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Post Time with Dan Gall

Post Time

In late November we had our year-end board meeting, and some interesting items came out of it.

Recently, we have been working with Jane Garthson of the Garthson Leadership Center, and conducted a Governance Review

to ensure Standardbred Canada was current with best practices, in and around governance. The board moved a couple of important motions as a result of Jane’s recommendations.

Firstly, the board of directors voted on moving towards a skills-based board. Whence the gaps of skills and knowledge are identified, the board will address this for future recruitment.

Secondly, the board approved to develop a more proactive Director Recruitment process based on the needs of the association, as determined on the skills and knowledge matrix that would be identified above.

The board also approved the recommendation that our current vision, mission and mandate be reviewed in 2018 to ensure that it is in alignment with the board and our members’ expectations, and we are to begin working on developing a strategic plan for the association for 2019-2024.

These are just three of many recommendations that were presented to the board which will keep the association current, vibrant and relative.

In 2018, we will be going into the third year of a five-year strategic plan. The five key objectives that are identified as our primary focus for Standardbred Canada were and are; Customer/Member Value, Industry Growth/External Relations, Technology, People, and Financial.

So, while the board discusses a new plan in early 2018, Standardbred Canada will stay the course and work towards moving forward on the current objectives listed above. We have had some great discussions with our board, and our team, identifying areas of focus for this year that will support and promote the five overarching objectives (customer/member value, etc).

Our strategic focus for 2018 includes: developing business plans to support our industry and members, designing and implementing a new structure and services that will be beneficial to members, meet or exceed overall member satisfaction, enhance the technology infrastructure to support the association, and improve awareness and relevancy of the association to our members and stakeholders.

All of the above requires associated tactics that the Standardbred Canada team is working on to ensure that we will hit the mark this year.

Like all effective associations across the country, managing and measuring the effectiveness of the organization is not only paramount to the board but also to our members, who we are ultimately responsible and accountable to.

As we move forward this year, we are anxious to get further feedback from our board and our members as to the direction that will be set for our association through a revised new strategic plan for the next several years. Once the new strategic plan has been developed, we of course will tweak and update the work that we are doing, to reset or recalibrate, to accommodate any changes cited by the board of directors.

While we focus on the future, we should also spend some time to celebrate the past.

Last year saw Standardbred Canada in the forefront, working with the industry on a variety of projects to assist us in moving forward. We have spent a great deal of time hearing from our members and our horse associations and stakeholders, and as a result:

• We merged our Yearling Sale with Forest City Sales to create the London Selected Yearling Sale.

• We held a very effective and impactful World Trotting Conference in PEI and World Driving Championship across the country, that led to further establishing Standardbred Canada as a national leader for our horse and sport.

• We conducted a membership fee review which will provide enhancements that will benefit our members.

• We have established a National Rules Committee to design a national rule book for the country.

• We conducted a Governance Review of the Standardbred Canada Board.

• We have conducted ongoing surveys and focus groups with both members and Standardbred Canada employees.

• We have worked on a Government Relations roadmap to heighten awareness of our sport and industry to federal and provincial politicians.

• We have scheduled regular meetings with our provincial horse associations across the country to create dialogue and begin to work together for the betterment of the sport.

• We have implemented modules of the new Gaitway system for our end-users.

The above is a result of hard working and focussed people, both on the board and in the office, and our numerous stakeholders who have assisted and supported Standardbred Canada to achieve all this in the past year.

To identify everyone that has assisted Standardbred Canada would take more space than what this article has been allotted, but I am sure everyone knows who they are.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the employees of Standardbred Canada, we would like to thank each and every one of you who have supported us this past year.

As we move into 2018, we will ask for your continued assistance in making Standardbred Canada an association that is meaningful to the people and the horses that are involved in the industry, and we wish one and all a most healthy, happy and prosperous new year.

Happy New Year!

Dan Gall
President & CEO, Standardbred Canada

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