CEO Update

First things first. I am delighted to introduce our newest member, Penelope “Nellie” Joy Byers, who arrived safely on Tuesday, June 17, 2020. Dad, Ed Byers (CSAE’s Director of Membership and Business Development), mom and big brother are over the moon and we are thrilled for them.

Renowned epidemiologist Dr. David N. Fisman returned to CSAE earlier this week with a follow-up session for members on COVID-19. Dr. Fisman’s message was clear that the next several months, through the fall of 2020, will continue to present challenges with a second wave of COVID-19 almost certain. When it comes to planning, he suggested adopting the practice that has worked well in Japan – the three Cs: avoiding things that are close, closed and crowded. Listen to the entire webinar by following this link. In the meantime, and in the doctor’s words, “we will muddle through the fall” and look forward to better times in 2021.

With this trajectory in mind, CSAE continues to hold discussions with various departments of the federal government; most recently, the Ministry of Finance. These discussions focus on creating an understanding of the importance of the association sector to Canada’s economy and working towards solutions to ensure associations remain viable through this economic crisis.

Thank you for participating in our ongoing efforts to monitor the impact of the crisis and gage activities across the sector. Your input to the monthly Pulse surveys, conducted in partnership with The Portage Group, and the follow-up report to the initial impact survey created by Bramm Research is valuable to CSAE’s advocacy efforts and helps keep us all informed as we move forward. The most recent Pulse report shares findings from a survey of members regarding returning to a shared workspace. I hope you find this information helpful in informing your own workplace decisions.

As we continue to navigate uncharted waters, CSAE needs your insight and help planning and developing future program and service offerings. A call for volunteers recently went out to members, outlining a variety of opportunities across the country. Applications, open to members only, are being accepted through July 25, 2020, and can be accessed by members here.

Staying connected during this time of physical distancing continues to be important. I’ve enjoyed hearing – and seeing – you during Talk Tuesdays, our informal video chats for members, and these will continue over the summer months. Beginning on July 7, Talk Tuesdays will take place on the first and third Tuesday of each month, at 2 p.m. EST.

We are also pleased to open up participation to everyone across the country to the popular annual Summer Summit hosted by the Trillium network. Now presented in a virtual format, this summit begins July 16 – there is still plenty of time to register. The committee has done an exceptional job re-envisioning this traditional event for a new delivery platform that offers the quality learning and development that CSAE members have come to expect.

And, of course, I welcome you all to take part in Unprecedented, this year’s virtual CSAE conference, which has kicked off this week. The innovative program features facilitated Think Tanks that put you and your needs in the driver’s seat to find practical and meaningful solutions to the particular challenges your association is facing. These groups will meet monthly starting in July, so don’t miss an opportunity to join in writing a new script for the future of associations. We are also proud to feature a unique online Showcase that features businesses offering valuable services to our sector. 

Business members, I encourage you to take part in the upcoming Business Members Check-In, where you’ll have the chance to roll-up-your sleeves in small breakout groups and develop initiatives that are meaningful to you.

Until we can meet together in person, there are many ways to keep in touch, and keep learning, through CSAE’s many events and activities throughout the summer months. I hope you’ll find that the offerings are informative and keep you connected with your peers nationwide.

As we see restrictions lifting, and as we are able to venture out a little more, I wish you a safe and wonderful summer – and a happy Canada Day!

Tracy Folkes-Hanson, CAE
President & CEO

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