It was the inspiration and galvanization of the design community by Michael Marshall, and, his attempts at organizing in Victoria for many years that resulted in the founding of the Vancouver Island Chapter of the GDC. The existing BC Chapter’s activities were, round trip, six hours away and would often necessitate an overnight stay. Vancouver Islanders could not regularly support activities at such a distance. Michael saw the need to focus on and develop the Island’s design community.
In 1989, following some informal discussions beginning sometime in late 1988, Michael organized the first meeting of the original Vancouver Island GDC Steering Committee to create a quasi-independent extension of the BC Chapter in order to bring shared speakers and events to the Island.
In May of 1993, GDC Vancouver Island Chapter was established and Michael was elected Interim President. He represented GDC/VI at the national planning meeting and became a signatory of the Elgin/O’Connor Report. He convened the first GDC/VI AGM in March of 1994 and, as a result of the first official elections, became the GDC/VI Founding President and National Representative.
In May 1994, GDC/VI was formally accepted as a Chapter at the National BGM in Halifax. Michael was elected as one of three National Vice-Presidents.
Michael served as the Chapter’s president for 4 years. He helped develop a sponsorship template, originally to help fund our Creative Awards, which became the blueprint for our annual chapter sponsorship program and has been adopted by other chapters. He spearheaded the development of our creative awards program which in turn helped our Chapter grow and increase membership. His fairness, determination and forthright style gave his executive colleagues direction, freedom and encouragement to develop into one of the most active and vibrant chapters in the GDC. The awards programme, sponsorship materials and programming, developed by the chapter, are templates the rest of the country can learn from and use to build a stronger organization.
Michael was National VP of Membership and Marketing for two years. His enthusiasm at national meetings was constructive, inspiring and energizing. When it was decided that the constitution needed to be updated and revised, Michael took on the task of rewriting the document, which ended up taking several years to complete. Michael was a participant in the marathon “Constitution Session,” which lasted until 2:00am, in Windsor. He was able to create a new constitution that met the GDC’s needs, Ontario’s needs and our future needs. The work he has done will assist for years to come and the national is indebted to him for his efforts.
— Remarks by Peggy Cady, David Coates & Steven Rosenberg