President’s Message – October 2017

Proposed Changes to CAPS Membership Criteria – watch your inbox Nov 1, 2017

The CAPS 20/20 Vision Task Force was born out of a visioning exercise undertaken by the 2016 CAPS National Board – an exercise designed to take a fresh look at our association as we approached the 20-year anniversary mark. There are at least three reasons the timing for the task force makes sense:

  • It’s CAPS 20th anniversary (hence the clever 20/20 Vision name) – a fabulous milestone we should all be proud of, and as with any successful business or association, it’s the ideal time to take a step back and build on our legacy and examine where we’re going.
  • Associations are changing – in some cases, fast. If you speak to associations, you’ve probably seen the changes. Associations are amalgamating, rebranding, or undergoing a major restructuring to survive. And some associations, sadly, have not survived. To ensure CAPS remains strong and sustainable, we need to learn what’s working and what’s not working. We need to be aware of the challenges associations are facing keeping in mind that even if they haven’t affected us yet, it may just be a matter of time.
  • Although CAPS is strong, we do have challenges similar to many associations: an ageing membership coupled with changing demographics, rapidly changing technology, volunteer fatigue and burnout, and a “competitive landscape” that has changed tremendously since CAPS was founded. As speakers, trainers and facilitators, we all understand that complacency and an unwillingness to risk any change is the riskiest thing we could do as an association.

Although the work of the 20/20 Vision Task Force is far from over, there are three proposed changes that have received full backing from the 2017 CAPS National Board that will directly affect your membership. These proposed changes are incorporated into our ‘proposed bylaw amendments’ that will only be ratified upon a membership vote on December 10, 2017, at 7:15 a.m. during our AGM Breakfast.

These proposed changes will be sent to our members on or about Nov 1, 2017. Please watch your email and snail mail, as not only will the membership changes be highlighted, but also several other bylaw changes, many of which are housekeeping in nature.

This is an inspiring time for CAPS, as for years we have been talking about “who do we want to be when we grow up.” The 20/20 Vision Task Force has conducted extensive research and had robust and spirited conversations to bring their proposal forward. We at the National Board, have been updated on the progression at each stage, and whole heartily agree with the recommendations.

Nothing happens without you.

To assist in making an informed choice should you be voting at the AGM, you will have all received the following documents on or about Nov 1 – via email, and shortly after by snail mail.

  1. Overview letter of the proposed bylaw changes
  2. A summary of rationale behind the decision related to the membership category changes
  3. Proposed amended Bylaw
  4. A chart of bylaw changes – listing the bylaw as it is today, and proposed changes.

We want to answer your questions.

If you can’t attend the AGM, or if you will be at the AGM and have questions, we encourage you to join us at a CAPS Town Hall meeting that the National Board will be hosting via Zoom on November 9, 2017, at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm ET. Several National Board members will be on this call to listen and answer any questions you may have.   We encourage you to attend this session.

To register to attend the Town Hall – Register here:

Note: this link is in the ‘member only’ section of the website, so you will need to log-in. You can also access this page on the home page using the “Already a valued speaker?” link under the banner.


Thank you to the 20/20 Vision Task Force, led by Michael Kerr CSP, HoF and National Director of Special Projects, for leading the team and providing well-researched recommendations to the National Board and our Membership.

Watch for the bylaw proposed changes on or about Nov 1, 2017. AND to have your voice heard, join us at the Town Hall on November 9th, 2017. REGISTER HERE.

CAPS Cares about you and CAPS future!


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