Notes from your national executive council: A report from the November 2018 (Q4) meeting

The national executive council (NEC) met in Toronto on November 17 and 18.

As usual, we hosted two social events for branch and twig members. It’s great to finally meet people in person (especially those we’ve worked with on projects) and to see some members we haven’t seen for a while.

Financial update and budget discussion

At the Q4 meeting, we have an in-depth discussion about association finances.

The treasurer and the executive director went over this year’s budget and next year’s.

For 2018, we looked for expenses or things we could still cut, and ways to increase our income. It was challenging because the association didn’t make as much money on some activities as we had budgeted for and we had some unexpected expenses.

One of our main challenges is member retention. There are likely several causes for this and we are continuing to look at ways to reduce this loss.

One action we moved along at this meeting is transitional fees for student affiliates. Some students cannot afford to move to the higher member rate, especially in their first year after school. To ease that burden, and to keep them part of the organization, we will be offering a fee structure that transitions them into full fees over a two-year period.

Our 2019 budget still needs some tweaking, but we have a solid budget to work from.


We’ve got a lot of great projects on the go. Two are almost ready to launch: the revised Definitions of Editorial Skills and the revised Guidelines for Ethical Editing of Student Texts (we now have one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students).

Other projects we talked about included

  • implementing possible changes to the member survey
  • creating a task force to review the honorary lifetime membership policy and procedures
  • setting up a translation and editing team to help volunteers who need translations for association documents and communications pieces
  • organizing a French mini-conference
  • sourcing some grants

If you have experience in finding and applying for grants, please contact me or the past president Anne Louise Mahoney.

We also talked about various technology driven items, such as our membership program, the website and new programs to manage conferences.

Branches and twigs

For the first time, coordinators from two twigs met with us in person (Jacqui Woods Powell and JJ Wilson from the new Barrie twig, and Karina Sinclair from Hamilton-Halton). We’ve been meeting with twig leaders from one twig at each NEC meeting but those have been over Zoom. It’s much more productive to meet face-to-face.

With Barrie being a new twig, we highlighted some support and guidance documents and reminded them that their regional director is a resource for twigs (as is any director on the NEC). They are doing some exciting things with students in their area, so we’ll connect them to the student relations committee.

The Hamilton-Halton twig has challenges with their members being spread over such a large geographical area. We talked about ways to deal with that and to bring twig members together.

All three twig leaders were in the room at the same time, so they could hear what other twigs experience. I hope that meeting in person will make it easier to ask each other for help and ideas.

Changes to the NEC

Two directors have had to step down due to unexpected commitments in other areas of their lives.

  • One is David Johansen (regional director of branches and twigs, east). Heather Buzila (the current regional director of branches and twigs, west) agreed to do both roles for the remainder of the year.
  • The other is Wendy Barron, who was vice-president. Heather Buzila has also agreed to take on the role of interim VP.

Next meeting

Our next meeting will be in March 2019.

Gael Spivak, president

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