Farewell to NAIT’s Cheerleader-in-Chief

by | Dec 9, 2019 | Featured, News, Uncategorized

Dr. Glenn Feltham joined NAIT as CEO in 2011 and has worked relentlessly to drive NAIT towards its vision as a leading polytechnic. He even spent his first few months as CEO as a student-for-a-day, experiencing over 30 programs. It was under Feltham’s leadership that NAIT has seen a huge growth in facilities, including the Centre for Applied Technology and the Productivity and Innovation Centre. He also secured the Blatchford site for future NAIT expansions, as well as the purchase of the Spruce Grove Campus.

After almost nine years of leading NAIT, Dr. Glenn Feltham will retire this month. We wanted to know what he learned during his nine years as NAIT’s cheerleader-in-chief.

1. That NAIT truly is essential! What we do matters.
2. That the founders of NAIT got it right – they saw the need in Alberta for high quality, hands-on, technology-based education. We have built on this foundation, and never strayed!
3. That an Ook (short for Ookpik) is a northern snowy owl. But, more important, that we are all Ooks!
4. The incredible strength and value of polytechnic hands-on education.
5. That NAIT has amazing people, and outstanding leaders, who are passionate about our institution.
6. That NAIT is simply one of the best polytechnics, anywhere.
7. That we are all proud of our students and of our alumni. They are our province’s future.
8. That there is joy, and pride, in walking through the hallways of NAIT.
9. That it has been the greatest honour of my life to have been NAIT’s President and CEO, and its Cheerleader-in-Chief. I will forever cheer for NAIT and be a very proud Ook.
10. That NAIT’s best days truly are in front of us.

During his time at NAIT, Glenn inspired many. Here are a few words from those who worked closely with him.

Dr. Ray Block
NAIT’s Vice-President Administration, CFO and interim CEO
Glenn and I have worked together for almost nine years. It was a wonderful time with lots of fun and laughs along the way but also some tough days at the office. During those tough days, Glenn always managed to keep things in perspective. No matter how many issues were going on – and he was interested and aware of all of them – I learned from Glenn the need to prioritize the projects we would pursue and focus on finding solutions.

Dr. Sue Fitzsimmons
NAIT’s Vice-President Academic and Provost
Glenn showed me how to embrace “polytechnic.” I think for me, in very simple terms, he gave NAIT its pride back. He helped us embrace what it meant to be a polytechnic. He helped us rediscover our roots and be really proud of that, and our place in the education system in the postsecondary world. I think even as he leaves, we’ll continue to work to help the world understand the value of Polytechnic education.

Karen Velasco
President at NAIT’s Student Association
One thing I have learned from watching Glenn is he remains positive even in challenging times. He displays true characteristics of a cheerleader-in-chief. His consistent positivity in his example of leadership is inspiring.

A special message from Sandy Timmer
Glenn’s Executive Assistant
Dr. Glenn Feltham – or Glenn, as everyone knows him by – is NAIT’s biggest cheerleader and always will be! He has led this institution for nearly nine years and, as a NAIT alumnus, I am truly amazed at how NAIT has grown and transformed since the days when I was wandering the halls. Glenn had much to do with this and it will be his legacy.

Glenn has inspired more people than I think he realizes. He inspired them to be the best leaders they can be, to embrace community and celebration and to meet challenges head on.

Glenn is one of the nicest people you will ever meet! He has a great sense of humour, loves to laugh and LOVES to sing! He has a bottomless Jukebox in his head and it doesn’t take much to have him burst into song! Being the President and CEO is a stressful and busy job and being able to laugh with your colleagues and hum a few bars of a song, makes life in his job a little more fun. Lessons we should all take away. Life can be serious, but we should remember to take time to enjoy it too. Glenn exemplified that.

I have been lucky to have worked for good bosses before, but Glenn has been the best! I will truly miss working for Glenn.

Glenn – thank you, thank you, thank you! You have been an amazing leader, an inspiration to more than you will ever know, and it has been my extreme pleasure to be your assistant these past four years. You deserve to have the best retirement – although I know you will use that term loosely as you will not be sitting still!

Happy, Happy Retirement, Glenn!

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