Tributes to Michael Power

January 19, 2012

 Michael Power, a long-serving member of the OMERS Administration Corporation Board, passed away this morning after being ill for the past few months. He was 70.

Michael was appointed to the OMERS Board on April 21, 2004 and reappointed to the OMERS AC Board on June 30, 2009 as one of the two AMO employer representatives. Michael stepped down from the OMERS AC Board in August 2011 due to health issues.

While with OMERS, Michael was the key driving force and leader of the Governance Reform Project which was mandated in 2007 to lead the OAC Board in achieving its Governance Mission and Vision.

Some of the successes of the Governance Reform Project include developing comprehensive mandates for the OAC Board and its standing committees, updated Role Descriptions for the OAC Board members and CEO, Board and Individual Director Assessments, Gap Analysis of Director Skills and Mandate Reviews for all Committees of the OAC Board. The GRP also resulted in the publication of the Governance Manual to the OAC Board, Management and the public through the website as well as detailed internal governance documentation that clarified the roles of the OAC Board and Management in the governance process.

The highlight of the Governance Reform Project for 2008 was the realization of the Governance Vision of being publicly recognized as an industry leader in corporate and pension governance. Under Michael’s direction, an application was made to The Conference Board of Canada/Spencer Stuart 2009 National Awards in Governance. The OAC was recognized as one of three Top Contenders in the public sector in February of 2009.

Michael was a passionate believer in OMERS and was always a strong supporter of the organization. His attendance at meetings was always an event, his sense of style and his love of colourful ties became the hallmark of his presence around the office.

“Michael was a true professional in carrying out his duties as an OMERS Board Member and always put the interest of OMERS plan members first in any decision before the OMERS Board,” said Rick Miller, current Chair of the OMERS AC Board. “He held Management to a high standard of care but was also on the forefront of innovative changes for the OMERS plan. He will be missed,” said Michael Nobrega, CEO of OMERS AC.

Born in Montreal, Michael was fluently bilingual and held a B.A. from Carleton University and was certified as a teacher and principal. Michael spent many years teaching and was a former negotiator on behalf of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. In 1979, Michael was a co-recipient of the Hilroy Fellowship, which is awarded by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation for excellence and innovation in teaching. He was the recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Award from the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation on the Sixtieth Anniversary of that organization.

In 1969, Michael moved to the Town of Geraldton, which is located approximately 800 miles north of Toronto. In 1976, he was elected as councillor for the Town of Geraldton and then Mayor in 1980. He served for 30 years as mayor of Geraldton and the Municipality of Greenstone, retiring prior to the 2010 municipal election. In addition to being a mayor of Geraldton and the Municipality of Greenstone, he also served as president for organizations such as the Thunder Bay District Municipal Association, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (1988; 1997-2000).

Michael’s greatest love was his wife Marylin, which was obvious to anyone who saw them together. Together, Michael and Marylin travelled the world and always enjoyed meeting new people and seeing new things.

Our deepest sympathies from everyone at OMERS are extended to Marylin and Michael’s family. He will be truly missed.