District 99 Fall Conference at the Final Destination

Dr Jodi Abbott President and CEO - Norquest College

Immediate Past Toastmasters International President Jim Kokocki, DTM with Dr Jodi Abbott
President and CEO – Norquest College

Toastmasters from Central and Northern Alberta and Central and Northern Saskatchewan came together last weekend here in the Hamlet of Sherwood Park to celebrate some most notable accomplishments.

NorQuest College president, Jodi Abbott, was there to receive international recognition at the conference as well. “I am very honoured,” replied Dr. Abbott, responding to the news that she had been nominated and endorsed to receive the first ever District 99 Toastmasters Communication and Leadership Award for 2016.

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott is the President and CEO of NorQuest College, the Edmonton region’s community college. Since joining the college in 2010, Dr. Abbott has grown NorQuest’s credit and non-credit programming; unveiled innovative new partnerships like the Landmark Group Centre for Value Improvement, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute, and the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre; enhanced NorQuest’s brand recognition; and initiated the college’s biggest campus expansion project in over 40 years, the Singhmar Centre for Learning.

Dr. Abbott is the Chair of e-Campus Alberta and a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (Gold). In addition, she has a longstanding involvement with figure skating, including as an Olympic judge in 2010 and 2014. In 2011, Dr. Abbott was included in the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity’s list of Canada’s top 20 most influential women in sport. She is also a two-time recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her significant local, provincial, and national contributions in sport and post-secondary education. In 2015, she was named as a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Top 100 Most Powerful Women, receiving the Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award for women who are either the first in their field or have made a major impact on it. Most recently, Dr. Abbott was named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Alberta by Alberta Venture magazine.

The Award was presented by District Director Lorraine Wheatley and past International Director, Carol Blair.

“Our district wishes to recognize an outstanding person who epitomizes the core values of Toastmasters in effective communication and leadership,” said past International Director, Carol Blair, CEO of Blair and Associates Inc.

The Keynote Speaker for the convention was Jim Kokocki, Past International President of Toastmasters International. The entrepreneur and business consultant residing in Saint John, New Brunswick says, “Over the years, I’ve met many people who tell me that their Toastmasters membership enabled them to hone skills that were important to their success personally and professionally. I look forward to serving and leading the organization’s efforts to extend our reach and provide communication and leadership skills to even more people around the world.”