Brunette proud to serve the profession that ‘chose her’
With this in mind, Go Pro is proud to feature Micheline Brunette, a procurement colleague who has served as a role model within the profession for many years.
Brunette is a manager, capacity building, for the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat for the Canadian federal government. She oversees the collective recruitment processes in the board’s Ottawa Community Management Office.
For the past six years, Brunette has served on the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council (UPPCC), and also has been instrumental in launching Canada’s professional development and certification program for procurement and materiel-management specialists. Additionally, she served as director of portfolio outreach for the Materiel Management Institute.
Brunette has dedicated the majority of her 30 years of public service to the management of procurement-related training, staff development and certification programs.
“I have been lucky during my 30 year career to have had professional leaders who guided my work in a respectful and enjoyable environment,” Brunette said.
Brunette is quick to thank those managers who have mentored her over the years, helping her grow professionally. She believes that it’s now her turn to give back to the profession, by serving as a mentor and a resource to those her program reaches. “It is a positive experience for both the mentor and the trainee,” she said.
Brunette is grateful to be working in the profession that she says chose her.
“Without a doubt, we can all be proud of the important contribution procurement brings to our nations,” Brunette said.
A supportive family
Brunette acknowledged the support of her mother and father throughout her life. “They have taught me to be respectful, independent and confident enough to accomplish my dreams,” she said.
In addition to supporting her life and career decisions, Brunette credits her mother for passing onto her a “high energy level.” A mother-daughter trip to Paris is planned later this year in celebration of her mother’s 80th birthday.
While Brunette today has speaking engagements around the world, presenting to large audiences did not always come so easy for her. In primary school, she was so shy that her teacher stayed after school with her to practice speaking and singing to an empty classroom. Her teacher, Réjeanne Laplante, believed in Brunette and her abilities, which eventually led to participation in many plays and recitals.
“I will always be thankful for my teacher’s patience and trust in me,” Brunette said, adding that Laplante’s support encouraged her to pursue her studies in social communications at University Saint Paul in Ottawa.
When she’s not working, Brunette’s passion is her family. Brunette and her husband are the proud parents of an active teenage daughter, Chanelle, and they show their support for her at soccer games, cheerleading events and driving lessons.
Another passion is raising money for cancer research. Brunette has participated in a number of annual charity road races, and she is gearing up for a 10-kilometer event in October.
Building for the future
According to Brunette, one of the most important issues facing Canadian government purchasers is the high level of attrition in the procurement community, which includes procurement, materiel-management and real-property specialists. It is estimated that 40 percent of the Canadian public procurement work force will be eligible to retire in the next five years. Brunette believes that the transfer of knowledge from the experienced purchasers to the next generation of employees will be critical.
To address this challenge, Brunette and others in the Canadian federal public service have worked diligently on an effort to build capacity and recruit new purchasers. By working with other departmental managers, she was able to build a pool of 103 qualified candidates for entry-level procurement positions. The departments can electronically access these candidates to staff their positions through July 2009.
Brunette encourages young women in the profession to become certified.
“I strongly believe that becoming certified is the best investment they will ever make for their personal career development at a national and international level,” Brunette said.
About the author
Darin Matthews is the immediate past president of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and serves as the chief procurement officer for Metro, the regional government of Portland, Ore. Contact him at [email protected].