A team of leaders makes IPM possible
BY ANGELA BROWN
News Staff It takes a special person to be able to coordinate all the events and activities in planning the upcoming International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Finch, and chair Jim Brownell is certainly the right man for the job.
His experience in politics gives him an edge in being able to lead a vast number of people and committees while keeping track of the main objective to see a task through to completion.
“I’ve led a lot of teams throughout my life-time,” he says.
The former StormontDundas-Charlottenburgh MPP, who resides in Long Sault, is also Hon. Lt-Col of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders Regiment, and president of the Lost Villages Historical Society.
He started work on the Plowing Match planning in April, 2012 after he was selected as chair of the steering committee.
“The plowing match has really consumed my life in the last little while,” Mr. Brownell says.
He recently met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s chair of the eastern region to discuss plans for the event, to make sure all the details were in place. The Premier will be attending the match September 22.
Mr. Brownell says he hasn’t encountered any challenges in organizing the event so far, with everything “running smoothly.”
The upbeat official has been working with many area vol- unteers for this massive undertaking that is being overseen by the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, based in Guelph.
Mr. Brownell says while he is the project leader, it is the collective manpower that is really getting the planning underway.
“We have a very strong team,” says Mr. Brownell. “It’s really the team that is putting this together. We have a wonderful board of directors of nine, and with 53 committees working. It takes some great leaders and we have got them.”
All the various committees have been meeting every three months since 2012 and are now meeting monthly. “Over 100 people come out to those allchairs meetings. It’s just amazing the number of people who are involved,” Mr. Brownell says. A recent all-chairs meeting was held in Char-Lan arena with more than 100 people attending.
The board of directors has been getting together monthly.
The group of volunteers includes North Glengarry Mayor Chris McDonell, who is helping plan security at the gates.
“There is leadership for you right there,” he says.