President's Message Issue 49

Winter 2003 CSANews Issue 49  |  Posted date : May 02, 2007.Back to list

I always laugh when I'm greeted with the phrase "What's new?" For the past two years every single day has brought something new.

When I became president of the Canadian Snowbird Association two years ago, I expected that it would be a full-time commitment. I wasn't wrong. But while my term as president has been extremely busy, it has also been among the swiftest two years of my life.

During my presidency, there have been many firsts.

  • I am the first female president of the association.
  • We appeared before the Romanow Commission.
  • We launched the Canadian Travellers' Report Card.
  • We testified before the U.S. House Small Business Committee.
  • We garnered coast-to-coast media attention due to our advocacy actions surrounding the INS.
  • We met with government representatives from every province to discuss the Canadian Travellers' Report Card.
  • We met with the governor of Florida.
  • We expanded our Snowbird Lifestyle Presentations to Manitoba and British Columbia.

One of the many benefits of being president of an association such as ours is the opportunity to meet with members across Canada and throughout the United States. Their input is invaluable to us as we strive to make our association more national in scope.

As this column is being written just prior to Thanksgiving, I'm going to mention a few people that I believe deserve my thanks.

I have had the pleasure of working with a dynamic board of directors. Each and every one has contributed to the betterment of the association. Their spouses are integrally involved in their participation, and I owe each one of them a very special thank-you. When our members call in to our office, they are greeted by exceptional staff.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the work undertaken by Medipac International on our behalf. In addition to being our benefits administrator, Medipac also publishes CSANews and produces the Snowbird Extravaganza shows and Snowbird Lifestyle Presentations.

Each year we put the call out for volunteers. In many instances, we have to turn some away because we have more than reached our quota. Words cannot express my gratitude to these ladies and gentlemen who volunteer their time to assist us at our many events. Whether it is handing out show guides or doing parking lot duty, we appreciate each and every volunteer.

Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Bruce. He has not only lightened my load but also encouraged me every step of the way. He has put up with me disappearing at a moment's notice and spending family or social get-togethers with my nose in the computer or my ear to the phone.

There is only one reason why so many people dedicate themselves to this association ­ in the past, present or future. They, like me, believe that we are the only organization in Canada that is there to preserve and strengthen what you and I cherish ­ the right to travel freely, safely and within our means, as long as we wish.

At the Annual General Meeting in January, I will be passing the gavel over to a new president. With the position comes the responsibility to simultaneously juggle bowling pins, balls and flaming torches while walking that fine line between advocacy and annoyance. Some days the pins get dropped and the line is crossed, but the majority of the time we're right on track. I have confidence that the new president will continue the balancing act with aplomb.

I believe that with the backing of people like you ­ faithful members, donors to the Special Action Fund, willing volunteers, hard-working directors ­ we will grow to the point where governments will be forced to act more quickly.

It has been an honour to serve as president of the Canadian Snowbird Association, and I look forward to my new, slightly quieter duties as past president. I wish you all many years of safe and healthy travelling and I look forward to seeing you at many meetings in the future.