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Dr. Mike (Zhi) Gao Receives Serge Villard Award

During CALA’s 31st AGM, Andrew Adams, CALA President & CEO, presented Dr. Mike (Zhi) Gao the Serge Villard Award.  Serge […]

During CALA’s 31st AGM, Andrew Adams, CALA President & CEO, presented Dr. Mike (Zhi) Gao the Serge Villard Award.  Serge Villard was one of the three originating directors of the Association now known as CALA.  Serge signed the application for incorporation (along with John Lawrence and Don LaBerge) in 1989.  Every year since an assessor who has made a special contribution to CALA is presented with this award.  In 2020, CALA recognized Mike as a noteworthy recipient.

Mike holds a Ph. D. in chemistry from Nankai University and is the Manager, Quality Assurance System at EPCOR in Edmonton, Alberta.   Mike started volunteering as a CALA assessor in 2006, and since then he has performed 43 assessments; for 20 of these assignments, Mike has taken on the responsibility and extra workload of a Lead or sole assessor.

When asked about his experience with CALA, Mike sent the following e-mail:

Being a new immigrant to Canada twenty years ago, my biggest challenge was how to get recognized in Canada for my past education and past experience, so that I can contribute to the new society, or more realistically how to make a living. When I applied for the CALA membership (CAEAL at the time), I was admitted.  I suddenly felt connected.  I appreciated CALA so much for their impartiality and embracing diversity.  This started my experience with CALA.  From reading documents online to becoming an assessor, all opportunities are learning experiences.  The more I am involved in CALA activities, the more I appreciate CALA.  As an organization CALA has clear vision, concrete mission and sincerely care for the laboratories they serve.  I appreciate CALA volunteers and have learned a lot and continue learning from them: leadership, commitment, integrity, professionalism, teamwork, honest discussion, patience, friendship, among others.  The last but not the least, CALA staff.  They maintain high integrity and high ethic in everything they do.  They demonstrate their leadership, accountability, confidence, attention to details, unbiasedness, patience, decisiveness, flexibility and so on.  These are not just a pile of nice words, they are my experience.  These lead to the success of CALA as a well-recognized accreditation leader and most importantly a trusted accreditation body by all the laboratories they serve.

The CALA accreditation team equally enjoy working with Mike!  He is pleasant and always willing to help out where he can, be it on an assessment or doing a presentation at the biennial assessor training.  Feedback from laboratories and co-assessors alike reflect a knowledgeable, diligent, thoughtful, kind person.  We are proud to have Mike represent CALA when he’s on assessments, and are very proud to honour him with this well-deserved award.

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