Your national executive council met in Toronto on April 9–10 for our first quarterly meeting of 2016.
What did you talk about?
We’ve been working on a number of projects since September, so this meeting gave us a chance to see where things stand and what needs to happen next. Here are some of the projects we discussed:
- Striking a new task force to look at the relationship between the branches and twigs and the national office, including the financial relationship and two-way communications. (This was part of our plan since September; we are moving it to the front burner.) Task force members will include representatives from the branches and twigs, Patrick Banville (our executive director) and several members of the national executive council. This decision was prompted by an excellent conversation we had with two members of Editors Toronto: Nancy Foran (past chair) and Sara Scharf (treasurer), who dropped by for an hour on Saturday to talk about some concerns and challenges.
- Launching the new website. Updating the website has turned out to be a more complicated project than we realized. It’s a bit like doing a renovation—the scope of the project expands as you see what’s behind the walls or in the wiring. We (somewhat ambitiously) are both incorporating the new Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) look and moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7—and we had to change developers mid-stream. Things are back on track and we hope to start beta testing in early May. We will keep you posted. Thanks for being patient. We’re doing all we can: like that kitchen reno, it will be worth the wait to get things right.
- Setting up online training. We’re launching our national webinar program later this spring. We have a couple of instructors lined up for spring webinars (and are in discussions with one or two more) and are busy testing the webinar platform. Once that testing is done, we’ll announce the spring lineup. We plan to avoid duplicating what branches and twigs offer in person during the same season so that webinars complement seminars rather than replace them.
- Launching an annual social media campaign to promote an issue that is important to editors. As the voice of Canadian editors, Editors Canada can help to start conversations about key issues, such as the need for plain language in legal texts, the need for an up-to-date Canadian dictionary, and more. We’d like to pick one issue per year and use social media to help us reach language professionals and key decision makers.
- Connecting remote members to each other. Many of our members live far from a branch or twig, but might enjoy connecting with other remote members to discuss shared concerns. We’d like to set up a channel to help that communication happen. We plan to invite any remote members who attend the 2016 conference to get together to start that conversation.
- Getting some expert advice on voting outside of an AGM. Lynne Massey—a past executive director of the association who later played a lead role on the two governance task forces that planned the association’s compliance with the recent Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act—joined us for an hour so we could learn more about holding member votes outside the AGM (the rules changed with the act). We also talked about various concerns relating to electronic voting, including clarifying its relationship to proxy voting and making contingency plans for power outages. You’ll be hearing more about this topic soon.
- Continuing to set up partnerships with related organizations in Canada and around the world. We recently announced a partnership with the American Copy Editors Society; we’ve been working on inviting many others to partner with us to benefit members of both groups.
- Looking at finances: As always, we reviewed the financial picture and membership trends. Like many not-for-profit corporations, we need to keep a close eye on expenses and find new ways to generate revenue as the landscape shifts.
Anything else we should know?
- It’s awards season for Editors Canada. For several years, members have been able to support the Tom Fairley Award and the Claudette Upton Award by sending a donation directly to the national office. Now you can also donate to these awards and the new Karen Virag Award online. We invite you to contribute to these awards that honour the outstanding editors and students in our midst!
- It’s also nominations season. Please think about getting involved on the national executive council, as a committee chair or in a national position. This work is very rewarding—you’ll network with people across the country, learn new skills and have fun! Past president Greg Ioannou, who chairs the nominations committee, would be glad to answer your questions and tell you how to nominate yourself or someone else (just ask them first!).
- The 2016 member survey is coming soon. Please take the time to complete it—it helps us to shape our priorities over the next couple of years and provides an up-to-date portrait of our members.
Did you see any local members while you were in Toronto?
We were happy to spend some time with about 20 local members, over drinks on Friday evening and for dinner on Saturday. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Thanks, Editors Toronto!
When’s your next meeting?
Our next meeting is on Thursday, June 9, in Vancouver, just before the conference. NEC members live tweet from the quarterly meetings (#EditorsNEC), or you can catch the Storify version after the fact. In the meantime, members of the national executive council will keep in touch with each other by email.
Wishing you a happy spring!
Anne Louise Mahoney, president