Looking back; moving ahead

During the past year, it has been my honour to serve as CPRS National President. With my term ending, my final President’s message gives me the opportunity to look back, as well as muse about CPRS efforts moving ahead.
As CPRS National President, I have had the unique, day-to-day perspective of seeing so much related to CPRS at the local and national level, as well as globally. There are so many good things happening.
COVID-19 was front and centre throughout my term. There were no in-person meetings or activities; we all became pretty good at online meetings. It was hard on our members and CPRS was pleased to be able to offer member-in-transition support.
 I had three priorities during the past year, which the board supported.
  • Financial Sustainability. CPRS continues to be in the black thanks to efforts to control expenses, carefully monitor revenues, and access funding under the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) COVID-19 program. 
  • Membership Strategy. Like other associations, we have been losing members. The CPRS Membership Committee was created. Through this renewed focus, membership is stabilizing.
  • Professional Development. COVID-19 played havoc with PD this past year and a half. Our national conference went virtual … twice. I am especially #CPRSproud of the efforts of local societies who switched from in-person to online activities, which organically grew to include participation by local societies across the country.
Moving ahead, here are some of my thoughts about the future of CPRS.
  • CPRS is good hands with the new Board of Directors.
  • Continue to keep CPRS members at the centre of everything we do by further aligning the work of the Board, Presidents’ Council, and Committees, Councils and Task Forces. 
  • Implement the use of more technology to further improve the member experience. This is not meant to replace staff or volunteers, but to free up their time for other initiatives.
  • Remain focused on membership. This includes the need to further define who our members are in this brave new world of social media and digital communications. 
To conclude, my thanks go out to: 
  • The CPRS Board, as well as the members of the Presidents’ Council, our Councils, Committees and Task Forces, along with our membership across the country. 
  • The staff at the National office. 
  • Karen Dalton, former CPRS executive director, who tapped me on the shoulder a number of years ago and encouraged me to run for the Board.
  • Steve West, former Communications Manager for the City of Winnipeg and a CPRS friend for his editing skills, and
  • My wife, Susan, and family who, for the past year, have referred to me as the “basement dweller” … in reference to my home workspace, where I worked on many CPRS files and participated in dozens of online meetings.
I have been #CPRSproud and honoured to serve my profession in this role for the past year and I wish all of you all the very best in the future.

Wayne Knorr, APR
CPRS National President