The following quotations have been extracted from various newspaper clippings, evaluation surveys and letters in relation to the consulting or seminar work of George B. Cuff & Associates Ltd.
- Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) is a new organization… An Interim Board was assigned to lay the foundations for this start up. From the Board’s first meeting, excellence in governance was, and remains, part or our foundation. George was instrumental in guiding our Board and staff throughout our start-up year. George, your expert advice and genuine interest in our success was evident through your highly personalized and thoughtful contributions. Thank you, George, for helping to establish RDAR as a vibrant, and well-governed organization. (Dr. David Chalack, Chair, RDAR Board of Directors, 2020-2022)
- Thank you very much George! I wish I had this information when I was first elected! Thank you for a wonderful way to start a day & lots to think about for the rest of the week! (Participant, Community Futures Meridian, SK)
- I am writing to say "thanks" for all the advice and information you have given me while I was an elected Councillor…from 2004- 2020. Over the years, I purchased a number of your books and faithfully read your column in Municipal World. In 2007, our CAO had you come to make a presentation to a number of elected officials from towns, villages and Counties…I had just been elected Reeve and really appreciated your message that day. In closing, I want to repeat that your advice for elected officials gave me support and municipal understanding which I desperately needed over the years. It seemed that the longer I served as Reeve, the more information I needed! (Councillor, central Alberta)
- Firstly, I wanted to tell you I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on October 23rd. I am new to this role of Clerk-Treasurer and I remarked to the mayor after the session that I felt like I learned more from you in two hours than I have in the 9 months I’ve been in this role. (Participant, Ontario, E4M Seminar)
- “I will only consider your workshop a success if …” is what I told you before your visit to … Ex post facto, it was a success and much more. It became apparent up close, you are a very warm, caring person; your Christianity and giving spirit in plain sight. Thank you for your volunteer work, giving is a gift to ourselves. (Participant, Seminar, Vancouver Island, BC)
- I want to thank you again very much for the two presentations to our LAMP Board - Board Governance and what to look for in an ED. Our board members come from diverse backgrounds, but all have a common desire to do what is best for LAMP. Some come at it with more of the heart, and others with more of the head, but all want to see LAMP be successful in fulfilling its mission in the north. I believe that our board members now all of a common footing on which to go forward re board governance, and a more common definition of what good board governance is. The session on what to look for in an ED was very timely, as the Boards confirmed their decision to not extend the contract for the current ED, to authorize the search committee to select a search firm to help in that task, and to amend the budget to allow for search related costs. George, I believe that your sessions with our 2 boards were both needed and timely. Thanks again for all you have done for your group! (Chair, Lutheran Association of Missionaries and Pilots)
- City of Fort Saskatchewan Managers and Supervisors were fortunate participants in George Cuff’s “Management Briefing Workshop” on the afternoon of December 12, 2019. The session was applicable for leaders across the organization and blended content on municipal government and organizational effectiveness. Workshop topics included role clarity for city administration, expectations of councils, manager skill sets, relationship building, organizational health, and values/ethical standards. The content is practical and delivered in straightforward manner with many teachable moments. Mr. Cuff’s experience in governance and organizations is far reaching and the entire presentation was punctuated with great stories to further emphasize learning. (John Dance, General Manager, City of Fort Saskatchewan)
- George, I want to say again how much I enjoyed your review and presentation. Badly needed and I am hopeful it was well received. (Acting CAO, City of Cranbrook, BC)
- George, you held a session last year related to the Council- Administration relationship, workload, translating political direction into operational reality, etc. Our management team LOVED it and so we’ve been very pleased to schedule something similar for this trip. (Sheila Bassi-Kellett, SAO, City of Yellowknife)
- I just wanted to thank you again for presenting to our team yesterday - I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from you over the years and I really wanted to give our staff the same opportunity. After the session I received a lot of feedback on how they appreciated the valuable insights you provided and how this is something that we needed to do as a team. (Gord Cebryk, Deputy City Manager, Operations, City of Edmonton)
- Please accept my sincere thanks for your involvement in the Northwest Territories Association of Communities (NWTAC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Hay River (March 2nd 2018). We have received very positive feedback about the good governance session and the value for participants. Your information, ideas and concepts presented to the group as well as your openness to questions and comments were a key factor in this success. We appreciate that you have a busy schedule, and your involvement with this year’s AGM is greatly appreciated. (Clarence Wood, President NWT Association of Communities)
- Thanks again for today. Perfect as always. (CAO - Beaver County)
- Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to Council and Administration yesterday. The information you provided the group was very insightful and thought provoking. We will absolutely put what we learned yesterday to good use! (City of Chestermere)
- Thank you again for coming and imparting your wisdom and experience. (Cote Ste. Luc, Montreal)
- Thank you so much for your instruction, expertise and your time. (Westwind School Board)
- Thank you for being our Advisor on today’s Elected Officials Orientation. It was a pleasure to once again hear your stories of the past and of what unfortunately is still happening in Councils today. (Participant, Taber Regional Seminar)
- It was such a pleasure to meet you last week…You gave such an awesome presentation that got lots of us thinking. For that I say thank you. I also admire how you integrated your faith into the presentation. (Participant, Strathcona Regional Seminar)
- Thank you for your support, and for sharing your expertise and wisdom. I heard very positive comments from Mayor and Council regarding today's orientation session. (Participant, Lac La Biche)
- Great presentation. I really enjoyed the day. (Mayor at the Greenview Regional Seminar)
- Great presentation. I really enjoyed the day. (Participant and Organizer, Claresholm/Fort McLeod Seminar)
- We further debriefed on yesterday’s presentation and feedback is that it was very worthwhile. Thanks again for your work. (Management, Elk Island Public School Board)
- Just wanted to say first of all thanks for an excellent session today. (Participant, Cypress County/Medicine Hat Regional Seminar)
- George B. Cuff and Associates were invaluable in assisting our Council by completing a Governance Audit of the City of Lloydminster after our Council was elected. Mr. Cuff and associates provided candid, clear communication with Council through the entire audit process. The final report provided numerous practical, clear recommendations to advance this Council’s work in building a stronger, more sustainable community for current and future residents. Mr. Cuff has followed up numerous times to check on our progress and provide additional insight to the activities. His level of commitment and support to better governance for our city was second to none. Cuff & Associates are my first recommendation to help your municipality move forward with better governance. (Mayor, City of Lloydminster 2017)
- Talk to you in the new year and you should also know that I am going to try to book you for the next council orientation in 4 years even if you say you are retired. (Luc Mercier, CAO - Woodlands County; December 18th 2017)
- My feeling is that AMVIC and all others who spent time with you and your people will benefit greatly over the long run. Government too. Your experience and genuine "force of personality" are hard to deny.(Board Member, AMVIC, 2016)
- The feedback from the CM’s was very positive. I know at least two that plan to have a council member orientation and wanted the presentation sent to them as soon as possible. CMs said the information was very helpful and a couple of them told me they really appreciated the format as we didn’t have, yet another, retreat with easels full of lists, and brainstorming, and small group discussions, etc, etc. It was nice for them to sit back and listen to meaningful information. I so appreciate your facilitating our retreat! (City Manager, Albany, CA 2016)
- I participated a seminar on the Council-Manager relationship led by George. His years of experience as an elected official and management consultant to municipalities shone through as he provided wide-ranging insights into what contributes to effective (and ineffective) relationships. I highly recommend George as a municipal trainer and consultant for his practical approach and depth of knowledge. Your presentation came at a great time for me personally. I’ve been confronting many of the issues you addressed but hadn’t had much of a chance to step back and reflect on them. Your insights and experiences will be extremely helpful as I continue to move forward in my new role. (City Manager, Kitchener, ON 2016)
- Your presentation came at a great time for me personally. I’ve been confronting many of the issues you addressed but hadn’t had much of a chance to step back and reflect on them. Your insights and experiences will be extremely helpful as I continue to move forward in my new role. (Participant, San Leandro, CA 2016)
- The SARM Board of Directors would like to thank you for your presentation at the 2016 SARM Annual Convention earlier this month. It was a great opportunity for our members to receive your insights on council’s relationships and governance. The feedback we have received has been positive. (President, Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities 2016)
- Thank-you for your time and your thoughtful insights. Our team was thrilled at the outcome of the session. It was the first event with this level of leadership participating within the new department and we couldn't have asked for a better topic and speaker to reinforce the messages we have been communicating around improving our relationships with Council and citizens. (Coordinator, Integrated Infrastructure Services, City of Edmonton 2016)
- Excellent report George. I have no comments except positive. (CAO, Beaver Municipal Solutions/Beaver Regional Waste Management Services Commission)
- I reviewed the report and just wanted to say that I thought that it was excellent – well-written and well-researched. I’m pleased as well as impressed that you and your colleagues managed to get a good understanding of the complex issues surrounding this particular case. Your assessment of our current administration was very fair. I support your recommendations. (General Manager and Chief Administrative Officer, Local Government Leadership Academy)
- And thank you once again for doing such a great job. Your keynote got very high ratings and I heard it went very well. It was a definite highlight of the Kimberley event from what I'm told. Much appreciated! (Program Manager)
- We here at Northern Rockies Regional Municipality truly enjoyed your presentations in Dawson Creek last week. Both workshops were very informative and our Council was very impressed with your information. Once again, we commend you on your work and look forward to seeing you in the future.
- Municipality of Sioux Lookout had purchased the videos and found them extremely helpful in our Council orientation. The amount of paper that new Council members receives is daunting and the videos were an excellent way for them to view at their own pace. George manages to keep the audience informed and entertained so they don’t lose interest. (CAO, The Corporation of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout)
- The Governance Audit report does an excellent job in reviewing Kenora’s current governance structure, identifying issues, and offering solid recommendations for moving Kenora forward, including templates and examples. The process included a direct, knowledgeable, and yet entertaining orientation session for Council on governance, which was well received by Council and staff and should be considered a critical component of any new Council orientation program. George, it was my pleasure to have had this opportunity to work with you and I would like to personally thank you for your invaluable insight, support and advice throughout this process, and beyond. (CAO, City of Kenora)
- I thought I would share with you what the plan is regarding your time here. We have created the attached “Cuff Plan” (for lack of a better term) which outlines all of the recommendations you put forward, as well as a list of what we call “informal recommendations” as suggestions you put throughout the text of the report. Each item has been prioritized and a ballpark date set for accomplishment. It is still a work in progress but is coming along nicely. We have adopted your report in principle, and the “Cuff Plan” is being integrated into the Council strategic plan. (CAO, Town of Cardston)
- Your lecture in Kimberley was excellent. Inspiring way to start the conference. I really liked your no-nonsense approach. (Councillor, City of Trail)
- I had the pleasure of participating in your ICMA webinar presentation regarding Council orientation last week. Thank you for the insight on how to design an effective Council orientation program. (Village Clerk, Pinehurst, NC)
- Thank you so much for sharing with us the benefit of lessons learned and best practices gleamed over the course of your experience in this industry. (Manager, Nogales, AZ)
- I attended the OCCMA conference in Bend and enjoyed your spirited presentations. (Administrator, Durham, Oregon)
- ICMA 2015 Webinar Feedback Overview: 94% Valuable to Very Valuable
- Merry Christmas to you George and thank you again! I have heard great feedback from all my Council on the session. They are off to a great start and I have several new ideas to pursue. I look forward to seeing another of your presentations.
(CAO, North Saanich)
- Thanks again for the fantastic orientation session yesterday. I had very positive comments from my staff in attendance as well as the Mayor and other Councillors. If it’s not too much trouble, could you please forward those questions for the auditors? I am sure my Councillors would great appreciate it. (CAO, Sydney, BC)
- Thank you again for your inspiring and insightful presentation in West Kelowna today. I certainly walked away with some new ideas to "ponder." (Councillor Elect, Summerland)
- It was a great privilege so early in my career as a councillor to have the opportunity to attend the boot camp hosted by West St. Paul that featured yourself (Canada’s leading consultant in Municipal Government). The time we spent was value packed with information that will undoubtedly make our council better and more effective. I look forward to reading the referenced material and hope the opportunity arises again in the future to be in your audience. (2nd term Councillor, City of Selkirk Manitoba)
- I wanted to take moment to tell you how much I enjoyed your talk today, you can hire someone to deliver a talk. What you can't do is hire someone to be passionate. Your voice will be ringing in my ears for years to come. I look forward to the next time our paths cross. (White Rock Council)
- It was a treat to hear you speak at our CVRD training a few weeks ago. I have referenced your advice almost daily and I’ve asked our executive assistant to buy the books for our library. I’m brand new to this gig and this scene and your talk and (soon) books will be my floatation devices. (Councillor, Municipality of North Cowichan)
- I just wanted to personally thank you for the management session you provided us. It’s always great to have the opportunity to learn! Knowing what information you provide the Board is also beneficial to staff. (Cariboo Regional District)
- I have to tell you I very much enjoyed the Bootcamp and feel invigorated going back to my Board with some changes to implement. (West St. Paul, Manitoba)
- Thank you again for your inspiring and insightful presentation in West Kelowna today. I certainly walked away with some new ideas to "ponder." (West Kelowna)
- Thanks again for a great presentation at the Cowichan Valley Regional District. It was very informative, and entertaining, as usual. (Cowichan Valley)
- The best were the stories utilized throughout the two days which make the information and suggestions real. Every session was beneficial for different reasons. George kept our interest throughout the two days; really enjoyed his style and real-life stories and sense of humour. Very easy to listen to; I like the no nonsense approach. (Kindersley, Saskatchewan)
- It was fabulous and I used some of your ideas at the Council meeting two days ago. When we had 5 delegations totalling 93 minutes, I reminded our Mayor of your words "do the important things first". (LGAA Conference)
- Regional Seminar Participants Comments:
- Very engaging speaker. Much discussion about governance models, but not enough definition or description of the various types. I'll investigate his website for more info. Thank you!
- Informative, evidence based and very relevant
- Very informative and engaging.
- Good presentation, use of humour, very engaging. Lots of good information but sad the content still has to be provided.
- Although I am not an elected Councillor, the information provided can be translated to the board I serve. Thank you for the insight.
- Great speaker well thought out and informal.
- Enjoy the examples and breadth of experience. Valuable access that we can consult you. Like the templates and other info/precedents that we can use/ liked storytelling and cautionary tales.
- Very inspiring. From a management perspective shows the divide and how I should prepare myself to better inform Council to make informed decisions.
- Excellent presentation. Would love to have you do such a presentation geared toward First Nations governance.
- Thanks George. The 4 hour session went much faster than I thought it would. You gave us lots to think of and to work on. Thank you for your time!
- Good content/somewhat "preachy." Using adult education principles -- could you use a case-based approach? More examples. Start with audience issues. Overall useful, informative and challenging. Appreciated the emphasis on principles and ethics. (Regional Seminar, Terrace, BC)
General Request for Information 2014
- This will be very helpful. Your wisdom holds weight for anyone who has been exposed to your writings! (ICMA Conference)
- Thanks for once again adding great value to the ICMA University Workshops offered at the 100th Annual conference in Charlotte. As you will see from the comments your presentation really had impact and I so appreciate your willingness to teach as part of ICMA U. (Conference Organizer)
- This was one of the best ICMA conferences I attended, and your topic and presentation was spot on with some of the issues my Manager and I are engaging with our Council. ((ICMA Conference)
- I have been in the City Manager business for over 30 years and my only regret is that I did not hear your comments much earlier in my career. Your insight would have helped tremendously, and I would not have to have learned so many of the lessons you teach through my own trials and (often painful) errors. (ICMA Conference)
- I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on Council/Manager relationships at the ICMA conference and had an opportunity to discuss many of the governance points you raised during your presentation with our senior staff today. (ICMA Conference)
It was fabulous and I used some of your ideas at the Council meeting two days ago. When we had 5 delegations totaling 93 minutes, I reminded our Mayor of your words "do the important things first". There were big decisions to be made and the first two hours were pre-empted by other ideas and were not as important. (Councillor, Strathcona County)
Just wanted to thank you for your outstanding session…met by a solid positive response from Councillors. (Mayor, City of Lethbridge)
I wanted to take a quick minute to thank you for the orientation day here in Lethbridge. The one day of learning has trumped the preceding months since elected! I appreciate your insight and advice and look forward to implementing. (Councillor, Capital Region Board)
Thank you, George, for your excellent presentation. You really know how to deliver a message; I only wish that all of board members had been there to listen. You really are an expert in your field and you should feel very proud of the work that you do. It is a honour to work with you. (Manager, Metis Settlements of Alberta)
- 76% of participants rated the session a 5 and the feedback was positive. A few of the comments included that the participants found the entire program very educational and that it was delivered in a fresh, new way. One participant noted that they would have benefited from a dedicated question and answer period at the end of the day, as well as some focus on practical solutions for real issues that settlements face. A few other comments included:
I really enjoyed George's input and experiences, thank you.
- Great presentation. Great speaker. Provides council members with the tools to provide good governance if they use the information provided.
(Manager, Northern Alberta)
2013 SUMA Conference Comments
- I hope all is well with you and that you continue to share your gift with other elected officials. I can never thank you enough for the support and encouragement you offered me in my time of need. I think of you often and hope all is well with you and your family.
- George Cuff was excellent! All councils need to hear him.
- My council wanted me to go to this session because they knew that George Cuff was going to be there. The rest of my council went to the villages under 500 but would have liked to hear the rest of what George had to say.
- George Cuff is a dynamic speaker. Very informative. Often had a vivid picture in my mind!
- I enjoyed your presentation on governance and, even though I am on the management side, have implemented new ways of providing information to my council. I have a number of your books and have reviewed a number of organizational reviews that you have completed for various communities. This has provided me with considerable information on how to do my job better. (Seminar Participants, SUMA)
2012 and Earlier
- The evening’s presentation to Council was nicely balanced – both candid and caring and provided hope for the future – which is something that has been missing. (City of Courtenay)
- George, I enjoyed your two presentations. (City of Campbell River)
- Thank you for your very well thought out and comprehensive analysis of our situation (Alberta Energy)
- We believe Mr. Cuff has done a good job at identifying the key themes. A number of Mr. Cuff's recommendations have already been addressed in the normal course of Board business. We broadly support his conclusions and recommendations. (Alberta Agriculture, Meat Inspection Branch)
- At first glance I think it looks good...pretty blunt, but you warned us that it would be!
- It is very thorough and well done.
- Truly enjoyed his presentations and frankness. Appreciated the resources he referred to and has agreed to send to us in a package.
- I really like his style and candor for this workshop. Keep it up.
- Provides challenge to do better, be better, and lead better. Enabled me to take a step back and evaluate my personal character and how that impacts my effectiveness.
- Wise and informative outlook on the topic at hand. Privileged to sit through the sessions he presented.
- Very knowledgeable, thank you. Challenged me personally to apply a lot of his knowledge.
- Real world experience and advice. Excellent speaker.
- I really enjoy George; he is the master of making individuals reflect and challenging them to make improvements and betterments.
- I really enjoy George; he is the master of making individuals reflect and challenging them to make improvements and betterments.
- I thoroughly enjoyed George's personal style. To the point! We deal with enough ambiguity in the political fishbowl we work in.
- This was refreshing~ I honor his knowledge and experience.
- I attended your governance meeting in Calgary a couple weeks ago that you did for Canada Beef. I have to admit when I saw the topic on the agenda for Tuesday, I sighed at the thought of sitting through an entire day on the topic of governance. However, I wanted to say thanks for making the topic very interesting and informative. I did learn some stuff that I did not know before the meeting. (Canada Beef)
- Thank you so much for your report and presentation to Council. There was good discussion at Council both at the end of the morning and the end of the day...Again - thanks for your work, George. It was well received by Council. Always a pleasure to work with you! (College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta)