President’s Message – January 2017

It’s not black and white

It’s not black and white

When you were asked in the 2016 CAPS National survey, “What is your favourite movie?” Did you hesitate, or did you answer that question faster than any of the other 82 member experience questions? Me, I knew right away. Memories of being Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz in grade six flooded back. I stood up, clicked my imaginary red ruby slippers three times and said, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.” Then I proceeded to complete the remaining 18 questions.

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th year of confederation in 2017, I believe we are fortunate to live in such a great nation. One that is inclusive, caring and progressive.

While I believe, there’s no place like Canada, it seems many other great nations are caught in the path of a tornado and citizens’ perspectives have gone askew.

WE, as experts who speak, have a choice and a responsibility.

We can choose to stay our course and ignore the conversations, or we can choose to catapult off the dialogue to influence the reality we wish for all of our clients, and the communities we live in and serve.

I believe we have a responsibility to be the beacon of hope for people and organizations that see themselves as a platform for something greater than themselves. We have a responsibility as experts who speak professionally to be role models, to spread our knowledge ethically, with integrity and respect.

We have a responsibility to stay abreast of what is happening in our expertise. Lead with innovative solutions to persisting challenges. Demonstrate tolerance of societies’ differences.

Why? Because CAPS Cares.

CAPS members are motivated to make a difference in the world. Our profession demands it. Many of us chose this profession because the allure of the impact we can make.

As we celebrate Canada, we also celebrate CAPS 20th birthday (July 8 2017). Imagine what we can do to collaboratively celebrate? We have voices that carry. We have a spirit that is contagious. We have insights that our community and beyond crave.

I throw down the possibilities to my fellow CAPS members, that you seek opportunities to amplify your gift of caring to the CAPS community and to the community at large. How can you use your expertise and turn your success into an initiative that can have significance? Then consider, how CAPS colleagues and you could collaborate to execute that initiative to create a positive ripple effect.

CAPS members are a powerful force. It is an association that cultivates Care. This is a virtue that more organizations realize they need to attract, engage and inspire multi-generational workforces. Being in the path of the tornado is destructive; we are part of a community that inspires, educates, and leads people through chaos to the possibilities.  Unlike my favourite characters in the Wizard of Oz, we already know we have the brains, courage and the heart.

But, first you must take Care of you.

You are the force that makes the impact emanate, so take time for your mind, body and soul and know CAPS Cares about you!

If you ever find you’re in the path of a tornado, put your red ruby slippers on, click your heals three times and remember, there’s no place like CAPS, there’s no place like CAPS, there’s no place like CAPS.”



Suzanne F. Stevens, CSP
2017 CAPS National President
Canadian Association of Professional Speakers