Regulation Matters 2021 - Issue 1, May

Melisse Willems, Registrar & ED Has Resigned

Our “fearless leader”, Melisse Willems, Registrar and Executive Director of the College, has left our organization, as of April 30, 2021.  We are currently recruiting for this position, and have  Interim Registrar, Laura Sheehan, in place.

For almost 6 years, Melisse has led the College with decisive leadership, kindness, commitment, and a vast expertise in regulation.  She is very well respected in the regulatory world and has made our College exemplary in that world. 

Melisse made an outstanding contribution to the growth of the College, with her clear vision and passion for public safety. The College now stands on a solid foundation with strong and cohesive governance, a talented and productive staff, and solid financial resources.
Melisse modernized office operations, including moving to a paperless office, and launching teleworking, both of which were done ahead of the pandemic.  She strengthened orientation for new Council members immensely, completed our four-year Strategic Plan 2016-2020, and updated our governance manual and by-laws, not only to reflect current best practice, but also making them very user friendly. 

The governance of Ontario health profession regulation is broaching towards a new model and format, and Melisse has completed much of the groundwork for the College to continue into this huge endeavour.  Melisse worked closely with the Ministry of Health in developing the new College Performance Measurement Framework, which is the new reporting mechanism of College activities to both the Ministry and the public.  She supported the implementation of the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition program for applicants to the College with prior learning; thereby ensuring a safe, effective entrance to practice.  She increased focus on standards of practice development, paired with workshops and education videos on the same topic to emphasize the messaging. She developed a risk framework for good governance, and has begun work on diversity, equity, and inclusion for the College.
Melisse is recognized as a leader among her peers in other organizations in Ontario and across Canada. Her philosophy of public protection highlights the importance of collaboration with all dietetic sectors — government, education and professional associations, to grow and be enriched by various perspectives.  
Although we celebrate with Melisse as she heads out to new horizons, her leadership will be missed at the College.  While creating enduring cultures of accountability, continuous quality improvement, governance excellence, and enabling high achievement, she made working at the College fun and meaningful, with her caring attitude and great sense of humour.
We know that Melisse will bring the same abundant energy and capacity for renewal, creativity and fun to new adventures in her career.  Thank you, Melisse. We wish you well.  You will be hard to replace.