In 2008, a group of Executive Directors of community social service organizations met to discuss best practices in their work and the need to support each other for both their organizations and themselves to be healthy and successful. Through subsequent meetings, it became apparent that many other leaders were finding their work increasingly complex and challenging, and, at times, overwhelming. Consequently, the BC CEO Network was formed to address the needs of these Executive Directors and their organizations. The new provincial network had a broad membership base involving organizations with various funders, and including 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
Just over 10 years later, the Network is now 120 members strong, with a CEO of its own and an elected 10 member Board. The Network has represented and advocated for its members and works hard on maintaining a strong and positive relationship with various funders and government ministries. The Network continues to provide great value to its members through well-researched positions on sector issues and through published reports and documents on best business practices.
The informal connections and networks that have arisen through people’s association with the Network have also proven to be invaluable. Leadership in this sector is challenging and often exhausting, but by coming together to find new solutions, share information, and support each other’s work, we become stronger.