Fairwell, Ted Markle!

On June 13 th , 2019 OMAH held its Annual General Meeting and my 3-year term on the board came to an end. For most of this time, I have acted as chair of the board.
OMAH team member, Heather Price-Jones, asked if I wouldn’t share a few thoughts on this milestone for the OMAH Blog. She promised that I could be brief. (Actually, she demanded it.)
Early on in my tenure, a broad-based group of OMAH members, staff, and volunteers worked through a number of workshops to create a strategic plan – that we call OMAH Horizon 2020.
The plan called for a focus on 4 platforms:
1. Programming
Be Orillia and area’s centre for artistic inspiration and celebration of our history
• Balance representation of art and history in dynamic & contemporary ways
• Diversify programming to broaden our appeal
• Enhance engagement for visitors to OMAH
• Strengthen partnerships in community
• Review programming plan annually
2. Governance
Ensure OMAH embodies best-in-class not-for-profit policies & practices
• Streamline governance rules and practices
• Redefine operational vs constitutional policies
and procedures
  • Pursue evolution of staff towards greater operational autonomy and executive leadership
3. Fundraising
Strengthen OMAH’s development practices that increase return on investment
• Annual fundraising plan that sustains growth
• Annual plan to increase membership
• Create Development Officer position
4. Community Engagement
Strengthen relationships with our communities to ensure OMAH meets their needs
• Create process to generate community feedback
• Attract active members of the community for committees/volunteers/board members
• Increase visibility of OMAH ambassadors in the community
• Increase digital engagement
Results are what matter – and thanks to the commitment of so many volunteers and OMAH’s dedicated staff – I can say that most of these outcomes have been largely achieved
and for those that have not… the work goes on.
Most importantly, OMAH has tackled its challenges around the board table in a culture of transparency and integrity. Passionate debate has taken its proper place within the appropriate decision-making forums – not in the hallways after the proceedings.
Over these past 3 years, the operating budget, programming, and overall impact of the Orillia Museum of Art & History have approximately doubled.
Your OMAH is in a strong position.
A solid plan is in place.
A solid staff is in place.
A solid board is in place.
A solid balance sheet is in place.
I am proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such a professional board, committed volunteers and passionate staff.
My thanks to all of you, 
Ted Markle, Former Chairman of the Board.