CONGRATULATIONS to the 2012 recipients of the Certified Association Executive (CAE) Designation

By Tracy Blyth, CAE

The CAE designation identifies an individual as a competent, experienced and valuable
association executive.

The CAE designation is earned in one of two ways:

  • Through successful completion of the CAE® Program, which consists of five online courses and an exam
  • Through evaluation of your experience and skills via Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

The CAE designation is built on 44 competencies that describe the skills essential for efficient and effective not-for-profit management.

Please join us in congratulating the CSAE Trillium Chapter members who received their CAE Designation this past year. These members join the many high-performing and successful association executives across Canada who have earned the CAE designation since its inception in 1972.

Jennifer Barry-Traer, CAE – Manager, Events & Member Operations – Canadian Institute of Traffic & Transportation
Meg Cameron-Hammel, CAE, Executive Officer – The Parry Sound Real Estate Board
Karen Charette, CAE – Director of Supports – Community Living Essex County
Margaret Fairley, CAE – Director, Administration & Member Services – Blue Mountain Village Association
Domenic Fragale, CAE – President – Aldebrain Support Services of Ontario
Dianne Halcovitch, CAE – Director of Education & Events – Ontario Trial Lawyers Association
Maria Locacciato, CAE – Manager, Administration & Marketing – Wilfrid Laurier University – Toronto
Robin Mokracki, CAE – Associate Director, Member & Student Records – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
Diana Osler Zortea, CAE – Executive Director
Cheryl Paradowski, CAE – President and CEO – Purchasing Management Association of Canada
Perry Ruehlen, CAE – Vice President, Client Services –
AssociationsFirst Ltd.
Elizabeth A. Sharpe, CAE – Executive Director – Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy
2012 CAE® Class Valedictorian
Cheryl Paradowski, CAE, President and CEO, Purchasing Management Association of Canada

Valedictorian Address:

Cheryl Paradowski, CAE, Valedictorian
Cheryl Paradowski, CAE, Valedictorian

It is apparent, particularly to us as new designees, that the world of association management has never been more challenging:

  • the economic climate puts continual constraints on dollars for membership, programs and sponsorship;
  • we have multiple generations of members with very different preferences for engaging with our organizations and everyone’s needs have to be met;
  • the pace of technology requires significant resources to effectively research and incorporate innovation into the association’s activities;
  • and pending legislative changes will require detailed reviews of member rights, bylaws and governance practices.

It’s no wonder, then, that it takes a professional to effectively administer this growing complexity. And we are very fortunate to be part of an association that not only provides us with the skills and knowledge to become experienced professionals through the CAE® courses and the new Association Essentials, ® but CSAE also provides us with the potential for national recognition of our profession through the CAE® designation. Having the requisite skills and knowledge turns the challenges of not-for-profit management into satisfying opportunities.

Typically we are focused on big picture strategies to make something better. Whether it’s an industry, a profession, a sport, a special interest, a cause or a charity, it’s all about achieving improvement and change. It’s about making a difference.

It is also quite satisfying to work on big picture issues, but in the context of being able to wrap your arms around the entire process and experience tangible progress and measurable results. That’s often a very rare outcome for those working in large corporations or bureaucracies.

We are also privileged to work with a very dedicated volunteer community. Sure, at times it’s like herding the proverbial cats. And, other times we think our volunteers wake up in the morning with a specific focus on how to drive us and our staff completely crazy. But it’s so energizing to work with individuals who believe their industry, profession or special cause has meant something important in their lives and they now want to give back. In the proper marriage of strategy and operations, they tell us where we need to go, and we figure out how to
get there.

So no, even on my worst days, I don’t ever wish to go back to my pre-association life. I’m sure I speak for the 2012 CAEs, and frankly for everyone in this room, when I say that it is just too easy to get hooked on trying to make a difference.

Congratulations, Cheryl and the entire class of new CAEs, on a job well done.