CAAR is now accepting nominations for its 2019-20 Board of Directors. Submit a nomination on behalf of yourself or another individual and make your voice heard! Read more for testimonials from Board Chair Don Kitson and Past Chair Martin Kiefer on how serving on the CAAR Board benefits both the industry and the individual.
Representation Across Canada
“Serving on the board is a good personal experience because we have people involved in agriculture from Prince Edward Island all the way to British Columbia,” says Board Chair Don Kitson. “We get a view on agriculture across Canada and an international view, as we work with many international suppliers.”
Working to support retailer interests as they adapt to meet evolving customer need, increased public scrutiny and changing regulations, Kitson believes CAAR is more important now than ever.
“CAAR is the only organization dedicated solely to representing retailers and their side of the business,” he says. “CAAR can work effectively to aggregate retailer opinions and interests into a strong message when dealing with the external groups, producers, government regulators and the general public.”
Kitson has been on the CAAR Board since 2010, serving as Fertilizer Canada liaison continuously. He Chaired the Conference Committee leading up to CAAR’s 2011 conference in Edmonton and chaired the Finance Committee for three years before taking on the role of Board Chair in 2018.
“I think serving as a committee member, committee chair and board member are three equally important aspects of participating with CAAR,” says Kitson. “Join a committee, chair a committee, or join the board. Just make sure to get involved and participate. We are all better off if we have more people willing to contribute and put in their service with CAAR.”
Get Off of the Sidelines
Past Board Chair Martin Kiefer has been on the board since February 2014, serving as Chair 2016-18. He saw the association through its leadership transition in 2017 and has served as OABA liaison continuously. Kiefer believes that by participating in CAAR, you contribute to the strength of the industry.
“It’s my belief that an industry stands best when it stands together,” says Kiefer. “Individual companies and consolidated groups can only speak for themselves. But an association like CAAR represents the interests of retailers across a wide region and can speak for all members from independents to line companies.”
“I’ve found my time with CAAR to be a very satisfying experience. I've really enjoyed working with the diversity of members that are on the CAAR Board,” he says. “I learn all the time from the people that I work with and they help me get better at what I do, in my work and in my life.”
For Kiefer, the opportunity to get off the sidelines and truly have influence on the direction of the industry is one of the biggest draws of serving on the CAAR Board.
“When you participate on the CAAR board, you get to be more than just an armchair critic on the sidelines. You get to work with people to help shape the future our industry. If you truly love what you do, then you want to work to change the future of that industry that you work in for the better,” says Kiefer.
“That's why I encourage anyone, if you're interested in seeing this industry get better and seeing CAAR become a better representative of ag retail in Canada, you should be involved,” he says. “I know we're all busy, but that’s never going to change, and this is an important part of our business.”
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