A Tribute to Retiring CSA President Ellen White

Winter 2003 CSANews Issue 49  |  Posted date : May 02, 2007.Back to list

For the past two years, the CSA has been guided by our version of the "Iron Lady." Strong-minded and strong-willed, she has never wavered in her goals for what she wants to accomplish during her term as president.

Ellen White attended school in Copper Cliff, a small mining town in northern Ontario, and went on to graduate as a teacher in North Bay. She completed her degrees in education at York University and OISE, University of Toronto. She began her career in a little school outside of North Bay. She was chosen by the Normal School as a "critic teacher" to teach the newer methods of education to the students.

After her marriage, she taught in Sudbury and, later, Barrie, Ont., where she became a school principal. When her husband, Bruce, was transferred to Toronto, she joined the Metro Separate School Board, first as a teacher and then as a primary consultant. Many of her years were spent working in inner-city schools in downtown Toronto. She was on many committees and was an active program writer for her board.

Ellen was very involved in education, both as a speaker and as a leader for preschoolers and young children across Ontario. After moving to Toronto, she completed her Supervisory Officers papers, working, like so many of her generation, in the evenings and summers to attain her goals. She ended her career as course director in education at York University.

In 1996 Ellen and Bruce joined the Canadian Snowbird Association; Ellen immediately became one of Ontario's Directors-at-Large. Over the years, she served the board of directors in many capacities: chairing committees, acting as a public speaker on behalf of the association and authoring numerous articles on the benefits offered by the snowbird lifestyle. She was responsible for the successful lobbying for the first Winter Texans' Snowbird Extravaganza and has remained active in her Winter Texan community. In 2000 Ellen joined the Executive Committee as secretary, and in 2002 was acclaimed president.

Over the course of her term, Ellen has been a driving force behind the association's advocacy initiatives. When repeated requests for an appearance before the Romanow Commission were either ignored or denied, Ellen pursued it personally with an open letter to Mr. Romanow that was published in CSA News. Rather than take a wait-and-see approach when the INS threatened to limit the stays of B2 Visitor Visa holders to just 30 days in the United States, she gave the go-ahead for a full charge. As a result of the CSA's strategic lobbying efforts, Ellen was invited to testify before the House Small Business Committee on Capitol Hill.

Under Ellen's guidance, the Canadian Travellers' Report Card came to fruition and enjoyed strong political and media interest. This past summer she spent four weeks on the road, visiting with representatives from each province and territory to discuss the results of the report card, as well as possible changes to provincial regulations.

On Jan. 14, 2004, Ellen moves from the position of president to past president. Although her duties will be nowhere near as all-encompassing as they have been for the past two years, she will remain an integral part of our board of directors. This change will give her more time to spend with her family and to do things she loves to do - paint, write and enjoy her home in Texas. To Ellen and Bruce, relax and enjoy your new-found freedom - you have both certanly earned the time off!