review Committee, 1997 Member IEEE Canada Audit Committee
Activities | Sections/Chapters:
1997-2000 Southern Alberta Section Chair, 1995-1996 Southern Alberta Section Vice-Chair
Activities | Student Branches:
1987 University of Saskatchewan Student Branch Treasurer
Activities | Societies:
1994–1995 PES/IAS Chapter Chair, 1992-1993 PES/IAS Chapter Vice-Chair
Activities | Conferences:
2010 General Chair Canadian Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering, 2008 & 2005 Speaker for Sections Congress on Financial Management, 2002 Speaker for Sections Congress on Section Management, 1999 Wescanex Organizing Committee, 1997 Petroleum & Chemical Industry Conference Organizing Committee, 1996 Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering Facilities Coordinator, 1993 Chair Alberta Power Quality Conference, 1993-1996 Organizing Committee Alberta Power Quality Conference.
Activities | Other:
Member Power Engineering SocietyMember of IEEE Canada Foundation (ICF) Board
In addition, I have carried out the following activities for IEEE Canada: 1. One of three Auditors to perform the 1993 IEEE Canada peer Audit of finances and operations. 2. Reinstated the peer-Audit committee after a 12-year hiatus to review record keeping processes and principles. 3. Started an Investment Policy Committee, one goal of which is to ensure the Region’s operating reserve policy is sound and current. 4. Led a value-for-money audit on IEEE Canada Electronic Services which eliminated duplicated services from IEEE Headquarters and reduced operational costs to IEEE Canada. 5. Started an IEEE Canada Treasurer’s Handbook which contains the Region’s financial operational policies. 6. Was successful at getting MGA Board to agree to the Geo Units participating in Reserve Sharing for Pension and Spending Rule. 7. Moved ahead the L-50 Automation with Net Suite for the Geo-Units within MGA.
Much of electric utility work career I was responsible for the development and management of department budgets. As a project manager, I have extensive experience with tools for tracking and monitoring project finances. My experience working with not-for-profits started back in College with the Students Society, continued with various IEEE treasurer positions and our community Home Owners Association. Through these positions I acquired knowledge of accounting, financial policies and principles and tax preparation in US and Canada. As IEEE Canada’s Treasurer, I developed an expense policy, audit policy and investment policy. I used this principle and currency exchange to develop a successful financial model for Region 7. I also have made presentations at the last three Section Congresses on IEEE finances, IEEE Financial Policy and on sound financial management practices for Geo-units. Throughout my career I have been advanced into leadership positions with ever increasing managerial responsibilities. I am comfortable working with C level executives advising on financial decisions, so working with IEEE Board, IEEE staff, members and outside third parties will not be an issue. The very nature of my consulting work means I work with a new clients and project teams on annual basis, so collaboration is key to my success.
The position of IEEE Treasurer is to review, create and implement financial policy. To accomplish this task all entities at all levels of IEEE must be consulted, policy impacts all of IEEE. To ensure IEEE organizational units are adhering to these guidelines is through education and communication. IEEE needs to continue this coordination effort and to leverage it to enhance coordination efforts. I want to continue to foster collaboration from all involved in financial management (volunteers and staff), not just one individual’s ideas, but any ideas that are in the best interests of IEEE. To ensure that all Organization Units with IEEE are making the best possible fiscal decisions and utilizing funds effectively, IEEE needs to ensure the continued enhancement of the financial tools and reporting that Boards utilize for their day to day operations. Improved financial transparency will lead to operational simplification. This will allow Boards to polarize around financial issues that are impacting IEEE today and better prepare for future challenges. To maintain IEEE position as a world class publisher, distributor of technical information, developer standards, provider of training and conference organizer, IEEE need to incorporate into its financial model a plan for continuous benchmarking, continuous R&D; and capital investments. IEEE has been through some very tough economic times throughout its history. IEEE needs to continue to develop proactive short term monitoring and to continue to develop forward/longer looking financial policies that will allow IEEE to continue to maintain a solid financial foundation from which IEEE can deliver programs to members. I would encourage further development of the five year plan to ensure that we can address the ever growing list of projects created by external competition, IEEE members (mainly via Sections Congress recommendations) and other sources, and would even suggest a 10 year window might help better align strategic direction and goals with finances. Boards spend a lot of time looking at operations, need to get looking more forward. Forward looking budgets will lead to forward looking strategic planning. IEEE Senior Volunteers are the custodians of these funds and as custodians it is our responsibility to ensure IEEE will always be in a position to operate programs and services that maintain or enhance the value of being a member in IEEE. IEEE needs to continue to review its allocation formulas and develop a policy as to how often they should be reviewed. There are two major components to the allocations: fixed and variable costs. The variable component are allocations to entities, programs and special events. IEEE needs to be in a position to ensure it can always make its fixed costs. It is easier to make an addition allocation at the end of the year than to try claw back money once allocated. A solution might be to hold back part of the allocations until December each year. However, this financial model is difficult for all and not efficient. Policy development and change is evolutionary, improving with each step. Perhaps the traditional organization structure is not working financially.
Activities | Committees/Boards:
Activities | Student Branches:
Activities | Conferences:
Activities | Other:
As IEEE Treasurer for 2015, I have led the effort to provide some financial relief for OU's during this year and working with staff and other volunteers to contain corporate infrastructure expenses for 2016 and beyond. I have also begun the process of corporate budget review and evaluations (further details in my position statement).
As a member and now Chair of the IEEE Audit Committee, I led the expansion and definition of the role of Risk Management for the Audit Committee, and the role of Risk Management for the IEEE, and how that activity interfaces with the Board of Directors. I have also worked with IEEE Treasurer, John Barr, to sunset the IEEE Insurance Committee and transition many of its tasks into the operations of the Audit Committee.
I served as Treasurer of the Power Electronics Society (PELS) for seven years as its first and longest-serving society treasurer. I helped mature the financial operation of the society so that it became very successful in generating surplus funds every year while promoting and expending resources generously on new programs for its members. This tradition of PELS being a leader among societies within TAB continues based on the attitudes instilled by its officers from these early years. I am proud to be part of that tradition.
As President of the Power Electronics Society, I helped create the "Sister-Society" cooperation forums among the IAS, PES, PELS, and IES.
Served on the TAB/PSPB Products and Services Committee in 1997-98 and again in 2002-2003 helping to formulate the policies of moving the publication business of IEEE from a predominantly print format to electronic format (XPlore).
I led the creation of the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE) annual technical conference (inaugural meeting in 2009) working with both the Industry Applications and Power Electronics Societies. This established a new jointly sponsored conference in power electronics and electric machines that replaced two previous conferences, each sponsored separately and independently by the societies.
I created and manged a new IEEE workshop on Power Electronics and Electric Machines in Wind Applications (PEMWA) in 2009. This workshop has been viewed as important to the technical mission of the Power Electronics Society and has now been continued into its second offering during 2012. It is expected that this workshop will continue as a technical venue sponsored by the PELS.
I have served as IEEE Treasurer for 2015 (6 months to date). During this time I have led the efforts to contain infrastructure expenses and appropriate funding for large projects during the 2016 budget development. Through this position, I have also chaired the Finance Committee and successfully worked with the finance staff and OU Treasurers across the Institute.
I have previously served as a Society Treasurer for seven years. I helped mature the financial operation of the Society so that it became very successful in generating surplus funds every year while promoting and expending resources generously on new programs for its members. I have served on the TAB/PSPB Products and Services Committee in the late ninety's and again in 2002-2003, helping to formulate the policies of moving the publication business of IEEE from a predominantly print format to electronic format (Xplore). I have also had many financial roles for large and small conferences, and as such have a good understanding of the conference business and the associated finances and reporting required. All these experiences have educated me in the details of two of the important revenue streams for the Institute: conferences and IP generation transferred into products supported by Xplore. I believe that I am handicapped by not having served as the Treasurer of one of the OUs such as Products and Services, TAB, or MGA. This means that I have not attended Finance Committee Meetings prior to this year. However, John Barr, the current IEEE Treasurer, has invited me to attend the Finance Committee meetings for the rest of the year in my role as the current Audit Committee Chair. I expect to quickly learn the FinCom procedures and gain knowledge of current fiscal issues that I may not have access to through the Audit Committee activities.
As IEEE Treasurer for 2015, I have led the effort to provide some financial relief for OU's during this year and worked with staff and other volunteers to contain corporate infrastructure expenses for 2016 and beyond. I have also begun the process of corporate budget review and evaluations to move toward a basis of performance budgeting in the future.
Performance budgeting comprises three elements:
Measures of success should be a mix of monetary and non-monetary metrics and goals in future years and a path to get there. Our corporate activities and associated expense budgets to support them, should answer questions such as:
Within this kind of a planning and budgeting setup, the lack of reliable financial information on the effects of policy implementation emerges as a serious issue. Therefore, it is important to approach the planning and budgeting cycle in a holistic and integrated way, with collaboration across the areas of operation, creation and adherence to performance measures definition, and with policy/process evaluation.
These types of budgets use statements of missions, goals and objectives to explain why the money is being spent. It is a way to allocate resources to achieve specific objectives based on program goals and measured results. In this method, the entire planning and budgeting framework is result oriented. There are objectives and activities to achieve these objectives and these form the foundation of the overall evaluation for budget justification.
I have shared this philosophy with the Finance Committee and gained support and alignment with the CFO.