Bangladeshi Engineers and Computer Science Professionals in BC Association (BECBC) hosted its AGM on Dec 19 virtually with attendance from its members in the Lower Mainland, Okanagan Valley, Greater Victoria, and the rest of BC. 95 members and guests participated in the meeting to find out about BECBC’s journey during a challenging 2020. For millions of people around the world, COVID-19 has changed the perspective on life. The pandemic brought us closer, gave us a chance to have more empathy, and helped us rise above the boundaries of race, gender, and inequality. Hosts Shamsul Hoque and Nashila Jahan started the AGM with a minute’s silence to remember the lives lost during this pandemic and show respect to the fallen heroes of Bangladesh’s Liberation war in 1971.
BECBC currently has about 300 registered members across the province. Members are employed at various levels of the Federal and Provincial government, PHSA, City of Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, BC Hydro, FortisBC, Telus, Microsoft, Amazon, EA Sports, SNC Lavalin, Parsons, Seaspan, BC Housing, BC Transit, Translink and many more. Additionally, the member base includes faculty and student members from UBC, SFU, UVic, BCIT and UBCO. Initially established in 2005, BECBC was revived as an organization in 2020. This year, BECBC obtained approval to run an engineering association from Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC), the licensing body for professional engineers in British Columbia. The constitution and bylaws were amended to meet the latest version of the BC Societies Act prior to incorporating with BC Registries.
In keeping with the norm of social distancing and virtual meetings, Vice Chair – Finance, Md Kamrujjaman, opened the AGM by presenting BECBC’s Financial Report on Zoom. The Chair, Mizan Majumder, then highlighted BECBC’s 2020 milestones and planned initiatives for 2021 from the Annual Report. Engr. Nazmul Hasan (P.Eng.) was commemorated for an outstanding professional career and contribution towards BECBC. Dr. Bonnie Henry was invited to be a keynote speaker at the event. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend due to her competing priorities. She wished BECBC well and thanked us for following BCCDC guidelines. BC Transit’s Director of Enterprise Technology, Dr. Mumit Khan, and UBC Okanagan’s Civil Engineering Professor, Dr. Shahria Alam, graced the event as keynote speakers instead. They joined the AGM from Victoria and Kelowna respectively, to provide an insight on their professional careers and inspire future generations to scale similar heights. Vice Chair – IT, Shahed Anwar, also unveiled BECBC’s official website during the AGM.
Amid the pandemic in 2020, BECBC conducted a number of virtual professional development workshops and technical events on Public Speaking, Project Management, Cyber Security, Lean Six Sigma and Professional Networking. As social interactions dried up, BECBC hosted virtual gatherings on Zoom to connect its members. Focus groups were also held in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna to explore opportunities on how to add value for members. Additionally, under the mentorship of Bazlul Karim, one of the founding members of BECBC, a Startup focus group was initiated. This provided young entrepreneurs with a platform to brainstorm ideas and execution plans for their inventions. TechCollab Techno Business Solutions Inc is one of the first startup success stories to emerge under the banner of BECBC in 2020.
In response to the pandemic, BECBC set up a province-wide volunteering team in March to help deliver essentials and medicines. Members also participated in a blood donation campaign in October. Vice-Chair – Community Services, Mohammed Moniruzzaman Shamim, highlighted these initiatives during the AGM and also spoke about BECBC’s five-week-long Holiday Food Drive. Approximately $3000 worth of donations and food items were collected and were donated to local food banks to bring much-needed cheer during a difficult year.
The AGM also featured member representation from a student member, a young professional and a female member. They spoke about their experiences with BECBC and the influences this association can have in shaping their next steps. The AGM concluded with cultural acts from local artists Arno Kamolika, Shankhanaad Mallick and Samiyya Eusra Hoque. Their soulful performances entertained the crowd on the occasion of Bangladesh’s 49th Victory day.
In 2021, BECBC will focus on continuing these initiatives and making them more engaging. In addition, there will be a focus on training future leaders, professional mentorship workshops, strengthening our presence among BC university students, regional initiatives, women’s outreach program, a job board, and community service programs. BECBC will also be exploring the possibility of registering as a ‘Not-for-profit’ organization with CRA to be eligible for federal, provincial, and municipal funding and relevant programs.
One of the biggest positives of 2020, which does not show up in numbers or events, is the strong and energetic group of executive members and especially the young members of BECBC, who worked tirelessly around the year. The Executive Committee’s hard work, dedication, and commitment resulted in these milestones in 2020. With an established framework in place, BECBC plans to go from strength to strength in 2021. To get involved, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org