In last week’s newsletter, we shared with you some of the significant pressures the Association is facing, in particular an overview of the threats to our continued operation, and the financial pressures that have arisen as a result of looking forward to ensure the efficiency and longevity of our facilities as we work to service a membership base in excess of 5,400 members. In that same article, we provided you with a detailed overview of the proposed membership rates for 2022 that will be presented at the AGM on the 18th of October for Member ratification to allow us to continue to operate all of our facilities while preparing for the future.

This week’s article will address two additional key issues that have been approved by your Board and will require membership ratification at the upcoming AGM.

Change to Executive Structure

As per our Association bylaws, any change to our governance structure must be approved by a majority vote of the membership in attendance at a Special or Annual General Meeting. On October 18th at our AGM, we will be presenting one such proposed change looking for our membership’s approval to proceed with the update to our executive structure. Our key leadership team on the Association’s Executive currently consists of a President, two Vice-Presidents & the immediate past-President, supported by a Treasurer, Secretary, and Membership Chair. This model has been in existence for well over 50 years, and although it has served us well in the past, the time has come to expand that leadership team to more effectively divide up the work required to support 5,400 members.

To that end, the Executive and Board have worked to redesign the governance model for the Association, with the most significant change being the addition of a 3rd Vice-President to the Association’s Executive. This additional individual will add significantly to the horsepower needed to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Association more efficiently, whilst ensuring a more equitable and logical division of responsibility amongst the members of the Executive. If this new model is approved, it will afford our President the ability to disengage somewhat from the routine business of the Association’s regular operations, affording that individual the opportunity to look up and out from the Association, engaging key stakeholders and steering the strategic efforts as we look to the future for our ever-growing Association. The three VPs would have a more direct and engaged role in the daily operation of the club and the engagement with staff and members, providing an enhanced level of support and focus on ensuring things operate as smoothly as possible.

The three new VPs would tentatively see a division of responsibility aligned as follows (titles TBC):

● VP Sports and Innovation – Future Plans, Infrastructure Management, Discipline Liaison, Scheduling, Conservation & Range Manager Oversight

● VP Range Operations – Resident Caretaker and Duty Caretakers Oversight, CRSO & RSO programs, Range Maintenance, Camping and Courses/Training

● VP Member Services – Communications, Website, Newsletter, Volunteers, Membership and Administrative Services and Support

At the AGM on 18 October, you as members will be asked to support this recommended update to the governance structure for our Executive, moving to a 3 VP model from the current 2 VP model, and we are hopeful of your support for this initiative that will provide a more efficient and effective means of overseeing the management and leadership of your Association.

Changes to Full-Time Staffing Model

In addition to the update discussed above to our volunteer governance model, your Board has also examined what additional full-time paid staffing is needed to provide member services along with maintaining our facilities for our members’ use.

At this point in time, we employ a full time Resident Caretaker who has responsibility for the after-hours care of the facilities, as well as a part-time Administrative Coordinator who oversees all of the necessary administration to support our 5,400 members. In reality, both of these individuals are working well beyond full-time hours and are delivering many hours of unpaid service to our Association. We cannot continue to operate in this manner as it will burn out our staff, and it is unfair to expect them to voluntarily put in the hours that they do in support of us all.

We have worked to mitigate this increased demand on our staff by doubling the number of weekend part-time caretaker staff to ensure we have sufficient resources in place to cover those high tempo periods, but we have found that facility usage and peak times are no longer simply limited to the traditional weekend slots, with the ranges seeing high use throughout the week and at all hours of the day.

As a result of your Board’s analysis of this critical issue, we will be presenting a recommendation to the membership at the AGM on the 18th of October to change our full-time staffing model to include three full-time paid positions that will work to support our members. This full-time staffing model will include the following three positions:

Range Manager – A full-time individual responsible for long term planning of all facilities and their maintenance and oversight of all full-time staff. This individual would report to the VP Sports and Innovation. This individual will become the face of the range and will be directly accessible and the first point of contact for all members. Employment location would be in the new office facility.

A comprehensive terms of reference, list of required qualifications, schedule of work and salary expectations will be developed if this proposal is approved. The potential cost of this additional salary is incorporated into the proposed fee increase outlined in the last newsletter.

Administrative Coordinator – A full-time position that will oversee the routine management of administrative functions to support our members. This individual’s schedule would be offset with the Range Manager to provide coverage in the office 7 days a week to allow for access to membership services, guest passes etc, which frees up the caretakers to focus on range cleanliness and maintenance of our facilities. This position will become even more critical once the record keeping requirements of the newly passed BC government Bill 4 is implemented via regulation. Employment location would be in the new office facility.

Resident Caretaker – A full-time individual responsible for the day-to-day operation of all facilities and oversight of all part time staff. This individual would report to the VP of Range Operations. We will continue to staff this position to meet our regulatory and security requirements of having a caretaker on site 24/7 to ensure the safety and security of all of our facilities.

Given our ever-expanding membership base, we are recommending membership approval for these three full-time positions, each of which is essential to ensure we are able to continue to provide efficient and effective services, on safe and well-maintained facilities.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming AGM on 18 October at 7 pm at the Strawberry Vale Community Centre, and for your support of these initiatives deemed so critical to the ongoing operation of your Association’s facilities and services.

Should you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to the Executive and Board via the contacts on the Association’s webpage at www.vfgpa.org.