Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Book Launch Was a Smash Success!

I could not have imagined it any better! The humble book launch I had planned to have at Arbitrator Elaine Newman's bar in Toronto, turned out to be a great party with well over 100 friends, students, lawyers, ADR Professionals and both union and management labour relations professionals attending. People from all around Toronto and even as far away as Ottawa came to the launch. Here is a sampling of the people who attended:

Management Side
Ivars Starasts, Manager of Labour Relations, Ontario Power Generation (OPG)
Lorraine Irvine, Vice President of Compensation and Benefits for OPG
Glen Gurba, retired Directer of Labour Relations (OPG)
Rhae Naphan, Manager of Human Resources, OPG Hyrdroelectric
Jim Twomey, Executive Vice President of OPG Energy Production
Jason Fitzsimmons, Manager of Labour Relations OPG
Matthew Dowdle, Labour Relations Officer OPG
Alex Brat, Director of Labour Relations, New Horizons Systems Solutions
Bruno Iannacito, Employee Relations Consultant, Toronto Transit Commission
Bill Warrel, Executive Director, LAMP

Union Side
Rod Sheppard, Executive Vice President, Society of Energy Professionals SEP
Marlene Khalil, Local Vice President, OPGN, SEP
Joe Sarick, Local Vice President, NHSS, SEP
Peter Tien, Unit Director, NHSS, SEP
Kathy Wilcox, Unit Director, NHSS, SEP
Jay Monterio, Unit Director, NHSS, SEP
Simon Huang, Unit Director, NHSS, SEP
Frank White, Research Officer, SEP
Brian Robinson, Communications Officer, SEP
Cheri Funston, Staff Officer, SEP
Laura Langmaid, Office Staff, SEP
Lynda Crichton, Training Officer, SEP
Chris Dassios, Senior Legal Counsel, Power Workers Union (PWU)
Garil Lampman, Shop Steward, PWU
David Loney, Staff Representative, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Stephen Raymond, Mediator-Arbitrator, Vice-Chair Grievance Settlement Board
Laura Trachuk, Mediator-Arbtrator
Jules Bloch, Mediator-Arbitrator
Peter Chauvin, Vice-Chair, Ontario Labour Relations Board
Mundy McGlaughlin, Past Director Diversity, OPG, Workplace Consultant
Sarah Atkinson, Workplace Investigator
Kathleen Martin, Mediator-Arbitrator, OHRC Appeals Tribunal Member
Roger Altan, Workplace Investigator
Paul Emond, Professor of Law, Mediator, Owner of Emond Montgomery Publishers
Gary Furlong, Mediator
Shirley Drayton, Patient Care Manager, Sunnybrook Hospital
Eleanor Shannon, EPS Consultant Services
Karen Coles, Senior Executive Conference Developer, Insight
Elaine Newman, Mediator-Arbitrator
Dr. Bruce Ally, Mediator-Arbitrator
Lisa Tenace, Department of National Defense Ombuds Office
Lynn Bevin, Mediator-Investigator, Workplace Consultant
Dawna Borg, Mediator
Owen Gray, Mediator-Arbitrator
Joyce Young, Mediator

I was most honoured to have Elaine Newman, Gary Furlong, Paul Emond and Rod Sheppard, four very special people, get up and say a few words about me and my book. I was somewhat overwhelmed by their kind encouragements and thoughtful praises. Then I had a few words for the crowd. I asked them to look around to the people in the room - as this best exemplifies what my book is all about. We are all a part of the workplace conflict management team. And when it comes down to it, workplace fairness begins with respecting the roles of those who are trying to protect fairness.

While I was signing books, I received a call from my friend Andrew Muller, President of the Society of Energy Professionals who could not make the launch because he was in Quebec City. Andy wished me well, echoing emails I had recieved from many colleagues who could not make it on the day. Kevin Whitacker, Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board was one of those who could not make it but took the time to give me a thumbs up for my accomplishment.

As the party neared its end I had two gratifying conversations. The first was with Elaine Newman who stated that this was the most lively book launch she had ever hosted, and the other was with Joanne Gordon from Canada Law Book who let me know that she was shocked at how many books we sold. She ran out of books after the first hour or so and had to take orders from the late-commers. That never happens at a book launch according to Joanne.

Anyway, this is one of those milestones that I will never forget. My family, friends and colleagues joined me in celebrating the birth of this book and of a theory of workplace fairness that I hope will mature and gain acceptance in the community.

Thank you Elaine, and thank you my friends, family and colleagues for making this a truly joyous ocassion.

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