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SC Strategic Plan Online

Published: July 14, 2008 11:15 am ET

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Following a thorough process, Standardbred Canada has released its new, revised Strategic Plan, including an updated mission, vision and mandate statement for the organization.

The document, a result of much work and deliberation that began during a two-day meeting held on May 13 and 14 in Guelph, Ontario, was recently approved by the Standardbred Canada Board of Directors.

The Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Ross Galbraith (NB, active director) and comprised of Jim Lehman (ON, active director), Tom MacPhee (PEI, active director), Dr. Maurice Stewart (AB, active director) and Jackson Wittup (AB, track director and Chair of the Board) met, along with facilitator Byron Beeler, and members of Standardbred Canada's management team.

According to Galbraith, the challenge before the Committee was not only to look at Standardbred Canada as an organization but to focus on the bigger picture.

"Anybody involved in the industry knows it faces challenges," he said. "Other than Standardbred Canada, there is no organization that reaches all across Canada and represents everyone involved in the sport. I'm pleased that the Strategic Planning Committee and Board have taken steps to take on the challenges before us.

"I've seen an evolution over the past few years to take a bigger picture look at what we can do to help the industry. The National Drivers' Championship, Xtreme Horsepower, the Wagering Conference and the National Handicapping Championship are each small items that have come out of planning."

While Galbraith was pleased with the work done this year, he feels that Standardbred Canada's new document is part of a longer term process.

"It's an evolution," he said. "Last year we identified the decline in wagering. This year the plan is a little more precise, an easier to understand roadmap for the industry."

Wittup, who took over as Chair of the SC Board earlier this year, was also happy with the document.

"I am very pleased the Board of Standardbred Canada voted to approve the updated and slightly revised Strategic Plan," said Wittup. "I believe the standardbred industry is looking for national leadership and this Strategic Plan should help lead the way."

This year, the Strategic Planning Committee was led by Byron Beeler. Beeler, who has served as President of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists, Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Animal Health Institute and Chairman of Equine Guelph, took off his Director's hat for the meetings to act as a facilitator for the group.

"The process the group went through is one I have used many times," said Beeler, who currently does consulting work for major firms and organizations around the world. "I believe if you don't have a good process you won't have a good plan. Getting the meaning of words right is very important to me.

"The group that we had working on this put in two days of hard work, they all got involved, had their lively discussions and their quieter discussions. There's always disagreement in a group and disagreement is healthy. I was really pleased with how the team tackled the process and in the end we had everybody going in the same direction.

"I believe this group did an outstanding job of working through the process and coming up with the direction the organization should take. I believe Standardbred Canada has a very important role to play. There is a tremendous opportunity for this organization to be a real leader."

To view Standardbred Canada's revised Strategic Plan, click here.

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