Executive Director Update – September 2021
By Jerry Rousseau
Over the past couple months, days have been flying by as we deep dive into all sorts of planning and production work for upcoming events like our WOW webinars, Dooley Memorial Golf Tournament on October 8th and of course, the 59th Annual WCTA Conference and Trade Show taking place live and in person, Feb 16-18 at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Dare I say it’s almost starting to feel normal again?
I can tell WCTA members have been busy too. Phone calls and email volume is typically lower during the growing season but when the fall weather comes and the rain/snow flies, that turns around pretty quickly! From conversations I have had, it seems like 2021 was kind of like 2020 repeated but with added challenges of extreme temperatures and serious wildfire threats in many areas.
So without a lot more banter, here’s a brief update on all things WCTA as fall and winter approaches.
• We’ve turned the Pat Dooley Memorial Golf Tournament, being held October 8th at Mayfair Lakes Golf Club in Richmond, BC, into a full field day with morning education, supplier presentations, outdoor demos and the option to participate in the either the morning, the afternoon golf, games and banquet, or both. This will be our first in-person event since the Feb 2020 conference and we look forward to a great turnout!
• I had some trouble nailing down speakers for our WOW Episode #2, originally planned for September 23rd but we’ve rescheduled to November 4th. The new plan is to run three speakers and two sets of sponsor presentations from 1:00pm to 4:30pm. Semi-confirmed is Trygve Aamlid of the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy Research to talk about autonomous mower research in Scandinavia, a WorksafeBC representative to provide an explanation of the new regulations that came into effect in BC on September 1st including roll-over protection requirements and we’re working on a third speaker to deliver a CEC/CEU accredited seminar. Full details will be circulated as soon as everything gets squared away.
• Lots of suppliers and service providers are already asking about the 59th Annual WCTA Conference and Trade Show. As mentioned, we’re going live Feb 16-18, 2022 all under one roof at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. With extensive new construction and renovations, the hotel has added luxurious new rooms and replaced their casino with a stunning banquet hall overlooking Okanagan Lake. It’s gonna be a great venue for our show!
The organizing committee is busy planning a world-class program of events and social functions and I’m expecting exhibitor registration to open in early October followed by delegate registration in early November but you might want to block your calendar now.
• As Sep 30 fiscal year-end approaches, we get a pretty good picture of where things stand in terms of membership attrition, retention and overall financial performance of the association. I’m very pleased to report another strong year with 696 current members and 97% paid at time of writing - if we can catch most of the stragglers, it looks like a record year for dues revenue! Timing could not be better as the expected loss without our usual conference revenue was significantly reduced by better than expected dues performance. More on this when the dust settles but thanks to all WCTA members for your unwavering support!
Works in progress:
• CEC tracking software development is slowly coming to a close and we hope to start inputting point records shortly. Once complete and things are working properly, everyone on our tracking program will be able to login and view/download their point records at any time.
• A new online supplier directory is in development. We publish this every year as a component of our Member Directory but soon this will live permanently on our website with easy access to current information whenever it’s needed.
• 2022 member dues invoices will be emailed end October/early November.
• Conference program details coming early October.
Thank you again and all the best throughout the remainder of the 2021 season!