President’s Message – September 2017

Dear CAEM Member:

With September well underway it is hard to believe that there are only three months left in 2017.  As I reported to you in June at our Annual General Meeting, 2017 has been a productive year for CAEM and that certainly continues to be the case.

I would argue that one of the most exciting developments this year has been the complete revamp of our website.   In the coming days you will receive an email announcing the official launch of the site as well as the announcement of our impressive new stable of digital advertising options.  Many thanks are due to Bianca Kennedy, Tony Gallagher and Catherine MacNutt, the chairs of the Marketing & Communications Committee, for their leadership on this project.  In addition, the CAEM staff has played a significant role logistically with the new website and are owed our thanks for their commitment.

Our attention now turns to our final events for 2017.  On November 1 and 2 we have two CEM courses happening at Beanfield Centre at Exhibition Place.  These courses are historically sold out, so if you are planning to attend, I encourage you to register soon.  Beanfield Centre will also be the host venue for our highly anticipated Holiday Luncheon on December 5, so if you have not already done so, please mark your calendars for that important date.

At our AGM in June, I reported that we were projecting to be in a break even position for fiscal 2017.  I am happy to advise you that is still the case.  With the help of the Finance Committee we have been analyzing expenses very closely and making adjustments as required.   This is not an easy process and difficult decisions sometimes must be made.  The Board is committed to the financial sustainability of CAEM and as a result we are constantly analyzing every line item of our operating budget.  The single largest line item in our budget is the fee we pay to our Association Management Company – Association & Events Management (A & E). With the contract for A & E expiring in early 2018 and given our quest for financial sustainability, the Board has made the difficult decision to send the management contract out to RFP to ensure the management fees fall within CAEM's current budgetary reality. To be completely transparent we advised A & E of our plan, making it clear this was a decision based on financial sustainability and we encouraged A & E to respond to our RFP.  After careful consideration, A & E has let us know they will not be responding to the RFP and they have exercised the early termination clause in their contract effective October 31, 2017.  However, on the advice of CAEM's auditor – Palmer Reed, the Board asked A & E to stay on until CAEM's year end (December 31, 2017) to allow for a smoother transition.  A & E has agreed to do so. We thank Serge and his team at A & E for their dedicated years of service and wish them every success in the future.  Operations at the CAEM office will remain “business as usual” until the end of December.  The CAEM Board has developed an RFP for a new Association Management Company that will be distributed immediately with the goal of having a new management firm in place effective January 1, 2018.

We have made great progress in the past year and we will continue to do so as we move toward the end of 2017 and towards what I am sure will be very positive change in 2018.  As always, if you have questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Best regards,

Jennifer Allaby
CAEM President