First of all, thank you. Thank you for your support and for electing me as President of the Public Affairs Association of Canada (PAAC) for the 2022 year. It is an honour to take on this new challenge and to have the opportunity to represent and serve you,our members.
We have a talented and committed new board that is representative of our industry. It is inspiring to see such renewed energy and passion for PAAC, and I am keen to commence work with the new board to accomplish our numerous objectives for the year ahead. We are here to champion you and your organizations. It is the national board’s responsibility to provide oversight while supporting the chapters to ensure they are successful in driving forward their various initiatives.
Our board is dedicated to PAAC’s mission of seeing others in public affairs provided with opportunities for professional development, mentorship, and networks in the industry to become the most effective contributors to their organizations. We will continue to be advocates for our membership and ensure that the value those in our sector deliver is strongly communicated to government and to the public.
The below-outlined priorities are my commitment to our members. As a board, we will strive to live and breathe these five principles to better our industry and to create a truly national association that will be to the benefit of all public affairs professionals.
Canada-wide: With PAAC expanding and now having three provincial chapters, we are branded as a national organization. And we are national, in many respects. But Canada is larger than three provinces and public affairs expands beyond these jurisdictions. We will look at opportunities for expansion into new markets and seek interest from public affairs professionals to grow our footprint across the country.
Competence: Public affairs is more than lobbying – we help influence positive advancements for our country on a daily basis and are strong proponents of responsible government. We will prioritize highlighting our competency as an industry with proactive thought-leadership and engagement on public affairs and policy issues. We will aim to better communicate with Canadians on the ways in which they can better access policy and influence change on the issues that matter to them.
Collaboration: We know that creating improved collaboration between PAAC’s chapters across the country comes from the top. We will ensure members receive coordinated engagement and communication from their provincial boards. We will also continue to cultivate a collaborative environment between those in the industry, rather than one of competition.
Culture: Both within our boards and across our membership, building a positive culture is critical. We will have a team mentality as a board and in our leadership. Whether you have been part of PAAC for one month or ten years, our goal is to make everyone feel welcome, appreciated, and supported as they grow their careers in public affairs.
Connection: No matter where you practice public affairs, we believe in building community for the public affairs industry across the country and ensuring members feel like they are an integral part of our network of professionals.
As President, I am committed to being present for our membership. As I have previously communicated, my inbox will continue to be open and I will always have an open-door (or inbox!) policy. Please, don’t be a stranger. We are here to listen to your ideas and feedback, and we want to hear from you.
I look forward to meeting many of you and working alongside you throughout 2022.
Taleesha Thorogood, PAAC President