I first would like to apologize to the membership for not being in attendance at the 2013 Professional Development Conference and Annual General Meeting, held on October 25th, in Grimsby. A previously scheduled vacation made it not possible for me to be in attendance that day. Reports from that day have been nothing but positive. That being said, I would like to thank our 2013 Council, the PDC planning committee led by Danielle Stevens, President, George Zajac, CACPT Executive Director, and Cathy Burke, CACPT Administrative Assistant, for planning and convening the day-long event.
Further, I would especially like to thank you, our membership for attending this event, and by extension, for supporting and recognizing the efforts and time commitments that your Council undertakes on your behalf to ensure your Association grows not only from a membership number perspective, but from an industry awareness and respect perspective. You, the members, are also to be commended for assisting Council in growing this awareness and respect by achieving and maintaining your membership accreditation and passively carrying out your day-to-day education and employment activities in ways which highlight and promote our Association and its professional standards by which we all strive to operate under.
On November 19th I met with Danielle Stevens and George Zajac to discuss and develop a draft operating budget for the 2014 fiscal year, being January 1st to December 31, 2014. This draft budget will be presented to your Council-at-large at our upcoming December Council meeting for approval. As you can expect, we endeavor to be as fiscally responsible with our Association funds, and as always, in order to maintain transparency we invite the membership to ask questions regarding our financial activities and position. A copy of our 2012 financial statement and auditor’s report was included in the handout material at our 2013 Annual General Meeting which was held on October 25th, prior to the start of the Professional Development Conference activities.
Looking forward to our 2014 fiscal year and beyond, it is anticipated that our financial situation will remain consistent, if not strengthen. However, in order to ensure this position, it is prudent to advise the membership that it is reasonable to expect a nominal increase in full-member membership dues on a yearly basis. As such, it is being recommended to Council that an increase in the full-member membership fee, from $170 (2013) to $185 (2014), be approved, effective January 1, 2014. We will continue to monitor and review student and associate membership fees.
While there are many general economic reasons to justify this and future increases, such as escalating insurance policy premiums and other day-to-day business costs, the main reason for the proposed and forecasted increases are to assist the Association in delivering the best possible services and support to our membership. In this regard, new initiatives contemplated for 2014 include, but are not limited to: increasing the quantity and/or amounts of awards and bursaries; facilitation and delivery of regional professional development workshops; regional membership engagement and promotion (Eastern/Central/Western regions of Canada); and finally a re-branding and marketing initiative to better position our Association in this digital and highly competitive age – each being a line item which will require dedicated funding not necessarily seen, nor required, in recent years.
In closing I ask that you continue to support our Association, advocate for our profession, take advantage of the huge knowledge and experience base of our fellow members, and finally, remain positive and remain engaged in your workplaces and communities.
David French, BA, CPT
Treasurer, Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians