The Chief Operating Officers Committee was created as part of COCA’s Strategic Plan in 2003 with a mandate to provide a forum for the exchange of information and discussion of common opportunities and challenges amongst the Chief Operating Officers of member associations.
Harold Lindstrom, P.Eng, is Manager of the Construction Association of Thunder Bay. In addition to being a professional Engineer, Harold is a particularly active association executive who tirelessly works for the good of his members and the industry at large. Harold has served as Chair since 2003 and his colleagues greatly appreciate his insights and leadership skill.
REPORT ON 2015 ACTIVITIES
Membership in COCA provides many benefits. Among the most important for construction association leaders is the opportunity to participate in COCA’s COO Committee. All COCA member associations share common business challenges such as strategic and operations planning, governance, communications, technology, membership development, event management, public and government. The COO Committee is a forum of peers that’s an invaluable chance to exchange knowledge and experience, share best practices, develop solutions to common issues and build important relationships with other association leaders. I encourage all staff leaders of COCA member associations to join in and contribute to our already robust proceedings. Your active participation and input would be welcomed.
To ensure COO Committee meetings are relevant to the needs and interests of its members, recommendations for agenda discussion topics and special presentations are regularly solicited from the committee’s membership. Often presentation and discussion topics for a meeting emerge from discussions at the prior meetings.
The COO Committee met five times in the 2015 membership year, prior to the COCA Board of Directors meetings.
Meetings this past year included presentations and discussions that were especially timely, informative and valuable to the associations that participated. Among the presentation and discussion topics in the 2015 year were the following:
- ORPP (Ontario Retirement pension Plan) overview – Keith Burkhardt, Sherrard Kuzz LLP
- Canada Job Grants Program– Yvonne Davis , On Track Career and Employment Services
- Online HR Services – Barry Chapman Two Grey Suits.,
- Succession Planning, Family Business Construction – Laurel Hubber, Laurel Hubber Consulting
- AODA (Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act) requirements- Leah Simon , Sherrard Kuzz LLP
The COO Committee also can advance issues to COCA’s Board of Directors for action. Several issues were advanced to the board this year:
- The recommendation that COCA enter into an agreement with 2 Grey Suites for the use of their online HR system for COCA members at a discounted rate.
- The need for COCA to undertake a strategic planning exercise .
- COCA to issue a statement on the Owners use of Third party prequalification firms.
- A process by which Association COOs could serve on COCA’s Executive Committee.
All member local mixed trade associations operate plansrooms which is an important line of business for them. The Provincial Plansroom Sub-Committee continues to meet and its progress was reported at each meeting.
Two projects the Trade definitions and the contractors handbook continue to be worked on. We did not meet our goal of production by the end of the year however it should happen early in the new year.
The “What’s New?” agenda item has continued to be of great value to our meetings. Through the sharing of best practices and the exchange of important information and ideas, association Executive Directors (COO’s) are better positioned to serve the members of their own associations. This year discussions on membership value proposition strategies lead the way, some associations are experiencing a decline in membership and these discussions, I am sure, have sparked many ideas for membership retention and expansion.
The COO Committee will continue with the “What’s New” and possible look at the expansion of the meeting time. Everyone has expressed an interest in expanding the Continuing education component of the meeting whether it be the “what’s New”, the Presentation, or the general discussion of the Association Business.
Thanks to all the busy Executive Directors (COOs) who continue to attend committee meetings, actively participate and make them so informative, productive and valuable. You are what really makes the COO Committee one of the best benefits of COCA membership.