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Post Time with Dan Gall

Post Time

This month for Post Time I thought that I would share some of the key talking points that were presented at the 2019 Standardbred CanadaAnnual General Meeting in Mississauga, Ontario on Saturday, February 2nd for those who were not in attendance.

I always look forward to the AGM as it provides an opportunity to present to our members the key accomplishments of the past year while also underlining our future goals and challenges that the association is faced with in the coming year.

But first a recap of the last year's efforts:

The Board spent a great deal of focus implementing the recommendations that came out of the Governance Review that we had conducted. This involved reviewing how each of our standing and special committees function, and revising their Terms of Reference.

We did significant work on our bylaws as we updated them to ensure that they are current, and that they reflect current practices on how a not-for-profit board is to operate within current laws and legislation. The revised bylaws will go to membership for input and approval later this year.

The board developed a CEO Succession Plan and the Chair of the Board's Position Description, outlining the expectations and responsibilities of the Board Chair.

We conducted a Skills Matrix of our Directors to identify improvement areas where the board might focus on to ensure the future board is in alignment with our strategic plan.

As presented last month, a considerable amount of work went into developing a revised 5 year strategic plan. We then developed the Strategic plan for 2019 ensuring that it is in alignment with the five year strategic plan and the revised mandate, mission and vision statements.

Last year we introduced a Values Proposition for our employees, that was created by our board and our employees, so that the values of this organization are clearly spelled out with regard to what we hold near and dear, to how we want to operate and be perceived by our members and stakeholders.

Our values are defined under the acronym of HORSE and I would like to share these values with our members.

"H" stands for Honesty and Integrity. Standing behind the words we say and the work we do, and being known for doing the right thing.

"O" stands for Own It. Where we ask our employees to always be accountable, responsible and lead the way in the work that they do.

"R" is for Respect. To each other and to ourselves.

"S" stands for 'Service to Others. Standardbred Canada is about serving our members, our horses and our industry, and understanding that we don't build services to make money. We make money to build services for our members.

"E" stands for Excellence. This is about striving to be the best that we can be, in the work that we do and the services we offer.

Last year we spent a great deal of time reviewing our existing programs and services which included offering Late Start Eligibility fees, multiyear licenses, and ensuring that our fees are competitive and in alignment with the overall economics of today's business environment. This resulted in the first fee increase at SC in five years.

We launched the Membership Value Program or as we call it "MVP". Where our members can receive discounts on farm rental machinery, hotel accommodation, car rentals, office supplies, courier and shipping and other services.

We made some adjustments with our organizational structure to align with the five year plan to focus on Data Governance, Communications, our Members, Stakeholders and Financial Sustainability.

Our partnership with Forest City Sales continued to flourish with another successful event at the London Selected Yearling Sale in October.

With USTA we coordinated and launched Microchipping to be implemented this year.

We also developed business cases to explore future opportunities for our programs and services.

As we head into our second month of 2019, Standardbred Canada has another very ambitious and aggressive project calendar that includes:

  • Completing the computer upgrade project that has been ongoing for several years.

  • Identifying further operational efficiencies internally and externally, to reduce and keep costs down.

  • Develop and launch an effective social media strategy to better communicate with our members and race fans.

  • Define a Data Governance policy that will result in increased services and programs to serve our members and business partners.

  • Sell our existing building and relocate Standardbred Canada's operation.

  • Develop more online member services

  • Launch Canada's Standardbred Rules of Racing to jurisdictions across the country.

  • Begin to measure the value that our members and stakeholders place on the association and work towards becoming a more influential and valuable partner to the industry.

Those were some of the details at the AGM presented to members on February 2, 2019.

Following that meeting we hosted our 30th O'Brien Awards Gala. I would like to congratulate all of our winners and thank the many people who organized, volunteered, sponsored, and/or attended the awards show. It has always been a first-class event, a great celebration of our sport, and a wonderful night all-around.

If you have never been to the O'Brien Awards, mark it on your calendar for next year. It's an excellent, star-studded event that really makes one proud of this industry.

Dan Gall,
President & CEO, Standardbred Canada
[email protected]


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