The legacy of Brenda Myers: a stronger, larger organisation

Brenda Myers has left WCPT after 21 years of service as its Secretary General. She announced her decision to WCPT member organisations in September, saying that it had been a privilege to work for WCPT but it was now time for a new chapter in her life and other adventures.

Presidents past and present have paid tribute. Current President Emma Stokes said: “Her legacy is that she leaves us a stronger and larger organisation. We are where we are as an organisation because of her tremendous commitment. For many people, Brenda is WCPT. She has been an advisor, an encourager, a passionate supporter of the growth of WCPT.”

Brenda Myers joined WCPT in 1995, having been Chair of the International Affairs Committee and then Executive Director of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. During that time fellow Canadian and WCPT President AJ Fernando encouraged her interest in WCPT. Fernando’s successor as President, David Teager, was on the committee that appointed her as Secretary General: “It was perhaps the best decision I made in my life,” he says. “Brenda will leave the organisation more financially secure, larger and in good health to face the future.” 

During her time as Secretary General, WCPT membership has grown from 67 to 111 organisations, congresses have expanded and become more frequent, the Confederation has achieved greater international visibility, its website has become a major resource and WCPT policies and services have grown in number and influence.

Sandra Mercer Moore, WCPT President from 1999 to 2007, said: “I hope the organisation remembers her, because I think she is a true pioneer. We’ve been so fortunate to have her. I don’t want to decry what Presidents or Executive Committees have done, but the driving force behind was one tiny bundle of energy. I’m forever grateful for having had the opportunity to work with Brenda.” 

Also praising Brenda's contribution was Marilyn Moffat, who served as President between 2007 and 2015.

“Brenda has been the backbone, the unsung heroine, non-stop worker and unending supporter of all of us involved in WCPT,” she said. “She was always out there, encouraging the smallest of countries with the least resources to see if they could meet membership standards. There’s no doubt we all owe huge thanks to this incredible woman.”

As she prepared for her departure, Brenda Myers said: “These final few days have been an emotional and reflective time for me. As I close files, clear emails and prepare for leaving, it’s been a time to reflect on all the Executive Committees and Presidents I’ve known, all the people I’ve worked with at the Secretariat, in member organisations, regions and subgroups. It’s taken all of us, as a team, to achieve what we’ve achieved. We’ve done a lot together, always aware there was more to be done.”

“I’ve been very lucky and privileged to have had this job: there have been only three Secretaries General before me. I truly appreciate all the support I have received and it’s so nice to know I leave with friends in all corners of the globe.”

The process of appointing Brenda Myers’ successor is nearing completion, and the WCPT Board will be making an announcement soon. Tracy Bury, WCPT’s Director of Professional Policy, is Interim Chief Executive Officer until a successor is in place.