Farewell Message from Outgoing President Dan VanKeeken

Professional associations make a real difference.

If there’s one key message I’d like to leave as I step down as president for CPRS Edmonton at the end of this month, it is this:   It makes a difference whether you belong to a professional association.  The networking, professional development and freedom to connect with fellow communicators is critical to learning more, getting better, staying on top of things and letting current and future employers know you take your role seriously.  But it’s about more than just attending events.  Membership means something when I see it on a resume, when I interview people looking for a new job, when I talk to someone over  lunch.  If we want to be treated like professionals, we need to think, talk and act like committed, real professionals.  Actually belonging matters.  Just ask other professionals, like engineers, nurses, doctors or architects.

OK there are two key messages: many thanks as well to the creative, engaged members who led CPRS Edmonton with me the past two years.  Some of them are leaving the board after some years of service and I want to give them a special thanks:  our Secretary, Tamara Vineberg; our Membership Chair, Richard Liebrecht; our immediate past-president, Martin Schuldhaus; and our longest serving Board member who has played so many important roles, including Treasurer recently as well as President in the past, Mike Lupien, APR.  We will miss you all and wish you the very best in your lives and careers.

At the same time, pending member approval at our AGM on May 27, we hope to happily welcome four new members to our Board: Marjorie Henderson as our Secretary; Catherine Hoac as our Treasurer (she’s a communicator and an accountant!); Paul Oss as Programming Co-Chair; and Jose Hammond-Thrasher as Membership Chair.

And finally, many of us are going to the World PR Forum in Toronto at the end of the month, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mix and mingle with and hear from PR practitioners from around the world.  There is more on this fantastic conference elsewhere in the newsletter.  Hope you can join us!


Dan VanKeeken, APR
President, CPRS Edmonton

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