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Notes from your national executive council: A report from the November 2016 (Q4) meeting

Your national executive council (NEC) held its fourth-quarter meeting in Toronto on November 19-20. The minutes will be posted on the Editors Canada website soon. In the meantime, here's a summary of our discussions.

What did you discuss and what decisions did you make?

Here are a few highlights:

2017 budget: Our focus on Saturday morning was finances. To start us off, treasurer Carolyn Brown updated us on the current financial picture. We then spent two hours going through the budget (drafted ahead of the meeting by the treasurer and executive director) item by item, making adjustments where needed.

The budget is based on conservative estimates of revenues and liberal estimates of costs, including a large marketing and advertising budget to help recruit and retain members. While membership has been declining year over year since 2008, it has held steady in 2016, and the budget for 2017 is based on a net increase of 50 members. Given these assumptions, we are forecasting a deficit of about $20,000 in 2017. While, as careful stewards of this member-run association, the NEC usually passes a balanced budget, we feel it's the right time to invest in growing the association; like many investments, it can take some time to fully realize the results we are seeking.

However, we hope to beat that forecast by attracting and retaining more members, selling more webinars, drawing more participants to the annual conference, and raising the number of certification exam takers. How? See the next item.

Communications and marketing: Editors Canada is a treasure trove that offers editors and students information, professional development, networking, job postings and so much more. We want all of Canada's editors to know about us, and we want many of those who are not yet members to join.

We have therefore tripled the funds dedicated to communications and marketing for 2017 so we can spread the word about the association, the editing profession and our members. You can help! Tell your networks about what Editors Canada offers to members at every stage of their career.

Canadian English dictionary project: Yes, you read that right! Given the need for an updated Canadian English dictionary, the NEC is creating a taskforce to research the viability of having Editors Canada undertake such a project. We have high hopes! Our executive director, John Yip-Chuck, will lead the taskforce.

Webinars: Based on surveys with participants, our new webinar program is a hit! Many members and non-members are registering for the wide array of sessions or purchasing the recordings. The feedback we are getting via post-webinar surveys is generally very positive. Thanks to all our presenters and to the training and development committee for helping us launch this new program.

2016 member survey: All the data collected earlier this year is being analyzed to give us a snapshot of our members and what they do. Stay tuned for more information.

Reprint of Editing Canadian English 3: Our first print run of 1,000 copies has sold out! We're reprinting another 1,000 copies this month. Ask your workplace, clients and public library to order ECE3 – it's available from UBC Press and chapters.indigo.ca .

National mentoring program: This exciting initiative is expected to launch in January. Interested in becoming a mentor? Contact Carolyn Brown.

Did you see any local members while you were in Toronto?

Yes! A dozen or so members joined us for drinks (Friday evening) and dinner (Saturday). It was great to see old friends and some new faces.

Editors Toronto chair Kerry Fast and treasurer Sara Scharf attended our meeting for an hour on Sunday morning to share some of the branch's recent achievements and challenges. And two representatives from the student relations committee, Ann Kennedy and Christina Vasilevski, visited us on Sunday afternoon to talk about the great work the committee is doing to attract student affiliates to the association. The committee's work is an investment in Editors Canada's future, as we hope that those affiliates will become long-time members once they finish their studies.

When's your next meeting?

Our next meeting will be on March 18-19. (Location to be determined.)

Cheers,
Anne Louise Mahoney, president