IOIA logo 2017 IOIA AGM Wrap-Up

Ottawa, Canada - March 24-27, 2017

2017 IOIA AGM - Celebrating 25 Years!

IOIA celebrated its 25th anniversary in Ottawa on March 25 at the historic Lord Elgin Hotel, in the heart of downtown. Although lingering winter conditions prevailed, it didn't stop the participants from enjoying field trips and local sights.

The 2017 Annual General Meeting was led by Stuart McMillan from Manitoba. For the first time in IOIA history, an BOD Chair from Canada led the Annual Meeting in Canada.

The event started off with a fabulous noon luncheon for all registered IOIA members and guests, followed by an opening welcome by Tia Loftsgard of Canada Organic Trade Association.


A thought-provoking Keynote, delivered by Jim Thomas, ETC Group, Montreal, Quebec, followed. His presentation, titled “GMO2.0:  Synthetic Biology and  the next generation of genetic engineering technologies”, was very informative, thought-provoking and rather disturbing. We are pleased to offer a link here to a consumer guide put out by ETC Group, for members that weren't able to attend.


Draft AGM Agenda    
2016 Annual Report Presentation
by Board Chair Stuart McMillan
  Field Trip Slideshows:
2016 Annual Report   Upper Canada Creamery
2017 Final Meeting Minutes    
Keynote and Endnote Speaker Bios   Homestead Organics
AGM Business Meeting - slideshow   Hops and Eggs
Candidate Bios and Statements   Fulton's Pancake House & Sugar Bush


Ib Hagsten (Missouri), at right accepting award from Margaret Scoles, and Garth Kahl (Oregon), below left, were acknowledged as they stepped down from the BOD. They both made significant contributions while serving for the past 5 years (Ib) and 4 years (Garth).


Election Results

It was an impressive slate of 7 candidates and a close election. Thanks, Nominations Committee! Congratulations to the new board members, and thank you to everyone who stood for election.

Re-elected: Margaret Weigelt (Minnesota) – 2 year term

Also elected: Heather Donald (Pennsylvania) and Chuck Mitchell (Ontario) – 3 year terms 

The annual meeting affirmed that the next AGM will be in the southeastern US - location yet to be determined. Suggestions are welcome!

After an Endnote by Joe Smillie, founding Board member of IOIA, the group moved back to the Lady Elgin Room for appetizers and beverages. Music by Mystara followed, and what a party! The whole group danced up a storm until 11pm - everyone really had a great time. We had a great band, great food, and even a little extra excitement. The hotel kitchen set off the fire alarm and fire trucks pulled up with sirens and flashing lights. It will be challenging to try to match this celebration at future events.

Special thanks to the AGM Organizing Committee and their helpers (Kelly Monaghan, Monique Scholz, Jennifer Scott, Stuart McMillan, Joel Aitken, Bill Barkley, and Garry Lean).

View the slideshow for this best AGM Party ever! Sorry, no video of Joe Smillie playing air guitar along with the band.....


Advanced Training Recap

The day before our 25th AGM meet, IOIA held Advanced Inspector Training with a top-notch slate of speakers on a variety of topics including the current state of Canadian organic regulation, poultry issues, container culture and risk assessment. To view the descriptive slideshow, click here.

Final Training Agenda


Board Retreat

Following the Annual Meeting and associated events, the BOD convened for a three-day retreat. View slideshow.
Their first order of business was to organize their executive committee. The results are as follows:

Chair: Margaret Weigelt (Minnesota) - center row right

Vice-Chair: Mutsumi Sakuyoshi (Japan) - center row left

Treasurer: Pam Sullivan (California) - front row left

Secretary: Stuart McMillan (Manitoba) - back row left

Executive at Large: Matt Miller (Iowa) - back row right

Director: Heather Donald - back row center

Director: Chuck Mitchell - front row left