Notes from your national executive council: A report from the September 2015 (Q3) meeting

Your national executive council (NEC) held its third-quarter meeting in Montreal on September 19–20. The minutes will be posted on the Editors Canada website once they are approved. In the meantime, here’s a summary.

What did you talk about and what decisions did you make?

It was a jam-packed agenda: 50 items! Amazingly, we got through it all. Here are some highlights:

Roles: For the first time (in keeping with our new bylaws), members were not elected to the NEC in June for specific roles. We discussed and voted on these roles at our meeting. Here is your 2015–16 NEC:

President: Anne Louise Mahoney (NCR)
Vice-President: Gael Spivak (NCR)
Past President: Greg Ioannou (TO)
Treasurer: David Johansen (QAC)
Secretary: Emily Staniland (on leave of absence until December) (PP)
Interim Secretary: Breanne MacDonald (HH)

Branches and twigs (east): Stacey Atkinson (NCR)
Branches and twigs (west): Margaret Shaw (BC)
Communications: Michelle van der Merwe (BC)
Francophone affairs: Marie-Christine Payette (QAC)
Professional standards: Elizabeth d’Anjou (TO)
Publications: donalee Moulton (NST)
Training and development: Breanne MacDonald (HH) and Gael Spivak (NCR)
Volunteer relations: Patricia MacDonald (NST)

We look forward to serving you this year.

Communication with members: Running through our discussions was the need to communicate and consult with members during the year. You’ll be hearing from us often. To open the conversation, we created Twitter hashtags in English and French for the NEC, which we will use during and between meetings: #EditorsNEC and #ReviseursCAN. Some of the Tweets were to share information and some were just for fun. We have set up an unofficial Editors Canada Facebook group (members only!) as a private place where we can talk to each other, share information, and ask and answer questions about editing and whatever else people want to discuss. We also encourage you to participate in the members’ email list, where there is lots to learn and a great community of editors.

Finances and budget projections: Despite lower revenues than we budgeted for, we expect to break even or to have a 1% shortfall for 2015. This is encouraging news! Our new executive director, Patrick Banville, has already found a number of ways to reduce expenses and negotiate discounts, in addition to getting $10,000 in Google AdWords (at no cost for not-for-profit groups) to promote the association.

Branches and twigs: We will create an electronic tool kit of resources to post on our website. We will also offer more ways for branch and twig executives to connect with each other to share tips, ideas for seminars and best practices.

More value for membership: We spent a lot of time discussing ways to offer more to our members. Webinars are on the horizon (stay tuned!), as are Twitter chats on practical topics related to our work. We are giving the Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement a much-needed facelift. We’ve created a stand-alone URL ( that directs clients to the Online Directory of Editors to make our members with directory entries easier to find. Also, when we launch our new website in late November, we will remove the fee for clients wishing to post jobs on our job board, which should increase considerably the number of jobs posted. We plan to create partnerships with other organizations to broaden our reach and give us access to professional development and other opportunities. Once the member services committee is at full steam, we have other ideas to propose for services that you want and need.

Committee review: To streamline our complicated organizational chart, we made some adjustments. (We have had trouble filling all the committees and would rather have fewer of them that work well than many committees that don’t.)

  • In June, the NEC voted to combine two key committees—member communications, and marketing and PR—to form the communications and marketing committee. This more focused approach makes both these tasks priorities and will increase our ability to communicate effectively with members.
  • Several committees whose tasks are done by three hardworking, engaged members are now positions instead: Interactive Voice monitor, list monitor and mediator.
  • The team that revises our professional editorial standards every five years or so is now a task force rather than a committee.
  • As the Comité Agrément/Principes had requested, it is now a stand-alone committee to reflect that it is on par with certification. (We are also working on ways to provide more support to certification, which does a lot of work with limited resources.)
  • We created a new committee, student relations, to focus on attracting students to the association.
  • Finally, we discussed the needs of various committees and will monitor these as the year progresses.

Student affiliates: Student affiliates are future members—we want to promote Editors Canada to them and engage them. This work has already begun; it will increase in the coming months. To support the conversation, we have set up a public Editors Canada Student Affiliates Facebook group.

Certification and agrément: Registration for this fall’s certification tests is under way. Meanwhile, 90 people have signed up for the inaugural agrément test; registration for this test is now closed.

New award: We will move forward with the Karen Virag Award this year. You’ll hear more about this award soon.

National mentoring program: We plan to set up a national mentoring program to match mentors with mentees who need support as they start out in the field of editing. The program will be named for our colleague John Eerkes-Medrano, who mentored countless editors during his long career.

Member survey: Yes, it’s time for another survey! The last one was in 2012. We plan to do the survey in early spring 2016.

Did you see any local members while you were in Montreal?

We sure did! On Friday night, about 20 members gathered at a downtown pub to meet Patrick Banville and chat with several members of the NEC. Everyone had a great time at this informal event. Also, QAC member Zofia Laubitz gave up her weekend to serve as volunteer recording secretary. Thank you, Zofia!

When’s your next meeting?

Our next meeting, where we will set the budget for 2016, is on November 28–29. We had planned to meet in Calgary, but for budgetary reasons will gather in Ottawa this time. On November 30, we will have a facilitated session to begin creating the next five-year strategic plan.

Members of the NEC see the year ahead as a year of outreach: to members and to other editing-related organizations. We’ll have lots more news for you soon!

Anne Louise Mahoney, president

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