Leadership in 2021

Not only is the world changing, it’s changing fast. It’s no longer “business as usual”. The current PEO Council has advocated to move forward to adapt to a changing world. PEO must continue this positive change to remain relevant.

As PEO’s Vice President-elect, I serve on the Executive Committee (EXE) and the Joint Relations Committee (JRC). Previously I have served on the Government Liaison Committee (GLC) from 2011 to 2017, in the last two years as chair. I attended many “Take Your MPP to Work” events across the province, hosted by local chapter’s Government Liaison Program (GLP) chair. I often stated that we had our “finger on the pulse” of PEO.

Souvenir bag from Joint Government Relations Conference (PEO and OSPE)

The GLC has hosted several joint government relations conferences and receptions at Queen’s Park, as well as Regional Congresses which provided training and opportunities to meet with local MPPs. The most recent conference was a virtual event on November 6th where I had the privilege to interview MP Marilyn Gladu, the first woman engineer elected to Parliament, on her important contribution as a role model.

Leadership in engineering includes communication of the role of engineers, the value of the engineering “brand”, the value of being part of a profession, and the value to the public and industry in hiring professional engineers. All these messages support the regulatory role of PEO. A strong P.Eng. brand supports protecting the public interest.

Key regulatory messages include:

  • The self-regulatory model that PEO is priveleged to operate under in Ontario;
  • The role of regulation and standards in serving and protecting the public interest; and
  • Differentiating PEO’s mandate (as a regulator) from OSPE’s mandate (as an advocacy body).

To achieve a sustainable future of self-regulation for our profession, one of my priorities is Enhancing the Value of P.Eng. I commit to enhancing the value of your license from EIT through all stages of your professional career.

Vote Darla Campbell for PEO President-Elect 2021.

#PEOElection #EngineeringMatters #redefinepossible #BuildingFuture Together

Strategic Thinking

On February 7th I attended Chatham-Kent chapter’s AGM. One of the smallest chapters in the province (approx. 330), the chapter delivered a sold-out event. How did they do that? They needed to think outside the box.

Back on November the chapter decided that they needed to do something different to get good attendance at their AGM from a cross-section of their membership. With some strategic thinking the executive decided to plan a bus tour to three restaurants (appetizers, dinner and dessert stops). They planned to run the business of the AGM on the bus with new license certificates presented at the dinner stop.

What started out as a possibly risky venture (trying something new) ended up a resounding success. Congratulations to Chapter Chair Angela Scott and her team! Thank you to the chapter for your hospitality on Friday night.

I really enjoyed meeting the chapter members and especially the conversations about opportunities for PEO to consider changes as part of the modernization initiative. Some bold ideas and strategic thinking could be applied at the PEO Council table and that’s why I’m running for Vice President!

Chatham-Kent Chapter hosting their AGM as part of a bus tour to three restaurants.
Chapter presented six new license holders with their certificates, the most in recent memory.
Angela Scott making announcements at the dessert stop of the AGM tour.

Proven Leadership

On Saturday morning I joined the PEO Scarborough Chapter for their AGM which included an opportunity for all candidates in the Council election to speak for two minutes. After all the speeches we were invited on stage to answer questions. This was a great engagement session with the chapter.

Scarborough Chapter AGM – February 1, 2020
Speaker: Keivan Torabi, PhD, P.Eng., East Central Region Councillor

I told a story about my leadership role with the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA). You may have heard about the CNE, one of the largest fairs in North America, held annually in Toronto. I was elected to the Board at the time of great change for the organization. In fact, that was why I was running for the position. The organization was moving from being part of the City of Toronto to being a not-for-profit, completely independent of the City. I felt that my governance experience would prove to be an asset to the organization.

I found that there were many opportunities to contribute to important decisions of the organization. Seeing it through the lens of an engineer, I was able to identify risks and opportunities that my colleagues hadn’t noticed. I served on the Governance Committee and as chair of the Policy, Strategy and Innovation Committee. Together we delivered a very innovative and thoughtful strategic plan for the next five years and identified the necessary changes to governance to ensure long term sustainability of the organization.

It is this proven leadership experience that I bring to PEO Council. The challenges are different, of course, but taking a collaborative approach to moving forward with the best interest of the overall organization in mind, I’m bringing experience that will support PEO in its modernization initiative.

Campaign Trail 2020

The campaign kicked off with the All Candidate Meetings at PEO headquarters on January 8th for the Vice President Candidates. Barry Steinberg was the moderator for the session and the questions ranged from the most important values of leadership to which of the recommendations in the Cayton Report are the top priorities for implementation. Here is the link to the video. (

Brampton Chapter hosted their license ceremony and AGM on January 23rd where they presented 24 new license holders with their certificates.

On January 25th, Lake Ontario Chapter hosted their AGM and license ceremony which also recognized 24 new license holders. At dinner I met two new P.Eng.’s and their families. After dinner I met three women who received their certificates and talked about the 30 by 30 initiative.

During my two minute campaign pitch, I took the opportunity to ask the new P.Eng.’s in the room to stand and be recognized. There was an enthusiastic round of applause! I shared with the audience that I chose engineering because it provided an opportunity to be part of a profession, a profession which I am very proud to be a part of, each and every day. Now it is time for me to contribute my skills at the table of PEO Council to ensure that we continue to modernize the operations as a world class regulator, prepared to meet the challenges ahead.

I wished all new P.Eng.’s great success in their journey.

Supporting PEO to Greater Heights


PEO Council approved its new strategic plan 2018-2010 at the November 2017 Council meeting:

Protect. Engage. Advance.

MISSION:  Regulate and advance the practice of engineering to protect the public interest.

VISION:  The trusted leader in professional self-regulation.

CORE VALUES: Accountability, Respect, Integrity, Professionalism, Teamwork.

I have attended many Council meetings over the past year but I missed this meeting which also included approval of:

  • supporting the 30 by 30 initiative and
  • the governance motion that was passed as a member submission at the AGM in Thunder Bay (that I presented on behalf of Lisa MacCumber who moved the submission).

My term on the Government Liaison Committee (GLC) ended in December 2017 and I bring seven years of experience of having my finger on the pulse of regulatory issues impacting PEO.  I am proud of the important work that we accomplished with the Government Liaison Program and look forward to the roll-out of GLP 2.0 that was approved by Council in June 2017.

I am excited to see a new strategic objective of engaging chapters as a valuable regulatory resource.  At the Chapters Leaders Conference on Nov 18th, 2017, I participated in a breakout discussion moderated by Ishwar Bhatia on how chapters can be an effective regulatory vehicle for PEO.  The discussion recognized current activities such as license presentation ceremonies that serve the regulatory mandate and embraced the idea of a chapter regulatory scorecard (modelled after the chapter GLP scorecard) that would provide guidance on the types of activities that support PEO as a valuable regulatory resource.

There is good work already underway at PEO Council and I am putting my name forward as candidate for Councillor-at-Large to continue to support PEO to greater heights. #VoteDarla #GreaterHeights