Board Report | September

  • September 28, 2018

Autumn is my favourite time of the year and so it was an honour to host the Board on September 28 in Halifax for our first meeting of the year. Because what gets measured has a higher probability of getting done, we began by setting our Board key performance indicators for the upcoming year.  Included in our list will be:

  • Increase both member renewal rates and new member recruitment.
  • Increase both member satisfaction and value ratings in our quarterly surveys.
  • Double our completed self-identifications to get a better picture of diversity within the CBA.  Please go to cba.org/identify now and complete your profile.
  • Increase member engagement with our advocacy initiatives.
  • Increase revenue from sources other than member fees.
  • Advance our Truth and Reconciliation commitments.
  • Of course, stay within budget.

We spent an hour of our day discussing whether and how the CBA should further reduce our reliance upon member fees to fund our operations. Of the nearly twenty options Board members identified, we narrowed our list to six for the management team to undertake feasibility assessments. We approved new financial controls to ensure your money is used responsibly. Finally, last month the Board approved by email vote a CBA intervention application in the trilogy of administrative law appeals currently pending before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The highlights of our day were the presentations made to the Board by the Chairs of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) and the Wellness Subcommittee.  Counting 405 members nationally at the end of the past membership year (a 16% increase from the prior year), SOGIC has a twenty year history of advocacy on behalf of both the Canadian and global LGBTQI2S community and providing support to Canadian LGBTQI2S lawyers. Our discussion with the Chair reviewed the historical evolution of SOGIC within the CBA family, touched upon upcoming advocacy initiatives they are working on and reminded us that the application deadline for the SOGIC Hero and Ally Awards is December 3.

Our former Wellness Section has been elevated within our governance structure to a Board Subcommittee this year to reflect the importance the CBA places on member health.  Composed of representatives from across Canada with experience in issues relating to mental health and wellness or lawyer assistance programs, our Wellness Subcommittee has been tasked with enhancing awareness, supporting lawyer assistance programs across Canada, and developing programming and professional development resources to support the mental health and wellness of our legal community. We discussed the importance of stabilized funding for the Wellness Subcommittee, the impact of the annual national wellness conference, which will be open to all CBA members for the first time, and the Wellness events planned for the upcoming year.

Our next Board meeting will be held via videoconference on November 29. Before that, we will be gathering by videoconference with all Branch Presidents, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association President, our Sections Subcommittee, and our Young Lawyers Chair, which comprise CBA’s Leadership Forum. We plan to identify aligned areas of work for the upcoming year so resources can be pooled. We will also be presented with the annual results of last year’s member surveys as we work to deliver better service to you.

I made you read all the way to the end to let you know that our new CBA Advantage member benefits program will be deployed within the next sixty days. Watch for the announcement of a whole new suite of offers available to you soon. 

Because of the importance of our mental health, I close by urging you to earn some of your CPD credit hours for free by taking our self-learning program Mental Health and Wellness in the Legal Profession, available by clicking on the title.

Please contact me anytime at president@cba.org or on Twitter @RayAdlington if you have any questions or concerns.