Well, first off let me say thank you all for choosing me as your CAAMP representative for Alberta. I sincerely appreciate that and will do my best to represent you well. An important thought that should be said up front; is that I’m very aware that this position isn’t about ME imposing MY opinions on CAAMP but rather representing YOUR’s. That said, I will need lots of feedback from you as we move forward. I really want these next two years to be ones of change. The status quo is no longer an option and we need to move forward in an organized and strategic manner.
My first couple of weeks on the board have been ones where I have tried to take the opportunity to educate myself as much as possible on the workings of the organization and get to know some of my fellow board members. I have to tell you I am very excited about what I see. One of the first things I did was to look at the Board composition. A knock I’ve often heard about CAAMP is the opinion that it is “by the lender, for the lender”; so I immediately took a look at the Board composition. Well, I’m happy to report that the current Board composition might suggest otherwise. Our current Board is 62% Broker, 13% Insurer and 25% Lender. As a broker, that is pretty good news! Our current Chair Daryl Harris is a mortgage broker so the notion that this organization is somehow controlled by our lender partners is not accurate. We have fantastic, diverse representation that is heavily weighted in favour of the broker which is appropriate given the mix of our membership.
I have also had an opportunity to get to know some of the staff at CAAMP and must say I am extremely impressed with the level of passion, talent and expertise that we have supporting us. From government relations to professional standards to education we have the expertise and talent we need to drive our industry forward. I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to work with all of them and believe that together we can accomplish a lot of great things.
As I have said in the past one of the things I believe strongly in is working together as an industry for better solutions, higher standards and ultimately a stronger broker channel. I will continue to work as much as I can to bring together national and provincial interests and efficiencies. This does not mean anyone has to lose their identity but it does mean that we need to work together. The implications of us not working together are dramatic. Think of this; if CAAMP and AMBA are working on identical initiatives (without collaboration) we have just doubled the cost of the initiative for our industry. In times of compressed margins and tighter wallets we simply cannot afford this type of inefficiency. I am not certain I have the answer but it is clear to me that we need to find an answer, and fast!
Another thing that I often hear from all the associations whenever anyone laments the perceived lack of value or lack of progress is this “Well, people just don’t understand what we do behind the scenes.” That retort just doesn’t cut it for me, it’s time for our associations to communicate clearly and loudly the things that they’re doing behind the scenes. (trust me I know there is a lot that goes on). Transparency has to be paramount in these times when we are all looking at our dollars to try and see what value we are getting for our buck. In my opinion if I can’t communicate our value that is no different then not having any value at all.
On a final note, I will leave you with this thought. Any organization is ultimately controlled by its shareholders. The shareholders appoint a board of directors to guide the staff and set strategic vision for the organization. The Board is accountable to the shareholders. The organization staff are responsible for the day to day operation and implementation and are accountable to the board of directors.
Guess what? You, the membership, are the shareholders. Let your voice be heard. What do you want your organization to look like? Leave me a comment below.