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From Joe Wrobel, governance renewal working group chair:

Dear colleagues,

We were pleased to provide an update and receive your input on the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) governance review at our March 2019 board of directors’ meetings.

Some common themes that we heard were:
  • Is there a financial motivation behind conducting this review?
  • Forums are useful for engagement;
  • Use more online tools;
  • Face-to-face interaction and networking are valuable;
  • Re-imbursement of expenses can ease barriers to engagement;
  • Should COO’s be board members; and
  • There is a need to clearly define who is the member.
We would like to stress that the primary objective of this review is to revitalize CCA. Modernization will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the board of directors and increase member engagement. While overall some cost savings and cost allocation may result, this is not a cost-cutting exercise.

As noted in our update, we need to separate governance from operations. Key to this renewal is engagement of and service to our members. Currently, board meetings have proven to be an ineffective means of doing so. While we are considering governance best practices in our review, it is important that we choose the right course for CCA. We have a rich and successful history with a framework of processes and procedures that have evolved over our 100 years of existence. We need to strengthen and not dilute connections to our member companies.

We need to consider how issues of importance to members are brought forward and dealt with by CCA in a timely and strategic manner. We also have to recognize that our member company profiles and reasons for belonging to a construction association vary greatly. What one company sees as value is very different from another. Some simply want networking opportunities. Others want advocacy. While others are seeking services (e.g. documents and training).

There are many questions the working group is still considering, such as:
  • How do we bring the right people to the table so that issues can be identified and dealt with accordingly? (Is it through forums where councils and committees can meet separately and as a group?)
  • What is the right number of people that need to be brought together?
  • Do these meetings need to be face-to-face, or can some be conducted via teleconference?
  • How do we retain the value of camaraderie that currently exists among board members?
  • Can it be retained if we have forums?
  • How do we find the balance between dialogue among groups with common interests (sectors) and those with a tendency to work in silos?
  • Should the committee and council members be selected based on profile (skills, experience, sector, etc.)?
We have an aggressive timeline. Our next meeting is April 14, 2019. As always, we are interested in feedback. Please use when responding.

Again, to clarify, the working group will only be making recommendations. The board will decide the course of action.
Best regards,

Joe Wrobel
Chair, CCA board composition working group
First national vice-chair
Canadian Construction Association
1900 - 275 Slater Street Ottawa ON K1P 5H9

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Canadian Construction Association
1900-275 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5H9