Notes from your national executive council: A report from the March 2019 (Q1) meeting

Your national executive council (NEC) had its Quarter 1 meeting on March 30 and 31, 2019. We met in Montreal, which, as always, gave us a chance to talk to some members from the Québec branch.

Business as usual

We did a lot of the usual work we do at these meetings.

  • Getting updates on critical files such as the budget, conference and webinars.
  • Responding to requests from committees, branches and twigs.
  • Going through all our action items from the last meeting (or two or three), to make sure nothing gets forgotten.

Rethinking the association

This time, we also focused a lot on rethinking the association’s work and how to do it better.

One of the directors has been working on a big rethink document for discussion (which will go to members soon). Some members have already had input into the document (on some key files) but the directors needed to talk about it, to see if this was something that it was time to send to members. And it clearly was.

Especially because the rethink theme has been on the minds of many of our directors. In fact, at this meeting, several other directors had things to say regarding trying new ways to do things. These are just a few of things that came up.

  • The director of francophone affairs talked about a recent survey of francophone members and the conclusions this led her to (more to come on that at a later date).
  • The director of standards gave an update on the rethinking exercise that the certification steering committee is doing.
  • The director of training and development talked about changing the way we source webinar topics.
  • The past president talked about changing some of the director and committee roles. Some of those changes include combining the role of the east and west regional director, creating a new director for member recruitment and retention, and re-creating the standards committee (so it is always at work, instead of meeting every five years as a task force).

This is all indicative of a profound conviction that we to need to change to keep up and, indeed, to survive. The association needs to become more adaptable, more responsive and more flexible.

We’ll be sharing more information on this in the coming weeks because we need member input into all of the ideas we have. It’s your association, our association: we need to envision our future together.

Meeting with twigs and with Editors Québec

In addition to all this heavy thinking we did, we met with two twigs using Zoom. We talked to Stephanie Stone from Editors Kingston, as well as Claire Wilkshire and Sandy Newton from Editors Newfoundland and Labrador. Even though these are not face-to-face conversations, being able to talk in real time (and not over email) can be really useful. The twigs told us a lot about what they are doing (great work!) (plus, axe throwing). And we were able to answer some questions they had.

We also met with Sylvie Collin from Editors Québec. There are some exciting things happening in that branch, including members visiting schools to talk to editing students (and we promptly put Sylvie in touch with the chair of the student relations committee). And speaking of exciting things in Québec, Sandra Gravel (francophone affairs director), Sylvie and Anne Fonteneau have been hard at work at arranging a one-day conference for the francophone language professional community. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting venture.

What comes next

If you’ve been following the social media posts marking the association’s 40th anniversary, you will have seen some interesting pictures of tools editors used in the past, compared to now. The world changes…and we have to change with it. The NEC is looking forward to discussing all of this with members over the next several months.

And we hope to see you at our 40th anniversary conference in Halifax! Registration is still open, of course.

Gael Spivak

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