Thursday, 26 March 2015

Thinking of getting your CAE?

Making the decision to go for my CAE was the end of a process of consideration for a number of years.  Timing and really arriving at the right moment in my career made the difference.

Ultimately, it was landing my first job as an Executive Director that got me to take the plunge. Obviously knowing enough to get the job, I still felt that there was wisdom to be gained from those who had proceeded me, my colleagues, and through the resources I would read.  Inevitably, with the eyes of members on me waiting to see what I could do for the association as a “rookie”, there was comfort and assurance to be able to draw from the CAE experience, my colleagues, and dare I say, the ability to state that I was studying for my CAE!

Throughout my studies, I found that the CAE program was a great forum to make contacts and bounce ideas off of colleagues.  I learned a great deal with the innumerable amount of articles and resources available, not to mention the experiences from others through the forum discussions.  Later as I came to the point of looking to advance onto another role, I very much found that the CAE designation has been a definite career advancer.  While not always asked for in job placement ads, I did note that during the interview for my current role, having a designation made a difference.  In fact, after mentioning my designation, a number of follow up questions and interest was generated by this fact. When I was offered the post, I was told that while there were a number of eligible candidates in the vying, my association-specific management knowledge is what made the difference.

Thinking of getting your CAE?  In my humble opinion, it is completely worth it.  A fair warning: it can be time consuming.  Prepare yourself for at least 5 hours per week for regular study time and as much as 15 hours in the final lead up to assignments.  As you get towards the final assignment (CAE 500), make sure to put a few solid days aside. They’re big projects and you’re given only a weekend to complete them all.  I also found that when you have assignments, try to get started as soon as possible.  When you’re already holding down a career, you’ll be amazed at how quickly time goes by.  I also found setting blocks of time aside to do the reading and posting to be the most effective.

This post was submitted by Mark Buzan, CAE, President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries.  Mark is an association management executive with nearly 17 years experience effectively working with a variety of national nonprofit boards.

Image courtesy of Naypong at

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Executive is now available...

Here is the January/February 2015 Executive.

In this issue...

  • The Ottawa-Gatineau Chapter President's Message (Page 3)
  • CSAE Tête-à-Tête 25th Anniversary Review (Page 6)
  • Succession Planning - an Important Part of Association Leadership (Page 10)
  • PACE Committee Update (Page 14)
  • MPI Charity Auction (Page 16)
  • Trade Show Management - Concept to Completion (Page 18)
  • CSAE Ottawa-Gatineau Young Professionals Get to Know the World of Associations (Page 24)
Happy reading!