It is October and I’m sure we are all taking deep breaths as we prepare for another highly productive and beautiful year. We have waived so-long to summer, some of us have settled our children back into school; some elementary, some high school and some into University. Some I’m sure have already begun the process of putting away the summer cloths and pulling out fall and winter wear. Some of us may be re-focusing our energies back to our businesses after the summer break. Either way, we have now settled in for another amazing year. The CanSPEP board is preparing to do the same. I am preparing to wind down my Presidency as we gear up to support the in-coming President, Patricia Pearson.
October, for me, is also a culturally significant time to express our thankfulness. Our thankfulness for all those things, lessons, and people who have in some way or another affected our lives. I want to share that with you and thank you the members, the board members who I have worked with this year, the Past Presidents Council, our association management company, our CanSPEP partners and the Executive for being a part of my life this year. I have learned so much from you and about myself through you as we have travelled together this past year. Thank you.
As the current President, I have been taking deep breaths reflecting on what we as a board have worked on together, I have reflected over some of the challenges we have encountered this year, the strategies developed and built upon to make our association stronger and more relevant to help our members grow their businesses, to help them add, replace, shine, refresh their tools of the trade. I have reflected over some of our successes. This past August we engaged in an innovative and very strategic Board Retreat preparing to move forward. I want to thank the board members and some of our Committee Chairs for carving out the time from their very busy businesses and family lives to dedicate three solid days away – and I mean away. The venue, Lodge on the Point, who hosted us is an off-the-grid retreat location; located north of North Bay on Lake Manitou (www.lodgeonthepoint.com) – absolutely breathtaking; a perfect place to exhale, reflect and rejuvenate. Off the grid? Yes, that means no telephone, no cell, no tv, no internet and after 11 p.m. no electricity! Yes, there was expressions of exasperation when we identified the location however, we needed it! We needed this time both on a personal level and as a board. It has been a long year for the board, as boards before us know, we are all busy entrepreneurs, busy with our family lives and the added dedication we give to CanSPEP is like combining those two personal commitments into a third life. It does not go unseen or unappreciated! I am truly amazed and know I have been humbled and inspired by these amazing people.
It has been a looonnnggg year for me. As many of you are familiar my company has had its busiest year, we have been very fortunate and I am grateful for that, it has also been one of our most challenging years. I have learned a lot; about myself, about running my business, about collaborations, about CanSPEP, about leading a team of volunteers who are all very successful business people in their own right, about our membership. I am so honoured to each of the board members for their dedication and support of me as President and to you our membership. It has been an honour to have been entrusted with this commitment. I am grateful to CanSPEP because as a volunteer I had this opportunity to learn so much – I wasn’t expecting to have received so much back, it has been a very interesting and fulfilling year. We are always saying CanSPEP is like a family and it is – we argue, we disagree J but we also laugh, collaborate and most importantly we have each other’s back and can build amazing relationships. In all honesty it is my relationships within CanSPEP that literally saved my pretty little ‘business’ and sanity this past year. It is the first time I have ever brought in other planners to help me in a project. This year I brought in five of our members to assist in the largest program I have ever delivered. I am so grateful – not only did they help me maintain my sanity but I learned how to let go and to trust in others – not an easy thing for a Type A personality!
I want to leave you with this quote as your continue to build your own businesses, to the Past Presidents Council, to our Partners and to the In-coming Board:
Coming together is a beginning;
Keeping together is progress;
Working together is success.
Let’s look forward to an amazingly successful year as we welcome in unity the 2017/18 Board of Directors!