Call for nominations for Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation

The office of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman is seeking nominations for the Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation. 

This award is open to members of the Department of National Defence, Canadian Armed Forces, and their families. It is awarded annually to deserving members “who go the extra mile and exceed expectations in helping their colleagues resolve a difficult problem or in bringing about positive and lasting change to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces,” commented Andrew Bernardo, director of communications and parliamentary relations the Office of the DND/CAF Ombudsman.

The office of the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman named this award after Liz Hoffman, a dedicated investigator, and mentor in the office, following her death in 2006. 

“Liz was a key member of the Office of the Ombudsman since its creation in 1998. She was a mentor to many new investigators as well as an inspiration to a number of longer-serving members,” said Bernardo.

Hoffman was known for her efforts to ensure fair and equitable treatment for hundreds of members of the Defence community. Even after discovering she had terminal lung cancer, Hoffman worked diligently on her files for as long as she was able.

“Liz Hoffman served the Defence community as an investigator with our office. Over the years, Liz Hoffman’s deeply-rooted sense of fairness and social justice led her to a career as ombudsperson with several academic institutions. In addition, she was a founding member of the Association of Canadian College and University Ombudspersons as well as the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman,” said Bernardo.

In 2011, the Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation replaced two individual commendations for complaint resolution and ethics. 

Anyone can nominate CAF members, DND civilian employees, or other members of the Defence community who demonstrate one or more of the following character traits:

• A willingness and ability to resolve problems informally and quickly, as well as to support alternative means of resolving disputes;

• The courage not to turn a blind eye to difficult situations, but to find ways to resolve them in a manner consistent with fairness, loyalty, and integrity;

• The identification of issues of unfairness as well as a means of resolving them;

• A systemic approach to problem-solving; and

the resourcefulness to propose or consider innovative solutions. 

The nomination form can be submitted online on the DND&CF Ombudsman’s site or can be sent by email or post to Dominique-Emmanuelle Perreault. 

Successful individuals will be brought to Ottawa for the awards ceremony, where they will be presented with a framed citation and an original glass sculpture created by well known Aboriginal artist, Steven Hearns.

Past recipients include: Margaret Mackenzie for her work with her Virtual Program Coordinator for the Military Family Resource Centre, founder of Canadian Military Family Magazine, Cyndi Mills, and Michelle Levesque for her work with Canadian Military Family Magazine, Corporal (ret’d) Fred Smith,  co-founder of the Caregivers Brigade Paula Ramsay and Dr. Deborah Elliot, a psychiatrist at CFB Trenton and Master Corporal Sébastien Grimard for his work with the Valcartier Deployment Support Group. 

To read about past recipients visit these pages: 2015, 2016, 2017 

Nominations for the 2019 Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation are due by May 12th, 2019.  

To nominate someone visit the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman website.

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Deborah van der Linde

Deborah is a librarian who is passionate about books, storytelling, and writing. Thanks to her husband Adam’s military career, they have had the great fortune of living all across Canada. Deborah and Adam have two delightful children and a dog that thinks he’s one of the kids.

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