The CAPS Nominations Committee is excited to announce the results of the election for the 2021/22  National Board of Directors. We are grateful to have had such a strong slate of candidates throw their toques into the ring, and to have a fantastic voter turnout! We had room on the board for as many as 3 positions, and at the close of nominations, we had 6 CAPS members indicate their interest to serve on the board.

Please take a minute to read a bit about these new elected members who will serve as your new Directors for the next two years (until December 2022). We know they will do an excellent job representing you, our valued CAPS members, through their respective roles on the National Board.

Each of them brings extensive experience as a professional contributor to CAPS. We are grateful for their demonstrated commitment towards our CAPS community in the past.

Please feel free to reach out and congratulate them!

Suzannah Baum
Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas
Ron Tsang


Suzannah Baum


Who Am I

I’m a presentation skills specialist, trainer, and coach. I work with individuals and companies who want to position themselves as leaders by delivering more engaging, compelling presentations.

Growing up, I was very shy and quiet. I didn’t talk much and preferred to watch life go by from the sidelines. While it may be a strange turn of events that I now speak for a living, what my early years taught me was how to listen….and listen INTENTLY. For meaning, for understanding, for clarity.

This is kind of strange because that’s not really the direction I expected my life to go.

The ability to listen intently helps me get more clarity on the essential message that individuals are trying to get across, which then enables them to discover (and present) this message with focus and impact.

As a CAPS National Board member, I plan to use this skill of listening to better understand members’ needs, so that we could support them and their businesses in whatever way they need.

Why am I running for the CAPS National Board of Directors?

I joined CAPS in 2008, and have been on the CAPS Montreal Board fairly consistently since 2009. It didn’t take long after joining to realize that the CAPS community is filled with supportive, generous, and BRILLIANT people, and I have been lucky to be on the receiving end of this support and generosity over the years. And while I have given back over the years, it’s now time to uplevel my commitment to CAPS and serve our members – that would be YOU! – at a higher level.

Over the years, CAPS members have picked up the phone when I called, responded to my emails, popped on Zoom calls to answer my questions, collaborate, or just to say hello. They have shared their expertise at so many levels, it was nothing short of astonishing. As a member of the Chapter Board and a volunteer in so many programs, I found that the more I was around this amazing group of people, the more I got back. Members stepped up to help, each and every time.

This spirit of giving, and spirit of community, has truly moved me. It has been the reason why I always sing the praises of CAPS to anyone who will listen (and there are still a few who will listen!). And it is the reason why I would like to serve on the CAPS National Board of Directors so that I can continually promote the MEMBERS as one of the most valuable resources of CAPS, and ensure that everyone benefits from the many educational, supportive and fun ways that we continue to support each other, and help build our businesses.

What qualifies me to be a CAPS Board Member

Ever since I joined CAPS in 2008, I have been awed by the generosity, kindness, and incredible brainpower of the members. I was invited onto the CAPS Montreal Board early in my CAPS career, and have been an active part of my Chapter since then. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Chapter President in 2017 & 2018, various other Board roles in previous years
  • Each-One-Reach-One (E1-R1) Ambassador every year since the program started. I’m also the proud recipient of the E1-R1 Inukshuk, awarded in 2016 & 2019.
  • Participated in Chapter Leadership weekends in 3 separate years
  • Served on 2 Convention committees (Ottawa 2017, Montreal 2010)
  • I even delivered at the 2010 Montreal Convention (but I delivered a baby, not a presentation)

CAPS has given me so much to allow me to stay in this profession, and I want to continue to give back to help support and elevate our members in whatever way I can. That is why I believe I would be an excellent addition to the National Board of Directors.

CAPS- Challenges and Opportunities

Challenge: Many speakers “out there” who are not members, because they misunderstand what CAPS is (no, it’s NOT just for keynoters), and what it can do to help them build a speaking business

Opportunity: We need to encourage all our members to become CAPS ambassadors, so that the next time they meet a speaker who is NOT part of CAPS, they can share all the benefits that CAPS offer ALL types of speakers and all types of speaking businesses.

Challenge: Continue to educate our members of the extensive member benefits, and drive the members to use and take advantage of them regularly.

Opportunity: Devise campaigns and membership communication strategies that highlight some of the many high-value member benefits. CAPS Communities….cocktail hours….posting questions to the CAPS Facebook page (don’t be shy!)… eSpeakers profile…Peer support…various insurance offerings….Expert Accelerator Series…webinars….job listings on the CAPS website – all need to be promoted often.

Furthermore – I would love to get the members who DO use the benefits to share their experiences. We want ALL members to be raving fans of all our high-value benefits. No more of “I didn’t know THAT was part of membership,” or members not renewing because they “didn’t see the value” of their membership.

A wise CAPS member once said, “CAPS is like a buffet. Everything you need for your speaking business is right there – but you have to get up and GO GET IT.” So let’s go get it!

 


Nathalie Plamondon-Thomas

Who Am I

As a kid, every Sunday, my parents would make my brother and I sit in the living room to listen to motivational tapes. Og Mandino, Zig Ziglar and Jean-Marc Chaput were my childhood heroes. As a 6-year-old, I did not want to become an actress; I wanted to become a Starfish Savior (the Starfish was my favourite bedtime story; I was hearing it when it was NEW LOL!) My first speaking engagement was at 18 y.o. in front of 800 people as I was co-owner in a manufacturing business of 100+ employees. I bring to the board 10 years of experience in human resources, 25 years of experience in sales, 10 years studying neurosciences, and over 30 years in the fitness industry. In 2007, I was “Fitness Instructor of the Year” for Canada. I founded the THINK Yourself® ACADEMY 12 years ago, written 15 books including 8 International No.1 bestsellers, and created over 20 online courses featuring the 3-step-system I created to transform negative self-talk and find confidence & clarity to unlock full potential.

Why am I running for the CAPS National Board of Directors?

I got a call from Greg Schinkel to invite me to apply to join the CAPS National Board of Directors. First reaction: Hell yeah! I LOVE CAPS. If there is one organization where I feel indebted to give my time and energy it is to CAPS members. I have gotten so much value from CAPS the past three years being a member and on the board of CAPS BC, that even if I was to volunteer full time for the next 10 years, I would still owe you guys. My business has exploded and my personal life too. I have found a family, true friends that totally get me; we’re doing the same thing for a living. And because of you, my life as a whole has been fast-tracked. So THAT is why I want to contribute. I want to pay back and share what I have learned from you with as many speakers as possible. This community is generous. We learn from each other and I humbly think that I can help grow our organization and the value we are getting from the organization. I am ready to step up and contribute on a higher level. I believe in giving back. I also volunteer for a few organizations: Heart 2 Heart contributes to eradicate poverty and help orphans in Haiti. Closer to home, I belong to Nightshift, an organization where I volunteer on Saturday nights to provide hot meals and a caring ear to homeless people in my neighborhood. A position on the National Board is an extension to the philanthropic work I qualify as essential good karma. Giving and sharing is an integral part of who I am.

What qualifies me to be a CAPS Board Member

The greatest lesson I have learned in the speaking business is that no matter how much knowledge and experience you accumulate, there is always a better, newer, simpler way to do things. I learned this lesson the hard way as I was presenting at my first CAPS Convention, at 3 am, exhausted, re-writing my whole presentation from scratch after two CSPs HoF shared with me free advice and tips on how to “tweak” my intro, my outro AND the middle part… okay they were having me RE-DO my full session. I learned more that night than I had in the past 10 years as a professional speaker (non-CAPS member).
Having been on the board of CAPS BC for 3 years as Director of Communication and Secretary, also on 3 ALPS (CAPS Mastermind groups) and now Leader of the CAPS Sales & Marketing Community, I have presented to CAPS Convention 3 times including an Expert Session: Save Time with Technology Apps & Shortcuts last year in London, I am known for being extremely organized, generous and somewhat “techy”.

CAPS- Challenges and Opportunities

The greatest challenge our industry is facing today is at the same time the greatest opportunity: changing the way we deliver our message to a hybrid “live/in-person” model. Our own limiting beliefs about technology, money, and sales may contribute to keeping us stuck or, if transformed, may contribute to propelling us forward beyond where our speaking business was before. Same for our association and our chapters who are now facing worldwide “competition” of events as far as providing value for the members. Having moved my Academy from live events to online over 3 years ago, I feel blessed to maybe be a few chapters ahead, however, I am still reading the same book and learning how to leverage what I have learned, share with my fellow CAPS friends and continue to grow together in this new hybrid reality.

 


Ron Tsang

Who Am I

As the outgoing CAPS Toronto President, I have experience that would serve the National Board.

As a former Bay Street stock analyst, I heard thousands of presentations from CEOs and CFOs. Now I specialize in working with organizations that would benefit from their people being more effective communicators.

As a keynoter, corporate trainer, and facilitator, I speak on business communication: effective presentations, business writing, cross-cultural communication, business storytelling, and influence. I teach at the Centennial College School of Business in Toronto and speak at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Executive Programs.

My academic background includes an MBA from the University of Toronto and a HBA in Economics with a Minor in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

I am known for being a good listener, for seeing the bigger picture as well as the finer details, and for collaborating at both a strategic and a tactical level.

Why am I running for the CAPS National Board of Directors?

CAPS members and events have transformed my thinking, my business, and my life. Since I’ve led and advised on CAPS Toronto Programming the past five years, what I’ve enjoyed the most has been the teamwork that has made our meetings and events even better.

This crisis is an opportunity for me to be of greater service as a Director on the National Board.

I’m running because now is the time to ask, how might we improve our efforts to collaborate, communicate, and celebrate our members and this organization, to help better learn, share, grow, and belong?

What qualifies me to be a CAPS Board Member

I’m the outgoing CAPS Toronto President. This is my fifth year serving on the CAPS Toronto Board, including three years as Programming Chair and one year as Secretary.

It’s been a privilege to have been involved with National for five years through monthly National-led calls with fellow Chapter Programming Chairs and Chapter Presidents.

I’ve attended all mastermind retreats for CAPS, multi-year members.

I’ve been involved with council roles throughout my years as a student.

I run a 5,000-member private Facebook community called the Toronto Entrepreneurs of Passion and Purpose, with live and hybrid events.

I’ve organized multiple in-person and online conferences and events.

Since joining CAPS, I’ve gained more understanding by listening to members with a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of business models. That has helped me be in a position to better serve the members of this organization.

CAPS- Challenges and Opportunities

We are experiencing a massive disruption in our industry, our business, and our life.

Most events are virtual or hybrid for the foreseeable future, which is challenging when some members say that the only value from their CAPS membership is “Convention” and/or “chapter meetings.” But if you’re like me, you believe that the value of CAPS actually comes from the members.

As well, after five years on the CAPS Toronto Board, I’ve experienced the reality of chapter leader and volunteer fatigue.

In addition, now, more than ever, CAPS could be of even greater value to the meetings and events industry, as well as to prospective CAPS members.

How might we help all chapter leaders and volunteers thrive, both during and after the pandemic?

How might we help membership feel meaningful without regular in-person events?

How might we help industry partners and prospective members see the value of CAPS?

There’s an opportunity to organize phone calls to check in with members and share relevant updates and member benefits to reinforce the value of CAPS. Chapter-led “speed date” networking could also engage members, especially newer ones.

There’s an opportunity to reduce the administrative workload of chapter boards by hiring a virtual assistant.

There’s an opportunity to increase the preparedness of chapter leaders by hosting peer-based onboarding and debriefings at the beginning and middle of the year.

There’s no better than now.