Message from the Chair

Here’s to 2021 – It’s Got a Lot to Live Up To

It’s funny how we tend to bid the last year adieu with a kick in the pants and swiftly turn to the new year with enthusiasm and high expectations. Some years deserved it more than others, and 2020 by all accounts was exceptional.

2020 has left all of us with losses, some certainly by greater degrees than others. The loss of social connections, of livelihoods, and most heartbreaking of all, the loss of loved ones to COVID-19. Conversely there were gains as association leaders adapted programs and processes at an amazing rate.  Long held beliefs were tested and set aside (a cheer to on-line AGMs and achieving quorum).

As we move through these winter months and the roll out of vaccinations gains speed, there holds the promise of better days ahead.  But before it’s full steam ahead, this is a good time to pause and use these first few weeks of 2021 to reassess.

In normal years this would be the time to look for opportunities to improve. Looking back to 2020 however, there were a lot of systems that changed out of necessity. We learned to use technology to meet virtually, with a few hiccups along the way. Employees who never before worked remotely made quick transitions. We may have hired and onboarded a new employee for the first time without ever meeting them in person. We saved money on travel and increased spending on technology in order to move training and conferences on-line.

Take the time to determine what was gained and what was lost in those shifts. While we couldn’t imagine handling a pandemic without the myriad tools we now have at our disposal, it’s vitally important to assess the impacts on our people and make changes necessary to support them.

And in continuing to support our members, the Trillium PDX Committee and the Winter Summit Committee have a great line-up in store this winter.  Please join us virtually on February 4 at the 2021 CSAE Trillium Technology Day. This year’s theme is Carpe Diem – Seize the Day! COVID created opportunities and challenges for all to leave no one behind – join us as we dive into this from the perspective of Associations and Technology.

The 2021 CSAE Trillium Winter Summit will honour the unfailing optimism, innovation and strength that has characterized the association and not-for-profit sector’s response to COVID-19. Join us March 2-4, 2021, as our virtual Winter Summit explores resilience and its relation to mental health, joy and renewal.

Cindy Gonsalves

Trillium Council Chair