So much can change in a year. In February 2020, I thought I had a pretty clear idea of what was ahead of me as far as my agriculture-focused career went. I had just left my position as a corporate director of recruitment with a national line company and joined a recruiting firm, specializing in all aspects of agriculture shortly after.
As the 2020 CAAR Conference and AGM were underway, I was nominated for the CAAR board chair position after serving on the board for several years as vice-chair and chairing various committees, including the executive committee.
I believed in the year ahead I would be on the path to greater success in my career as a professional recruiter and in agriculture with my exciting new role as board chair. A month later, COVID-19 spread across the world drastically changing the way organizations managed their business.
As the days turned into weeks and weeks into months, hiring new employees became “only as necessary” for many companies. By the fall, in response to a changing market, I felt an evolution needed to occur and decided to leave my position as a senior search consultant with the recruiting firm I had joined.
That evolution has led me to launch my own talent acquisition management business, in which I will be providing clients a new solution to managing their recruitment needs. I will also be casting a wider net, providing this service beyond the ag sector.
This decision led me to evaluate my role with CAAR and the time I will be able to commit to the association while launching a startup. As I am sure you can appreciate, when I consider the time I know it will take to build my new venture, there won’t be much left to fulfill my duties as board chair. This, coupled with the fact that the business will not strictly be focused on the agriculture sector, has led me to the decision to resign from my position on the CAAR board
Being a part of CAAR has been an amazing experience, with many opportunities to participate in ag industry events, including attending conferences in Banff, Winnipeg and Saskatoon. I witnessed the departure of Delaney Ross Burtnack, former CAAR President, and spearheading the recruitment for a new executive director producing the hiring of Mitch Rezansoff.
I have learned a lot from serving on the CAAR board of directors, and it has been an honour to be part of such a strong and important association.
I also said goodbye to Lynda Nicol, former director of member services for CAAR, and welcomed Scott Van Alstyne to his role. I’ve watched Lady Gabilo’s hard work and commitment over the past five years recognized, as she now serves in a management position. Last, but not least, Lisa Defoort was blessed with the birth of her daughter, who made a very timely entrance to the world during the Winnipeg conference.
I have seen the priorities and pillars of CAAR evolve in 2020. I watched the resilient CAAR team respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by adopting a virtual platform for the 2021 CAAR Conference, among a whole host of other challenges last year.
CAAR has always been and always will be an important voice for Canadian ag retailers, one that I hope none of our members forget. The association’s values and mission remain true today: an association that protects the interests of ag retail and provides information, education and resources to retailer members.
I have learned a lot from serving on the CAAR board of directors, and it has been an honour to be part of such a strong and important association. I have also been fortunate to have made some great friends from the many people in the ag retail industry that I have had the pleasure of meeting.
Thank you to my fellow board members, the CAAR staff and all of you – our members – for allowing me to serve on such an important association serving a vital industry.
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