By Greg McCormick, VP Brand and Partners (

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the leadership positions within the CSP, and more specifically, why members should consider offering for these roles. The issue will focus on the board of directors, and subsequent issues will look to other roles at the national, divisional and zone levels.

Each year we look for nominations of individuals to fill positions on our board of directors. The board’s composition is dependent on the number of members who put forward their names; a range of candidates is needed to ensure an effective balance of skills and experience. The positions are voluntary. The zone presidents elect the members of the board and they are responsible to vote for individuals they consider to be the most appropriate to assume these important positions.

Most members probably ask themselves why anyone would run for the board. The current and first female chair, Anne Haley-Callaghan, believes that every member of the CSP has a unique skill set and personality which, if the member is elected, establishes the group dynamic of the board. Anne says, “the position is a busy one, however, it brings with it the satisfaction of taking part in the establishment of the strategic direction of our organization.”

Board members get the opportunity to work closely with persons who share their passion for the CSP. Ross Forbes, a past member of the board, commented “that being a board member opened my eyes to the fact that the CSP is a business, not a pastime.” Ross added that the board is tasked with making serious decisions about the direction and future of the CSP. When Ross participated in the decision to rebrand the organization, including the colours change, he saw the pride in the eyes of his fellow patrollers when they tried on their new uniforms. Ross believes that decision has led to a rejuvenation of enthusiasm across the CSP, and it was worth every minute of time he gave during his tenure.

Being a board member can have a positive influence outside of the CSP. Clifford Leigh-Mossley, another  past board member, believes that his time on the board taught him to be a better listener. Often the board spends time deliberating complex topics which Clifford says forces one to consider different possibilities to solutions, to work as a team player and appreciate the challenges of establishing short- and long-term objectives for an organization. Clifford notes he benefited from the interactions with patrollers from across the country, and the expertise they brought to the table. He added that his role “reaffirmed the importance of effective communication. Many of skills required and learned at the board level have been applicable to my work environment and private life.”

Are you prepared for a challenging role in the future direction of the CSP? Consider running for the board of directors – the nomination period is open until the annual general meeting, to be held at 1:30 p.m. EDT in Toronto. The ability to attend remotely through webinar/teleconference technology will be available.

Stepping up – volunteering for leadership roles in the CSP