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Posts Tagged ‘KnowledgeConnector’


What Defines Leadership?

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

Leadership development is an ongoing process. It is a process that takes initiative, dedication and sincerity. KnowledgeConnector understands that and is here to work with you to reach your leadership goals on an ongoing basis.

But what exactly is leadership? What is leadership development? Who is an example of a leader? Are you a leader? Am I a leader?

Last week I hosted a Learning Provider Forum in Hanna to get some feedback on how we can better serve our clients. We discussed what leadership is, who leaders are and what leadership development is. One big ah-ha moment we all had centered around the definition of a leader. I think many people find that word intimidating. We wonder, as volunteers, employees and contributors to our community, if we might deserve such a prestigious title.

The Webster Dictionary defines the word leader as: the quality of character and personality giving a person the ability to gain the confidence of and lead others. Here at KnowledgeConnector we see leaders as people. People who volunteer, work and commit to creating positive changes in their communities. They are mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, grandparents and great grandparents. YOU are a leader. WE are leaders.

So now that we know we are leaders we need to move forward and enhance the skills we already have and maybe develop some new ones.

Let’s start becoming better leaders starting now. Book a leadership assessment workshop with me or take the online A.S.K. Leadership Assessment. Then take advantage of the excellent learning opportunities available here.

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Provost Adult Learning Takes The Lead With Online Education

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

The progressive Town of Provost, located just shy of the East side of the Saskatchewan border on Highway 14, has a population of approximately 2078 residents in  town and approximately 2635 in the surrounding municipal district.

Although it is a smaller sized community, Provost does not approach education with a small perspective. In fact, as alluded to, they are very progressive. This is evident if you simply check out The Provost Adult Learning Centre website.

The center offers a wide range of highly interactive courses that you can take entirely over the internet through their online course provider, Ed2Go. Their courses include expert instructors, including nationally known authors.

In case you have never hear of Ed2go (I had not), it is a global Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute (PMI). Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s) offer programs and courses that are pre-approved for professional development units through PMI and have been reviewed by a project management professional (PMP) to ensure that they meet PMI’s expectations for professional development in project management. All of this can be found online here.

But let’s get back to why they are highlighted on the KnowledgeConnector blog. If you are reading this blog you are likely wanting to enhance your leadership skills, so check out on of the following exciting leadership development courses they offer. Remember, because many of them are offered online you don’t even need to live by Provost to reap the benefits!

For more information check out their website or give me a shout!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Strathcona County Creating Strong Leaders

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

The Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County take their learning seriously. They also take the promotion of the leadership development opportunities seriously. We know that because they are a registered learning provider of leadership development right here on

I had the opportunity to attend the bi-monthly Strathcona County Interagency meeting yesterday and was impressed at what a great sense of community there is in Strathcona County. Of course there was a very wide range of organizations represented there-from faith-based charities to Victim’s Services to the Information and Volunteer Centre.

The diversity of the group along with the appreciation that community members demonstrate on an ongoing basis speaks volumes of how important relationship building is in creating strong communities. And of course the Information and Volunteer Centre knows this and this is why they are offering courses on Essential Conversation and Communication Skills from January 20 – February 17. This 5-week workshop is, of course, specifically for nonprofit/voluntary sector and it will help you gain confidence and first class training towards your communication skills.

Another great course that is coming up is called The W’s of Accountability which help you address the Governance, Management & Governance competencies. Here you will learn from the experts on accountability for charities. This workshop is for Board Directors or Senior Managers in a small or medium-sized charity and will explore accountability issues of registered charities to stakeholders. It will emphasize both federal and provincial legal accountability.

Register online at IVC or call 780.464.4242 or email for more information.

If you would like to have your leadership development opportunities highlighted register today! If you are a registered learning provider and would like to learn how to expand your reach even more join us for one of our upcoming Learning Provider Forums. To find out more contact me!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Collaboration Makes Lifelong Learning Possible

Posted by: in Central East, Uncategorized

If you visit the Town of Wainwright’s website you will read how it is a strong, vibrant community located in East Central Alberta near the beautiful Battle River valley and is the major service center for the region. You will discover how it is a progressive community of 5775 (plus 650 at CFB Wainwright) with a historically stable economy and steady growth.

If you think of some of the non-profit/voluntary sector groups that are in and around Wainwright you would very likely be surprised at what great capacity they have. The reason they have such great capacity is because of the awesome partnerships that have been developed in order to offer great leadership development opportunities.

Take the learning council in Wainwright. The Wainwright & District Council for Adult Lifelong Learning provides terrific services for the region and of course, they offer great educational learning opportunities that help create and sustain strong leaders. Some of the courses offered help to build presentation skills, writing skills and of course board development. But they have only been made possible due to collaborative partnerships.

For example, the board development learning opportunity is a comprehensive 10 hour class led by the infamous Barb Pedersen from Barb Pedersen Facilitation Services Inc. Barb is well-known for her energy, enthusiasm and ability to plan and facilitate in the most effective of ways. In fact, my colleagues and I who work with KnowledgeConnector, all learned some of the best facilitation techniques workshops directly from her.

Great opportunities like this don’t happen by chance though. They take planning, research and most importantly, collaboration. Collaboration and partnerships stem directly from the leadership competency Relationship Building in KnowledgeConnector’s A.S.K. Framework.

What does all of this tell me? Simply that leadership skills, such as collaboration, are important in creating vibrant, sustainable communities. It also tells me that leadership skills are important in creating leadership development opportunities to create the strong leaders that create vibrant communities.

So, if you have strong leadership skills and offer learning opportunities that build stronger leaders make sure you collaborate to pay it forward! Register as a learning provider here on KnowlegeConnector and/or make sure to collaborate with your networks of leaders to help them create stronger leaders in your community.

If you have questions about registering as a learning provider or would like to learn more about the organization’s and learning opportunities mentioned above give me a shout!

Victoria Poschadel | 780.945.6134 |

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Christmas Trivia, A Learning Moment…

Posted by: in North West, Uncategorized

As the Christmas holiday quickly approaches (9 days if you are counting) we catch ourselves rushing around to find that perfect gift, wrapping presents and making the traditional christmas baking treats (butter tarts are my favorite this time of year along with steamed plum pudding with caramel sauce). We often get wrapped up in the “getting ready” stage that we forget to take the time to really understand the true meaning of Christmas and the traditions we follow.  So from my house to yours – “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”. Enjoy!

The word Christmas comes from the old English “Cristes maesse” meaning Christ’s Mass. The Holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. The actual birthday of Jesus is not known; therefore, the early Church Fathers in the 4th century fixed the day around the old Roman Saturnalia festival (17 – 21 December), a traditional pagan festivity. The first mention of the birthday of Jesus is from the year 354 AD. Gradually all Christian churches, except Armenians who celebrate Christmas on January 6 (the date of the baptism of Jesus as well as the day of the three Magi), accepted the date of December 25th.

Christmas Day itself is the day for opening gifts brought by jolly old St. Nick. Many of our current ideals about the way Christmas ought to be derive from the English Victorian Christmas, such as that described in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

The caroling, the gifts, the feast, and the wishing of good cheer to all – these ingredients came together to create that special Christmas atmosphere.

The custom of gift-giving on Christmas goes back to Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Kalends. The very first gifts were simple items such as twigs from a sacred grove as good luck emblems. Soon that escalated to food, small items of jewelry, candles, and statues of gods. To the early Church, gift-giving at this time was a pagan holdover and therefore severely frowned upon. However, people would not part with it, and some justification was found in the original gift giving of the Magi, and from figures such as St. Nicholas. By the Middle-ages gift giving was accepted. Before then it was more common to exchange gifts on New Year’s Day or Twelfth Night.

Santa Claus is known by British children as Father Christmas. Father Christmas, these days, is quite similar to Santa, but his direct ancestor is a certain pagan spirit who regularly appeared in medieval mummer’s plays. The old-fashioned Father Christmas was depicted wearing long robes with sprigs of holly in his long white hair. Children write letters to Father Christmas detailing their requests, but instead of dropping them in the mailbox, the letters are tossed into the fireplace. The draft carries the letters up the chimney, and theoretically, Father Christmas reads the smoke. Gifts are opened Christmas afternoon.

From the English we get a story to explain the custom of hanging stockings from the mantelpiece. Father Christmas once dropped some gold coins while coming down the chimney. The coins would have fallen through the ash grate and been lost if they hadn’t landed in a stocking that had been hung out to dry. Since that time children have continued to hang out stockings in hopes of finding them filled with gifts.

The custom of singing carols at Christmas is also of English origin. During the Middle-ages, groups of serenaders called waits would travel around from house to house singing ancient carols and spreading the holiday spirit. The word carol means “song of you.” Most of the popular old carols we sing today were written in the nineteenth century.

The hanging of greens, such as holly and ivy, is a British winter tradition with origins far before the Christian era. Greenery was probably used to lift sagging winter spirits and remind the people that Spring was not far away. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe is descended from ancient Druid rites. The decorating of Christmas trees, though primarily a German custom, has been widely popular in England since 1841 when Prince Albert had a Christmas tree set up in Windsor Castle for his wife Queen Victoria, and their children.

 Yvonne Rempel | 780.827-1464 |

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Wow what a week…

Posted by: in North West


Wow what a week; once again I have put on over 1200 km to my car this week travelling the North West region of Alberta spreading the word on KnowledgeConnector. I just got home from my final KnowledgeConnector “Launch” presentation in celebration of the big event this past Monday. If you just joined us, let me catch you up to speed…

First, on September 19th, Volunteer Alberta official Launched, and what an event that was. We had 7 host sites throughout Alberta (including Edmonton and Calgary) that was broadcasted through iCCAN. I would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to the staff at the Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau (GPVSB) for co-hosting the event with me. You ladies “rock”.

We had over 100 individuals in attendance at our various “launch” sites throughout Alberta. Everyone had the opportunity to be welcomed by our “fearless leader”, Karen Lynch, executive director of Volunteer Alberta, where she shared her words of wisdom and enthusiasm fo this project. Following her,  we had the opportunity to view the new website (with all the new bells and whistles) under the guidance of our trusty KnowledgeConnector Project  Manager, Toby Rabinovitz. Following that, we had the privilege of listening to Jann Beeston, chairperson of Rural Alberta Development Fund Board (RADF) share her insight and knowledge of what it means to be a leader in the nonprofit/volunteer sector.

The new website allows learners throughout rural Alberta to link to various learning and training opportunities with just a click of a mouse. In addition, learners are able to go online and fill out their own ASK (attitudes, skills & knowledge) Assessment Tool which helps you identify your leadership strengths and gap areas by providing a printable “report card”. This report card will automatically link you to various listed learning opportunities listed on the website.

Not only is the new website “learner friendly” but we have included a section for learning providers as well. Individual learning providers (which we like to call LP’s) can go online and register their organization/agency and post their own learning opportunities. As well each LP is provided with their own login in and password which inables them to go in and edit anytime.

Now “go forth my people…” (sorry Toby just could not resist it seemed fitting) and enjoy the experience. We want your feedback on the website with “all the bells and whistles” it provides. Enjoy learning….

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Heading Towards the Launch….

Posted by: in North West

Putting the puzzle pieces of KnowledgeConnector together is no easy task, but that is our mission as Regional Capacity Coordinators. My piece of the puzzle is  working within the NW region of Alberta.

Tomorrow is the start of  the northern trek of  5 day North West  Regional journey, where I will be visiting a variety of communities along the way and putting major miles on my little car. With all the driving I am doing lately, I have grown quite attached to my little Honda civic (I named my car Betty). We have quite the conversations (a little one-sided mind you). I do my best thinking while driving in solitude while singing to 80’s music.  Then there are those  moments of clarity when everything makes sense, and then there are those times “Betty” allows me to vent and rant. That being said, all with the mission in mind of building community capacity to allow KnowledgeConnector to move forward to “launch day” which is coming very soon…!

So the pieces of the puzzle are coming together: we are making connections with our communities, doing presentations, collecting data, identifying learning opportunities, and identifying learning providers linking all this back to

Here is where you can get involved.

KnowledgeConnector is looking for human interest piece(s) that involve you and our project, to be included in launch (Coming September 19th, 2011) material and other communications materials. Would you like free exposure of your organization ?

o   If so, then can you share how KnowledgeConnector has/will benefit you and your organization?

o   What makes KnowledgeConnector different from other programs you have come across?

o   How has KnowledgeConnector motivated you to be a stronger leader?

I would love to hear from you, email your feedback or you have a question or require further information.


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Enhancing Volunteerism by Creating Awarenss of Local Learning Opportunities

Posted by: in Central East, Global News

Only four months into the job, Natasha Albanese, Volunteer Development Coordinator for the City of Leduc, already has a good handle on the volunteer culture in Leduc. She has had the opportunity to get a great feel for the sense of volunteerism and community connectedness. She also realizes though, that the community is complex, fluid and dynamic. As a result she knows that although she has done a great deal of learning there will always be more learning to come!

Providing support for the variety of volunteer organizations within any community can be quite the challenge.  Take Leduc for example, they have 68 charitable organizations alone! So how can a one person department support all of these organizations?

One of the largest difficulties is communicating all of the great programs that exist to all leaders. We have all heard of the marketing statistic that an individual needs to view an ad 7 times before they become familiar with it.

Unfortunately, many volunteer departments don’t have a marketing department.

Fortunately, Volunteer Alberta developed a one-stop shop where learners and learning providers can be matched!

This is your chance to benefit Volunteer Departments in Central East Alberta by sharing learning opportunities in your area on This is a chance to connect you and all other leaders in Alberta with quality learning opportunities to create a strong sustainable province.

For more information about volunteer programming in Leduc, contact Natasha Albanese, Volunteer Development Coordinator at 780.980.7177. For more information on how you can utilize KnowledgeConnector contact me, your Regional Capacity Coordinator at 780.945.6134.

I look forward to chatting with you!

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The Face of Leadership in Rural Alberta

Posted by: in Global News, North West

Did you know there are over 19,000 nonprofit organizations in Alberta… and that 54% of those 19,000 have no paid staff? Organizations in Alberta report a volunteer complement of 2.5 million people, who collectively contribute about 449 million hours of volunteer time, the equivalent of approximately 234,000 full-time jobs.

That’s a lot of full-time jobs!

Here is the key for these organizations: Volunteer Alberta is launching an exciting new initiative called the KnowledgeConnector which is an online hub that will connect leaders in the nonprofit and voluntary sector with learning and training opportunities throughout Rural Alberta. It is all about creating a passion for learning!

Leaders come in various forms. Leadership is about attitude, skills and knowledge. Our community sustainability and growth relies on building strong those leaders.

The KnowledgeConnector will be used as an effective tool for enhancing the capacity of nonprofit/voluntary organizations, and in turn, promoting the growth, prosperity and quality of life in rural Alberta through learning opportunities.

Follow me along on the Journey as each week the NW Regional Blog will highlight a community volunteer/nonprofit organization. Also this blog will be providing followers with updates or links to various learning opportunities.

Now this is where I need your help. If you have pictures or stories relating to “the face of leadership in Rural Alberta” and you would like to share please submit them to

Keeping Rural Alberta Connected….

Yvonne Rempel, NW Regional Capacity Coordinator

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Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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