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Celebrating over 10 years of Denise Williams’ leadership at the First Nations Technology Council

Posted July 13, 2022 in 
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(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.)

After over a decade of outstanding leadership at the First Nations Technology Council, CEO, Denise Williams, is moving on from her role with the organization in the fall of 2022.

Over the course of her time leading the First Nations Technology Council, Denise has been the architect and builder of an organization that has significantly elevated the voices of First Nations peoples in the future of digital society. Her vision and determination have truly changed the trajectory of rights recognition in this country. Today, we celebrate her contributions, resilience, and skilled leadership that will leave an incredible legacy for generations to come.

“Denise has made a significant contribution to First Nations communities through her work with the Technology Council. She has seen us through many years of challenges; including persevering through running the organization from her own living room with no funds for some time. She’s taken the organization and transitioned it to a thriving, growing team of talented and passionate staff – while solidifying the organization as being recognizable, credible, innovative and central in leading the conversation around Indigenous digital equity. She has, undoubtedly, made the Technology Council what it is today,” said Interim Board Chair, Ryan Day. “Central to Denise’s work and legacy is her ability to build meaningful, lasting relationships. Denise has utilized this and her excellent leadership abilities to action ground-breaking initiatives – true legacy bodies of work – that will impact the future of technology, its relationship with our communities, and the next seven generations,” Day said. “We are incredibly grateful for Denise, her leadership, and all the time she has dedicated to the Technology Council. She will be greatly missed and always deeply honoured,” he concluded.

“Under Denise’s leadership, we have seen a strong evolution of the Technology Council’s mandates to respond to and better serve First Nations across the province. She has created visibility and support for the Technology Council and its initiatives in incredible ways. Denise has successfully raised unprecedented funds and built capacity both inside the organization and in many First Nations communities,” said Robert Phillips, First Nations Summit, Political Executive. “Denise has worked hard to assemble the right team to move the organization and its mandates forward. Her impact has been seen and felt in community, provincially, nationally and internationally.”

In addition to her meaningful leadership at the First Nations Technology Council, Denise has spent the majority of her personal time serving on several volunteer boards to advance the interests and rights of First Nations people. She has been a powerful and influential voice for moral courage, authentic leadership, and ethical, progressive governance.

“It has been the honour of a lifetime to lead the First Nations Technology Council over the last ten years and to serve First Nations people in BC in the way that I could. When I joined the Technology Council, I had no idea where the journey would take me. It’s been an incredible ride. It’s been rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling in all the best ways,” said Denise Williams, CEO, First Nations Technology Council. “The work and mandates of the Technology Council are extremely important. Now, more than ever, we need to move digital equity forward and ensure First Nations peoples’ rights are recognized far beyond our right to be passive consumers of connectivity. The FNTC is poised and ready to advance that work with First Nations communities and I couldn’t be more proud and excited for the future of the organization,” said Williams.

“I am stepping away now as an ultimate act of love and as a humble servant leader that sees the opportunity for new leadership. This organization is ready for a CEO with new skills for scaling and a new vision and energy. I have been waiting for a time when our leadership team was strong enough to go on without me, and that time has come. I couldn’t be more honoured to hand over an organization this strong, inspirational and good-spirited. While I won’t be there to lead the work, I am proud of the foundation I have built to poise the organization for its next steps and iterations – which I know will be even more vibrant than what we can even imagine,” she shared. “And just to answer any questions about what’s next for me, I’m not moving on to another role. I will be taking time to re-wild myself, be free for the first time since I was 17 to just be spontaneous and see where it takes me. We all have so many ways to provide meaning, beauty and purpose to this world. I intend to explore new places and spaces in search of the next thing that lights up my heart and spirit,” Williams concluded.

Denise will be working closely with the Technology Council’s board and leadership team to ensure a smooth transition process with no disruptions to funding or services. The board has commenced an executive search process and it is anticipated that the new CEO will be in place by the fall. Denise will be available to ensure the new CEO is supported and onboarded in a good way. The leadership team will all play a role in this work and are excited to welcome a new leader into the organization.

“On behalf of our staff, I want to share our sincere appreciation for Denise and her contributions to the organization. We have all benefitted from her leadership, support and guidance over the years. She’s supported us to live into our professional aspirations and to do so in a way aligning with First Nations leadership values. With Denise at the helm, the Technology Council has been an inspirational, safe, and inclusive place to work where we live our values out loud and each person can show up as a whole person,” said Natasha Valecha, Director, Operations. “Denise will be missed so much as our courageous CEO but the team could not be happier for her, as her ever-present vision takes her where ever she needs to go from here.”

For more information:
Megan Jordan
Director, Communications and Engagement
T. 604.679.0095
E. megan@technologycouncil.ca
W. technologycouncil.ca

For more information:
Megan Jordan
Director, Communications and Engagement
T. 604.679.0095
E. megan@technologycouncil.ca
W. technologycouncil.ca