CAFE Canada & Centralization Plans

Message from CAFE Vancouver Island President, Andy Spurling

March 17, 2015

In December 2014 CAFE Canada advised the chapters across Canada that the National Board had decided by resolution to proceed with centralization of the organization by assuming control of the Chapters. The centralization program would see all Chapter revenue directed to CAFE Canada, with the local CAFE boards then serving in only an advisory capacity. Any Chapter plans and proposals for each year, along with corresponding budget requests, would then require approval from CAFE Canada and our Managing Director would report directly to them.

The core of their reasons to centralize are based on their view that centralization would contribute to membership growth, added visibility through a national marketing campaign, greater access to sponsorship dollars, a consistent brand and enhanced consistent programming across the country. The plan is reliant on funding from anonymous benefactors that require centralization as a pre-condition to their agreement to advance funds to help meet these goals.

CAFE Canada is currently meeting with the chapters across the country and met with the CAFE Vancouver Island board on February 26, 2015. They presented their plan and answered questions, noting that the presented plan was meant more as a consultative process. They indicated that a revised plan will be developed over the coming months based on stakeholder input.

At that meeting they asked our Chapter board of directors for a decision on whether or not we support the centralization plan that has been presented. While the local Chapter fully supports efforts to expand the reach of CAFE both locally and nationally, our board identified a number of concerns with the centralization plan, which have been shared with CAFE Canada.

The extent and breadth of these concerns resulted in our board passing a resolution on March 4, 2015 that we do not support the current plan conceptually and fundamentally. Central to our decision is the fact that CAFE Vancouver Island is vibrant and healthy. The board does not believe that centralization would be in the best interests of our local Chapter or current members. Another change that would significantly impact our own local Chapter is that advisory membership would be eliminated from the organization, which would see important local members removed from our PAGs and our Chapter.

CAFE Vancouver Island members will be kept informed of new information and our AGM in September 2015 will provide the opportunity for members to come together and learn more in person. If members are interested in the plan provided by CAFE Canada or the response provided by our board, please contact Bernadine and she can provide you with a copy. or 250-532-2402.