At SPT’s Annual General Meeting on May 9, there was robust discussion on keeping the membership updated on developments in the work of the Board of Directors. The Board made a commitment to provide regular updates. A communications working group of Board and community members was set up to explore how to do that.
The Communications group met in June and proposed a communications plan to the Board that was approved at its July 10 meeting. Three areas for action were identified:
- Include major Board decisions in SPT's electronic newsletter (sent every two months to our contact list), with a link to our website for more information — a schedule of Board meetings, agendas for the monthly Board meetings, and meeting minutes.
- Also include opportunities for member feedback to the Board in the enewsletter — perhaps by surveying members about an issue or an area of SPT's work.
- Provide more detailed information on certain Board topics to a more targeted list of “member” agencies and networks on a monthly basis.
The communications working group also suggested that Board members engage with the communities with which SPT staff work. Each month a Board member will join SPT's Executive Director and one of our community planners to visit and meet with community groups in different parts of the city. The goal is to talk about SPT’s work, but also to learn more about the issues that local residents and groups have and hear their ideas about needs and opportunities in their communities. The Board member will report back on these discussions to the next Board meeting.
Board Decision: Search Process for the Next Executive Director
At its meeting in May, the SPT Board considered several options for moving forward with the search and decided that engaging a professional human resources search firm specializing in the non-profit sector was the best way to go.
Nine prospective professional HR individuals and firms were identified; a first screening narrowed down the best prospects to a shortlist of three. The Interim ED and the Director of Operations conducted interviews with these three prospects in mid-June and prepared a summary report on all three with a recommendation for the Board's June 12 meeting. The Board decided to go with our recommendation — Deborah Legrove of crawfordconnect.
crawfordconnect has worked exclusively with the non-profit sector for over 20 years, with a 97.5% success rate in executive placements. It has extensive experience in searches in the social services sector. We contacted a number of organizations familiar to us for references. crawfordconnect employs a rigorous, systematic search process from start to finish.
Deborah Legrove, crawfordconnect’s principal consultant, will work with SPT on the search with Cynthia Armour, who is familiar to SPT from her previous work with us doing training workshops for the Council. She has also done work for the Peterborough Social Planning Council.
We feel confident that Deborah and Cynthia are the right people to work with the Board and the Interim ED in this search process. We've organized a search committee comprising Board, staff, and community representatives (Michelle D’Agnino, ED of Jane-Finch Family Centre; and Nigel Barriffe, President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations). The first meeting of the search committee with the consultants was held July 12.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks for your continuing support through this transition period for Social Planning Toronto.