February 2013

Remapping CIM

Proposed district restructuring to strengthen ties between branches and CIM national

By Dinah Zeldin


The exact boundaries of the new districts remain to be determined, but the new structure would feature three districts for the country – West, Central and East.

CIM has launched an initiative that proposes its six-­district structure be reconfigured to three districts in May 2013. Passed in a resolution to CIM Council last December, the decision was made to foster collaboration among branches and to encourage communication between local branches and the na­tional office. Commensurate with this change, the governance structure would change from having one vice-president per district to having two vice-­presidents and one or more CIM ambassadors – a post created to support the vice-presidents.

The reconfiguration would align districts according to geographical proximity and likely business and operating synergies, while also ensuring an even distribution of branches per district. The East District would include Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, the Central District would span Ontario and Manitoba, and the West District would comprise Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon. Each new district would host 10 to 12 branches.

CIM president Terence Bowles believes the reconfiguration will be an essential step in keeping CIM up to date with the changing face of the industry. “In order to continue to strengthen the already well-respected CIM name, both nationally and internationally, we need the input and participation of all CIM organizations,” he explains. “What happens in B.C., Quebec or West Africa now impacts all of our members.”

According to CIM executive director Jean Vavrek, the primary considerations in the reconfiguration of districts will be to evenly distribute the density of branches and to foster a greater sense of belonging to CIM national among branch members. “Some areas, like the East, have many more local branches, so it makes sense to have a geo­graphically smaller district for that area,” he points out. “As a result, we will not overstretch a single district vice-­president and we will be able to provide better support to the branches.”

“The district vice-presidents and council recognized that governance and communication on the district side were not as productive as they might be, so we put together a committee to identify ways that might improve communications and better define the roles of the vice-presidents,” says Robert Schafer, CIM president-elect and executive vice-president of Hunter Dickinson Inc., who first proposed the project. “One of our priorities was to simplify the vice-president position and to continue attracting high-­calibre, dedicated people to take on this important role.”

The election of two vice-presidents – one per year so that terms are staggered – would also help more clearly define the role of the vice-president and manage the distribution of responsibilities. For each vice-president, priorities would depend on the year in office: the first year’s focus would be liaising with ­­in-district branches and societies to foster co-operation, while the ­second year in office would be devoted to both organizing the Annual ­District Meeting and mentoring the incoming vice-president. With these responsibilities, both vice-­presidents would have established personal connections at both the branch and national levels by the end of their terms in office.

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