What Went Down at the 2019 Annual Business Meeting

We invite you to read the 2018-19 CSAE Trillium Annual Report

Oksana Buhel, CAE the Chair of CSAE Trillium opened the meeting at 4:30, with the message that we are privileged to continue to meet with our members and provide an update with what has transpired over the past year, noting that we are happy to say we have had another positive year:

Given the changes to the structure of the Canadian Society of Association Executives and its components across Canada over the past couple of years, we had the opportunity to change this particular annual meeting.  A lot of the formality has been removed, as that is no longer required.  For example, there were no motions to be approved.

However, the opportunity to connect with you, our community and provide you an update on what has been happening at CSAE Trillium over the past 12 months is still very important to us.  We welcome the opportunity to connect with you in this way.

CSAE Trillium leadership continues to collaborate with CSAE and its networks across the country to deliver excellent education and networking opportunities for you.  The Trillium leadership attends the annual Leaders Forum in August, to contribute to the CSAE strategic and operational plans and to ensure we continue to offer Trillium members a high level of engagement.  Meaningful connections are made, and opportunities are realized.

Trillium’s focus has always been on member engagement and member support and we are happy to report we have had another successful year, providing our members with professional development and connections.

Our two conferences, the Winter and Summer Summits are consistently ranked extremely high in satisfaction rate, and our members want these activities to continue!!!  Amazing conferences at amazing prices.  It is through the engagement of our wonderful sponsor partners that we are able to keep the registration prices as low as we do, to ensure EVERY Trillium member can afford to attend at least one of the conferences.

The Holiday Season dinner continues to be a flagship event for Trillium and the meetings industry in Toronto.  Each year the committee is challenged to out-do the previous year’s amazing event.  Join us in December at the Gala of Thrones – A Feast of Ice and Fire.  You will not be disappointed.

We would be remiss if we didn’t recognize excellence in leadership in our community and we are pleased to honour the leadership in Trillium at the Awards Dinner.

Our PDX events, providing educational workshops, luncheons etc. throughout the year continue to be strong as are our Young Professional Events.

FORUM newsletter is always delivered on-time with relevant information for you.

Our membership committee continues to deliver on our now-famous New Member Welcome program, Trillium Gives Back scholarship program, awards recognition program and volunteer management program.

And thank you to our over 80 volunteers who help to make this happen.  Our Trillium family continues to grow, offering our members many opportunities to get involved.  We do not turn away any volunteer, and no committee has a cap.  This is your opportunity to engage with your peers, hone your leadership skills and make meaningful connections.

Our sponsorship program continues to be strong and we owe a mountain of thanks to our sponsor partners.  Without their support, we could not possibly offer the myriad of cost-effective education and networking opportunities that we have.

We strongly encourage you to support our sponsors, as they continue to support you.  Check out the sponsor pages in the annual report.

Trillium members continue to support our charity of choice, Future Possibilities for Kids, donating prizes, purchasing raffle tickets, having fun.  We all work in a “giving” community and our members love that we provide an opportunity to support a charity such as FPK.

It has been a very fast year for me as Chair of Trillium and I have enjoyed it.  I want to thank the Trillium Council members who provide leadership for our network every day.  I want to thank our committee volunteers who are the backbone of this wonderful network.  I want to thank our sponsors, who are critical to our success.  And I want to thank Tracy Blyth and Chris Buttler, who connect all the dots and help to make it all happen.

Thank you, it has been an honour to serve as CSAE Trillium Network Council Chair (that is a mouthful!!!).

And I will now end with a quote from my guy, Dr. Suess:

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”


Treasurer’s Report

Cindy Gonsalves presented the audited financial statements for the year ending April 30, 2019.

The audited financial statements for fiscal year ending April 30, 2019 as reported by our auditors Grant Thornton, LLP, Chartered Accountants, were approved by the CSAE Trillium Council on August 1, 2019 and are available to all CSAE Trillium members on our website.

We are happy to report that CSAE Trillium had a fantastic year.  We posted a surplus of revenues over expenses of $20,043 before adding in the expenses of the Trillium Gives Back Scholarship Fund and the Young Professionals Fund.  When we factor those programs into the expenses we posted a surplus of $5,144 (vs a budgeted deficit of $2,379).

You will notice however, the Trillium Council audited statements recorded a net deficit of revenues over expenditures of -$82,742.00 for the fiscal year. The net deficit is as a result of the contribution of $87,886 made to the CSAE Network Development and Innovation Fund. Reference to this contribution is made in Note 5 of the Financial Statements under Related Party Transactions.

This contribution made by CSAE Trillium is helping innovation within CSAE and its networks.  We are sharing the wealth so to speak and are excited to see the new initiatives coming out of CSAE.

CSAE Trillium’s annual budget is approximately $430k and we run a very lean machine, working closely with our sponsors, volunteers and management to deliver an engaging and dynamic program, while being as efficient as possible.

I would like to note that both the Trillium Gives Back Fund and Young Professionals Fund have been wrapped up and the remaining funds transferred to the General Fund as approved by Council.  This does not mean those programs have ended.  We have simply moved them into the general operations of the Network.  They are not new initiatives anymore, but part of the CSAE Trillium fabric that helps members large and small to participate in our association.

I believe it’s important to note that while

  • Programming provided by CSAE Trillium continues to be strong and attendance for events such as our PDX series and Winter and Summer Summit contributes to healthy event revenues, it would not be possible without the deeply valued support we receive from our sponsor partnerships.
  • Revenue from sponsorships enables us to deliver quality professional development and meaningful networking opportunities in a very cost-effective manner. I am pleased to report that we exceeded our sponsorship goals by 2% this year.

Constance Wrigley-Thomas, CAE presented the report from the Nominating Committee.  We are happy to report the following individuals have been appointed for a two-year term.


Krista Cameron

Penny Connors, CAE,

Cathy Cummings, CAE,

Karen Dowhan, CMP,

Randi Glass, CAE, CMP,

Rebecca Harris, CAE,


The following individuals will continue to serve the CSAE Trillium Network Council to complete their second year of a two-year term:

Amanda Cormier, CAE,

Cindy Gonsalves,

Kris Knox,

Jennifer Traer, CAE,

Marion Tripp,


And by virtue of her position as Immediate Past Chair:

Oksana Buhel, CAE


Randi Glass, CAE, CMP, becomes the 2019-20 Trillium Network Council Chair right now!!  


For the 2019-20 year, the Council leadership of CSAE Trillium will be comprised of the following individuals:

Randi Glass, CAE, Chair

Cindy Gonsalves, Chair Elect

Penny Connors, CAE, Treasurer

Amanda Cormier, CAE, Secretary

Oksana Buhel, CAE, Past Chair

Tracy Blyth, CAE, Executive Director


Randi Glass, CAE made some brief remarks as the newly appointed CSAE Trillium Network Council Chair.  I’m delighted to be taking on the position of CSAE Trillium Network Chair – and working with a fantastic group of volunteers on the council and our various committees. Remember – there is always room for you to volunteer!

I’m particularly looking forward to working with our network counterparts across Canada, to share our successes and learn from each other. Our Trillium network supports the alignment of core values and policies spearheaded by the CSAE staff team and it’s exciting to be part of Trillium’s leadership at this time. As the new Chair, I hope to make you all proud. I’m always available to “talk shop” if you are interested in sharing your thoughts about Trillium and how we can make our member’s experience a positive and enriching one.