2022 SMCC Committee Workshop
In March 2022, all SMCC Committees gathered virtually to hold the inaugural SMCC Committee workshop. The workshop was hosted by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee members Julian Franklin and Madhu Rupasinghe. The workshop aimed to cultivate connectivity and collaboration across all SMCC Committees and to ensure that DE&I is at the forefront of all SMCC initiatives.
The Workshop was well-attended by over 40 of SMCC’s dedicated and engaged committee volunteers. Each Committee Chair shared their committee’s goals and objectives for 2022 as well as opportunities to integrate DE&I across all SMCC’s committees. Details of each committee’s presentation are highlighted below.
The DE&I Committee, chaired by Julian Franklin, started by introducing their 14 members. The committee discussed the mandates and goals of their Policy & Procedures, Data & Demographics, and Membership Sub-Committees, with the overarching goal to increase diverse representation across all facets of SMCC. To date, the committee diversified the marketing calendar with culturally significant days in the annual calendar and introduced a DE&I spotlight featured in the SMCC newsletter and on social media channels. The Committee has also developed a valuable resource list which is available to the public on the SMCC website. Looking to 2022 and beyond, the DE&I Committee will continue to support all other committees in their drive to increase diverse representation. The committee stated their intent to increase collaborative efforts across all SMCC committees to ensure this mandate is met.
Sion Ishmael, Chair of the Education Committee, introduced his team of 21 volunteers and went over the 2021 calendar of events, including KPIs and goals for SMCC’s educational forums. The committee aimed to have a balanced gender mix and increased representation of BIPOC speakers and panelists in 2021 – a goal which was met, but also has room for growth and improvement in 2022. These goals will continue to be carried through in 2022, along with the hope to increase registration and attendance rates. With the resurgence of in-person events in the future, event attendee numbers are expected to rise once again.
The Marketing Committee, led by Laura Amantea and her team of 7 volunteers, presented their successes to date and goals for 2022. Thanks to the efforts of the committee, SMCC has a stronger and more engaging digital presence than in previous years. This has been demonstrated through increased open/click rates for the weekly e-newsletter, improved social post analytics and increases in followers across most platforms, as well as the establishment of a consistent visual identity and tone across all marketing and communications. In 2022 and beyond, the committee will strive to boost engagement with members on social media and to consistently lead with DE&I. The various SMCC regional markets also hope to collaborate in marketing efforts and ensure that SMCC is represented as a national organization.
Strategic Partnerships Committee
Mark Palmer presented on behalf of the Strategic Partnerships Committee. He stated that the SMCC/CMA Sponsorship Council has grown from 9 to 13 members, with efforts to ensure that it is well-balanced in terms of BIPOC representation. To date, the committee has partnered with CMA on a DE&I survey that went out to all members. The committee is in the process of planning a joint SMCC/CMA networking event in the summer of 2022 in Toronto and will also look to plan joint events in other regions to provide networking opportunities within each market.
Activate! Mentorship Program Committee
The SMCC Activate! Mentorship Program Committee was represented by Owen Welsh at the workshop, on behalf of his co-chair Francis Dumais. Owen proudly stated that this year’s roster of mentors includes increased diverse representation thanks to the support from the DE&I Committee in sourcing well-respected industry leaders to act as mentors. The roster of mentors features 24 new mentors, and a refined program structure that will add value for mentors and mentees alike. The program will have fewer barriers for mentorship and a clear structure, as well as Mentorship Workshops and touchpoint events for all mentors and mentees to attend. The presentation left much to anticipate for this year’s program, with the mentee selection meeting and mentor/mentee speed networking event approaching in the coming weeks.
Tania Richards and Colin Jarvis presented on behalf of the Vancouver Chapter. In recent years, the Chapter hosted many successful events, including the Celebration of Lights, two events around HSBC Canada Sevens, a debate around Purpose vs. Cause, and all-day networking sessions. The Chapter mentioned their intent to have all aspects of their events and programs go through a DE&I filter to ensure that diverse representation is achieved in all initiatives undertaken by the Vancouver Chapter. The Chapter plans to host 4 events in 2022, so stay tuned for further news from YVR.
SMAs Planning & Judging Committees
The SMAs Planning and Judging Committees presented their goals for 2022. This year, the event will be hybrid, compared to the virtual SMAs in 2021. The goals for the 2022 event are to increase attendance for virtual and in-person, as well as to increase diversity of thought and representation on both the Planning & Judging Committees. The 2023 SMAs will go back to being hosted in the Spring with a hybrid format. The Judging Committee mentioned their success in improving balanced gender, geographic, and BIPOC representation among the selected judges. The call for applications to join the panel of SMAs judges will be launched in April/May of 2022.
Business Development Committee
The Business Development Committee, with 7 members spearheaded by George Dudas, is open to new committee members. The committee has been busy supporting the growth of the SMCC membership and Foundational Partnerships. Organizations continue to renew their membership and support the SMCC as Foundational Partners. The committee stated their intent to increase member value, research potential partners, and keep consistent communication with these partners to ensure that all their deliverables and benefits are in use. If you are interested in joining the SMCC as a member or Foundational Partner, please reach out to the SMCC Office.
All committees recognized the importance of a collaborative, cross-committee approach to ensure that DE&I is integrated in all facets of SMCC. All committees have committed to work in closer proximity to the DE&I Committee to ensure that SMCC’s mandate to diversify and broaden the membership is met. This event will now be held annually and – hopefully – in person in the future to allow all valuable volunteers of SMCC to network and discuss opportunities for further growth. Thank you to all who attended and made the inaugural SMCC Committee Workshop possible! To find out how you can volunteer with one of our committees, please reach out to the SMCC Office.