Josh Bazin, CMA

It’s been a long road to get to this point, but darn it, I made it.

Thanks to my team, Lindsay, Richard and Sheena.  Without you folks the Board Report (and everything else leading up to it) would have been much harder.

Thanks to Jason and Erik (and sometimes Jason) for being great moderators, providing great feedback and giving us the advice we needed to survive the program.

Thanks to my family and friends.  It’s been a long road, late nights, early mornings and all the complaining and the like.  Thanks for being there for support.

As I said – it’s been a long road to get here, but I’m proud to say that I’m a CMA.

CMA SLP Completed

It’s been two years of hard work, but a few weeks back my team and I gave our Board Report to complete the CMA SLP.

I have to thank each member of my team for pushing me, teaching me, and putting up with me.  I definitely was not the easiest team member to work with all the time, but I hope that everyone saw that I was playing the role of the nay-sayer to ensure we were considering all the aspects of the discussions. Good luck with your travels, families and future positions!

To all our colleagues in the program, thanks for being candid and sharing with the group.  Thanks for making the CMA program one of the best parts of my life thus far! I wish you good luck on all your future endeavors!

To our moderators, thanks. You pushed us hard, but were fair and honest. I don’t think I’d feel as comfortable with our finished product if it wasn’t for you. Thanks.

Life changes

Recently, I left my position at Pinnacle Wealth Brokers.  Unfortunately, the position there was not quite the right fit for my professional development.  I do thank everyone at PWB for the experience and wish them the best.

To fill the work void, I have joined the REALTORS Association of Edmonton as the Financial Methods Analyst.  I am very excited about the work I am going to be doing with RAE, which includes leading the redesign of accounting processes, thanks to the implementation of new accounting software and eCommerce solutions.

Related to work, my CMA group has been working through the cases for the first half of the second year.  I think we have a good team and we are starting to find our stride, and I feel we will be well equipped to do well come M7.

I am planning on making time come March to be involved in my own initiative, NaAdWriMo.  I think this project has great potential for helping the gaming community share stories.  I sincerely hope it takes off.

Is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) just PR?

In my Corporate Strategy course that I’m taking this semester, one of the first cases we discussed looked at Syncrude and it’s CSR Program (link to document).  Through discussion of this particular case in class and some (limited) research, I’ve come to the hypothesis that for many organizations view CSR Documents nothing more than a piece of PR.

I don’t want to be misinterpreted here – CSR is important.  Businesses, like individuals, need to consider social issues and make decisions based on what is considered the ethical thing to do.  Giving back to the community, looking for ways to save energy and other issues along this vein are the sorts of decisions and actions that a company’s CSR policy will cover.  Sometimes, companies will not make the decision that falls in line with popular opinion, miss targets, etc.  I think the key for a company that is truly responsible is to admit to these ‘failures’.

Consider the Syncrude document above.  Anyone that has any exposure to the media will be able to tell you that there are omissions and/or misstatements in this document about Syncrude’s impact on society.  However, it does appear that Syncrude has done a reasonably good job of engaging the Aboriginal peoples and ensuring that they are able to co-exist with Syncrude’s operations in the area (while there are dissenting opinions on this, let’s assume my statement is true).  There are several areas that are only considered by a cursory notation in this document.  Syncrude’s Environmental impact, for example.  It appears that Syncrude’s operations has contaminated some of the water supplies in the area, but this information is not reported within this document.  This does not seem socially responsible, does it?

So, ultimately, while Syncrude is doing good works in some areas, they are failing in others.  While Syncrude may consider themselves socially responsible, it should be up to the public to determine who they feel to be socially responsible.

Organizations have every right to present documents that outline themselves in the best possible light.  I just don’t think it’s right to try and pass a document off as proof of corporate responsibility when only half the picture is included.

Philosophy is Over and an Exciting Weekend!

I’ve got a very exciting weekend coming up.

Before the weekend starts however, I have the final ‘midterm’ for my Philosophy class.  I know I was complaining earlier about how philosophy hurts my brain (which it does), but I’m really glad I had the opportunity to take the class.  I was able to learn a few new things and I was also able to find ways to help understand why I hold certian beliefs and defend things that I believe.  I’m sort of disapointed that the course is over, as there are several subjects that we didn’t have the opportunity to cover that I feel would have been really interesting to cover (for example, we only had a single class on Metaphysics).

The course itself was presented in an interesting manner, utilizing popular movies to illustrate philosophical concepts, which I think really helped solidify my understanding.  The movies that we watched were “Waking Life”, “The Matrix”, “Bruce Almighty”, and “Being John Malkovich”.  I really enjoyed the format and I am disapointed that we were not able to cover “The Matrix Reloaded” and the metaphysical concepts that are presented there, as I think that potentially could be extremely interesting.

Onto this weekend!

Saturday is Free RPG Day.  What is it?  Much like Free Comic Book Day, members of the industry prepare special items to give away to help introduce the hobby to a new generation.  This is the second year of the event and I hope that it becomes as successful as its comic counterpart.  I’ve been organizing events at Happy Harbor Comics volume 2 and 3 to assist with the flow of the day.  If you’ve ever had the inclination to give an RPG a try, please come out.  We have short (1-2 hour) games running throughout the day using various different settings, which barely scratches the surface of what is being given away (or what is available).

On Sunday, Emily and I are going to Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco, which is very exciting.  We have fantastic seats, which I’m really hoping work well.  This will be my third Cirque show, the others being La Nouba and Varekai.  I’ve really enjoyed the other shows I’ve seen, so this should be no different.  Also, later this summer, Emily and I will be seeing O during our trip to Las Vegas.

Anyway, I’m going to have a busy weekend, but it should be some fun.

Daycare Referendum

Beginning October 26th at 9:00 am until October 30th at 4:00 pm, the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union will be opening an online referendum. For Edmonton Campus students, there is one question to vote upon.

From the ULSU Website:

DAYCARE QUESTION

“Do you authorize the Students’ Union to invest $200,000 from the Students’ Union Building (SUB) Fund for the Capital requirements of an on-campus Daycare facility, with the understanding that this will not lead to any increase in the SUB Fund fees; and
Do you further authorize the Students’ Union to contract with the University of Lethbridge to maintain this contribution in the Daycare for as long as it operates, and in the event the Daycare closes, the capital contribution transfers from the Daycare back to the Students’ Union”?

(All U of L students, on all campuses, in all programs will be eligible to vote on this referendum question)

For More Information:
The Daycare Action Committee will be running a yes campaign and you can find more information at http://people.uleth.ca/~dac

I urge all Edmonton Campus students to vote NO to this question.

Why Should I Vote No?

All students at the Edmonton Campus should be opposed to this usage of our fees because we do not recieve any benefit from this action.

The ULSU collects a number of fees from Edmonton Campus students, who do not see any benefit from a portion of these fees. Edmonton Campus students’ fees are used to subsidize the activities of the main campus.

Fee Breakdown

  • Operation Fee $21.27 (full time)/$10.43 (part time)
  • Building Fee $28.36 (full time)/$19.92 (part time)
    • The Building Fee is broken down to two components:
      • Health and Wellness Centre Construction Costs $15 (full time)/$ 7 (part time)
      • SUB Management $13.36 (full time)/$5.92 (part time)
  • Capital Replacement Fee (CRF) $5.35 (full time)/$2.98 (part time)

While the SU does provide some services to the Edmonton Campus, clearly are not receiving the same benefit from our fees as a Main Campus student. For example, we pay $15/$7 per semester to pay for the construction of a Health and Wellness Centre that we CANNOT use. It is time for the Students of the Edmonton Campus to stand up and oppose this unfairness. If we all vote against this, we can send a message to Main Campus that we are not happy with how are fees are being spent.

What else can I do?

If you’d like to help in lobbying the SU to examine the fee assessment for our students, I invite you to join the University of Lethbridge – Edmonton Campus Facebook group, comment on my Facebook note or on my blog (joshbazin.com), or send me an email joshua (dot) bazin (at) uleth (dot) ca.

Please forward this message onto your friends and classmates. Encourage them to vote NO for this question. Vote NO on October 26-30th.