On February 5, 1924 our association opened the Electrical Service League of British Columbia. 2019 marks our 95th year in business. The association continues to evolve with the help of a strong volunteer base that always looks for the value to our members.
The BCEA U40 group has done a lot for our association and our industry since their inception 4 years ago. Their ideas have helped the BCEA grow into a forward-thinking association. Several events are held throughout the year from networking to professional development nights. In May, Electro Federation of Canada held their conference in Vancouver. We helped plan a joint networking event titled ‘East Meets and West’ and I am happy to say, we had an excellent turnout from our U40 group. Thank you EFC for helping make that event happen. The U40 Group’s mandate is to promote careers and opportunities through all avenues of the BCEA. They participate in career fairs at BCIT, UBC, and SFU. They also promote opportunities such as business, marketing, finance, and of course the trade.
We have heard lots of feedback from employers that the U40 networking is opening doors in business and helping grow their own personal careers, so it is worth getting out to an event.
The BCEA Women’s Network was started two years ago. Not only do they advocate for women helping women grow in business, they believe in promoting, educating, and encouraging diversity in all forms. This group and some of their committee members have been recognized across Canada and within our province. They believe that sometimes it’s just a lack of understand and knowledge that causes misunderstanding and discrimination. New committee Chair, Brandi Switzer, has a great vision and I look forward to seeing this group grow.
In February 2018 we held our first annual fundraiser. We had an excellent turn out with members, friends, and industry partners who generously donated silent auction items and came out to support the event. We raised over $4000 for BCEA Scholarships and the Greater Vancouver Food bank. With 2019 being our 95th year we hope to have an even bigger event to celebrate our industry and to give back to the community.
In April 2017, the board put together a plan with over 30 goals. I am happy to report that 60% of those goals have been completed, 30% of the goals are always on going and continued work is being done by our various committees. The last 10% is focused on education, membership growth, retention, and regional representation. The most obvious completion was the rebrand and new logo we launched at the LINK Conference in November 2017.
In May 2019, the Board will be putting together a new plan of action. A member survey will go out in January to help the Board plan for the next two years. The planning session is very important to our leadership team and volunteers. The keeps everyone focused and it helps the BCEA continue to move the needle forward to ensure our members are growing and changing with the times. With new faces on our Board this year, we expect a very productive and positive session in May.
In the next few months you will see an added focus on the regions outside of the lower mainland. As a provincial association, it is important to be inclusive and service other areas of the province such as the Island and Prince George. Focus groups are being held with members in those areas to help us understand their needs. Watch for a few events in other regions in 2019.
Finally, an update on our LINK Conference. Since launching the conference in 2016, attendance continues to grow with returning attendees promoting the value of being at the conference. The conference committee and the education committee work very hard to ensure the educational content is relevant and timely. The planning meetings focus on BC teams and how they can move forward with their industry partners. We have seen a 10% increase annually and plans for 2019 are already underway.
It has been a busy 12 months for the BCEA. We are happy to welcome back Caitlyn Domijan our Executive Assistant from maternity leave. We also welcomed Justeen Igonia back as our Administrative Assistant. They are both very active within our community. But most importantly I couldn’t do my job without them.
Once again, as I mentioned in the beginning, I want to thank all the volunteers and our members for your continued support. Members are the heart of this association. I will always encourage your participation at events and at the committee level and always welcome your feedback!
Barbette I. Igonia, CAE
President & CEO
BC Electrical Association