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Welcome to


People in Public


A Letter From Our Chair &

Executive Director

Dear Members,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I have some meaningful news to share and wanted you to be among the first to know.

Since its creation in 1945, the Quarter Century Club (QCC) has experienced numerous transformations and opportunities. Initially established as a branch of the Ontario Government, the QCC recognized twenty-five years of service for its employees. In 1993, it underwent a significant shift by transitioning from a government entity to a non-profit organization. Throughout each decade, the QCC has navigated new challenges and embraced fresh opportunities, a continuous evolution. Despite the changes, one constant has defined our journey: a steadfast commitment to those who choose a career in public service. As the QCC celebrates its 79th year, we stand at the threshold of even greater opportunities to contribute value to the public service community. To symbolize this growth, I am thrilled to unveil our new organization’s name: Applaud – People in Public Service.

A Lifetime of Recognition

The name Quarter Century Club (QCC) has taken us far in our journey as an organization. Dating back to our conception as a branch of the Ontario Government, our namesake was quite literal: Ontario public service employees reaching 25 years of service could join the Quarter Century Club to receive certificates, pins, and banquet dinners to honor their time spent contributing to the public good.

However, our former name can no longer hold all the ways our members find value in their membership. In the past year alone, our programming expanded by 85%. Today we provide recognition at all stages of members’ lives and careers. From their first day as a public servant, members can enjoy more free programming, rewards, career learning opportunities, and social networking than ever before.

To make space for our expanded free programming we will also be transitioning away from supporting the Government’s long service recognition program. While we’ve worked behind the scenes to administer the Ontario Government’s long service recognition program, we are now focusing on a future with a multitude of ways to recognize members at all stages of their career and into retirement.

Why Applaud?

A name is more than just words on a page: it shows what we stand for. As an organization often confused with the Ontario Government, we needed a name that could carry the aspirations of our new vision. With members’ insights from brand focus groups and close to 2000 survey responses, we created a name that embodies our strategic direction. 

“ Applauding is timeless and universal.

We applaud when we are in community together.

We applaud to include everyone in the conversation.

Applaud is about what we do best: coming together to celebrate what you, our members, do for their communities. ”

Our Unwavering Commitment to You

In 2022, we launched a new strategy to address the challenges in the evolving recruitment landscape and redefined our organizational identity. Our vision is Enhancing the lives of those who choose a career in the public sector. Our mission is to foster pride and value in the public sector by celebrating, developing, and connecting members at all life and career stages through top-quality programming and services.

Changes included opening membership to individuals in public service at any age and career stage, shifting from long-service recognition to “applauding those in public service.” We have introduced diverse programs such as Community Matters workshops across the province, virtual book clubs, and 30+ webinars annually on a variety of topics. We have piloted pre-retirement courses online and in person, and career supporting programs that include webinars, and coffee and career chats. The Path of Public Service is our signature program showcasing the people behind public service through both articles and podcasts.  The transformation continued with the introduction of the Applaud Community in April 2023, a virtual network boasting more than 4000 members engaging in networking and activities.

As we embark on this exciting new chapter as Applaud, we assure our members that your experience remains our top priority. The name change signifies more than just a shift in nomenclature; it marks the beginning of an extraordinary journey into a new and enhanced organization. Our unwavering commitment promises a wave of opportunities, benefits, rewards, transformative learning experiences, and dynamic social networking under the Applaud banner, ensuring a future filled with unparalleled possibilities and exceeding expectations at every turn.

Thank you for being an integral part of our community. Together, we celebrate the past, embrace the present, and eagerly look forward to the future as Applaud. 

We’re here to applaud you for all that you do. And we can’t wait to continue this journey with you.


Paul Byron,
Chair, Applaud

Lesley Brown,
Executive Director, Applaud

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