The 2017 Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation for Complaint Resolution was awarded on Oct.19 to four individuals who come from different walks of life but have made great strides to benefit the military community, especially military families.
This year’s recipients are Margaret MacKenzie, Marie-Claude Michaud, and Cyndi Mills and Michelle Levesque.
“These four recipients translated their dedication and inspiration into action. They changed lives or brought about significant and lasting change at National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Gary Walbourne, Ombudsman of National Defence.
Margaret MacKenzie serves as the Virtual Program Coordinator for the Military Family Resource Centre in Prince Edward Island. MacKenzie has changed the landscape when it comes to providing services to families. MacKenzie’s programs have helped connect hundreds of military families from across the country through virtual outreach programs. Out of the plethora of MacKenzie’s notable programs include a session on how to access scholarships and save thousands of dollars on post-secondary education.
The second recipient of this year’s Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation is Marie-Claud Michaud, executive director of the Valcartier Family Centre. Michaud has made great achievements to further the cause of Canada’s Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC). Michaud is responsible for mobilizing the 32 MFRCS across Canada to create a petition, presented in the House of Commons, so military families could be recognized in the new defence policy and organized a meeting on Parliament Hill as part of the initiative. She also created the first MFRC Foundation in Canada.
Founder of Canadian Military Family Magazine, Cyndi Mills, with support from her assistant Michelle Levesque received the award on behalf of Canadian Military Family Magazine. Thanks to their efforts, the CMF Magazine has become a vital resource in providing information and giving military families a voice. The Magazine covers a wide variety of topics including deployment support, relocation, raising military families, community resources, mental health and much more. The growing success has led the publication to be recognized by Magazines Canada.
The Liz Hoffman Memorial Commendation is an award of the Forces Ombudsman given to those individuals or groups who demonstrate exceptional problem-solving and complaint resolution skills.
First presented in 2002, the award was later renamed after Liz Hoffman in 2006. Hoffman was a key member of the Office of the Ombudsman since its creation and worked hard to create a positive change for the men and women of the CAF. Hoffman passed away in Jan. 2006 after a long battle with cancer.
This year’s awards were presented by Dr. Andrea Hoffman, Liz Hoffman’s daughter.