December 15, 2015
All Chapters on the same page
Ottawa Chapter holds a networking meeting with Algonquin College students.
By Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations
Denis FlanaganNovember was an extremely busy month for Chapter meetings, as members start to gear-up and plan for a winter season that promises to be crammed full of educational sessions, member events and holiday socials.

Your staff at Milton try to attend as many Chapter meetings and events as possible. I went on a road trip during the month and covered five Chapters: Durham, Golden Horseshoe, Toronto, Ottawa and Upper Canada.

Although Chapters often have their own dynamics, goals and individual programs, it occurred to me that there were some strong themes and similarities that surfaced at the five meetings I attended.

I saw a powerful mix of members. Many Chapter boards have experienced a changeover in board members during the last year. Although it’s encouraging to see new young members coming to the table with energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas, it’s wonderful to see some long-standing members still willing to contribute ideas and support at the meetings.

Many of these members have years of experience at the Chapter level, the provincial board level and in some cases on a national level. When all parties are willing to discuss ideas with open minds, it becomes a very powerful and positive force, with the common goal being how to grow and benefit our membership.

Whenever there are separate groups, whether it is in business, politics or sport, there will always be a competitive nature to many aspects of a group’s activities. This can serve as a great motivator and add fun and creativity to meetings and projects. Certainly Chapters can have a competitive nature to them, be it developing unique projects, recording attendance numbers at events, or vying for media coverage. Although this fun sense of competition is fantastic for local pride and team spirit, it has more value when the success is shared.

The sports analogy is a good one. A player can compete at the club level, but when selected to play for the national side, the player takes on a new sense of ownership and pride. At all chapter meetings, I see the desire to be part of the big picture, to share ideas and contribute to the provincial LO team with the common goal being how to grow and benefit our membership.

Discussion about the future was a common element at all five chapters I visited. Some talked about the commitment to connect with the younger generation. Golden Horseshoe Chapter is planning to expand its outreach to re-connect with the colleges in the Niagara area. Toronto Chapter held its meeting at Humber College with a fantastic networking exercise between members and students. The same format was used by Ottawa Chapter during its meeting at Algonquin College. And, at the Upper Canada Chapter meeting, there was amazing interest and support for the Come Alive Outside movement, while at the Durham Chapter meeting there was an update from the Chapter’s student rep and faculty from Durham College.

I know the same enthusiasm, commitment and collective goals are evident at our other Chapters in Windsor, London and Georgian Lakelands. I am looking forward to attending and reporting back from their meetings in the coming weeks.

Contact Denis Flanagan at