The origins of the BC CEO Network date back to August 2008, to a meeting of Executive Directors who gathered for a discussion around the simple theme of “taking care of the Executive Directors”. This arose out of the shared feeling that the work was becoming increasingly challenging and, at times, overwhelming. Through subsequent meetings in fall 2008, it became apparent that there was a rising interest in participation in the group and the needs and opportunities became more apparent.
Consequently, it was resolved to form a Provincial Network of CEOs from a broad membership base; involving various funders, representing union and non-union, private agencies and non-profit societies. Three broad objectives were identified in early meetings and have remained the focus of the Network:
- To facilitate a Collective Voice
- To promote effective business practices
- To promote leadership development and mutual support
Fast forward to June 2010 and the CEO Network is now 70 members strong, with an elected 8 member Leadership Team and a very active year and a half under its belt. The 5 member Implementation Team has been engaged in negotiations with CLBC since September 2009 and the relationship between CLS service providers and CLBC has been positively transformed. CEO Network members meet regularly to address business practice interests, share information and strategies and support each others development as leaders in the community social services fields.
The informal connections and networks that have arisen through people’s association with the CEO Network have also proven to be invaluable. Leadership in this sector, in these times is challenging and often exhausting but by coming together to find new solutions, share information and support each other’s work, we become stronger.