President’s Message – Trillium Chapter Builds a Promising Future with the Adoption of a New Strategic Plan

Steve-Carroll-photoBy Stephen Carroll, CAE, President, CSAE Trillium Chapter

The Trillium Chapter Board of Directors recently approved a new strategic plan for the organization and I invite you to familiarize yourself with the very forward thinking and inspiring plan here.  The process of renewing the Chapter’s strategic priorities started under the leadership of Past President Rozalyn Werner-Arce, CAE and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roz for her dedication and commitment to working through a very thorough and comprehensive process to arrive at a plan that will focus the Chapter’s work and resource allocation through 2018.

Highlights of the Trillium Chapter’s strategic plan 2016-18 include:

  • One of the Trillium Chapter’s strategic priorities is to “proactively position the Trillium Chapter as a leading contributor to CSAE direction, establishing a collaborative and synergistic relationship to advance the member experience”. Trillium Chapter has made a very conscious effort to be a participant, partner and leader on the national stage when creating and building national programs and initiatives, including CSAE Leaders Forum planning meetings, the new CSAE business model project and consideration of a new national-chapter working arrangement based more on functional areas of nationwide interest and less on geographic boundaries that tend to silo CSAE and Chapter activities.  We were very careful to ensure the Trillium Chapter strategic plan is aligned and integrates well with CSAE’s strategic plan, nothing at odds or in conflict.  The end goal is to create a “seamless” member experience, whether delivered nationally through CSAE, locally from Trillium Chapter or jointly
  • The second of Trillium Chapter’s four strategic priorities is focused on knowledge management, both education and content, with an aim to deliver and leverage high quality, relevant education/professional development opportunities through multiple channels and formats, all at a reasonable cost for Trillium Chapter members. This pillar of Trillium Chapter’s strategic plan fits perfectly with CSAE’s current and future work to foster knowledge content creation, curation and distribution.  On the knowledge content delivery distribution side, CSAE and its Chapters have historically worked in a relatively independent fashion, but national and chapter leaders have come to appreciate and realize this model needs to change to a more dynamic, fluid and seamless knowledge transfer and content distribution model
  • The ability for Trillium Chapter members to network with colleagues, friends, peers, business associates and other association management professionals is consistently among the highest valued member benefits of CSAE membership. The Trillium Chapter strategic plan counts networking among its four pillars and challenges the Trillium Chapter staff and volunteer leaders to enhance the ability of Trillium Chapter members to connect with each other.  Some of the tactics tied to this strategy include an event for Association Executive networking only, requiring Trillium Chapter events to build in at least 30 minutes for members to connect with each other, events that promote a mix of Executive and Business members and developing networking tools and tips for members
  • In order for Trillium Chapter’s first three strategic priorities to be fueled, supported and activated, sufficient resources (human capital, funding, partnerships, stakeholders, etc.) must be acquired, generated and nurtured so that Trillium Chapter growth can be achieved and sustained. The underlying objective for this strategy is to ensure sufficient resources are available and utilized to support future Trillium Chapter growth and foster volunteer effectiveness.  Tactics in place to drive this strategy include a review of Trillium Chapter resources to identify any gaps, a determination of the resources required to deliver on member expectations and Trillium Chapter programming, consideration of hiring outside contractors and subject matter experts to lead specific Trillium Chapter projects and initiatives, links to volunteer training resources, researching on-line tools to further Trillium Chapter growth and the creation of a Trillium Chapter risk management strategy, including succession planning

Trillium Chapter members can rest assured this Trillium Chapter strategic planning process has unfolded in a very dynamic, inclusive and well considered manner.  We were blessed with a very hard working, dedicated and committed group serving on the Strategic Planning Committee (thank you Constance Wrigley-Thomas, CAE, Oksana Buhel, CAE, Diane Lee, CAE, Valerie Browne, CAE, Rozalyn Werner-Arce, CAE, Don Leddy, CEM, Rebecca Harris, CAE, Elizabeth Fisk, CAE, Danielle Russell, CAE, Lisa Natale, CMP and Tracy Blyth, CAE!).  The Trillium Chapter strategic plan also benefitted greatly from a tremendous strategic planning meeting of the Board, expertly facilitated and informed by Jack Shand, Senior Partner with The Portage Group.  Following the Board’s strategy session, Jack followed up with a very professional working document that organized the information in a way that was easy to use and process for the Strategic Planning Committee and Board of Directors.

A very big thank you for staff leadership and very helpful contributions along the way from Trillium Chapter Executive Director Tracy Blyth, CAE and Event Coordinator Chris Buttler.  One of the most pleasant surprises and significant factor during the process was the WINBook session led by Jeff MacInnis at the Trillium Chapter 2015 Summer Summit which generated crucial Trillium Chapter strategic plan input from a large group of Trillium Chapter members.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for the magnificent efforts of Trillium Chapter members, Strategic Planning Committee, Board of Directors, staff and Jack Shand, CAE, for their collective contributions to the creation of the 2016-18 Trillium Chapter strategic plan, bravo!