Executive Director’s Message – Spring/Summer 2020

It is hard to believe I have been in the Executive Director role for over one year now. I have gained such insight into all the work that goes on behind the scenes to drive the organization forward: an extremely hard working and diverse Board, volunteers, and stakeholders all collaborate to share knowledge in Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster / Emergency Management (DEM) and are passionate about unifying efforts.

When common goals are the driver, momentum seems natural. There is never a shortage of ideas and strategies for the future. But it takes a special team to operationalize ideas as well as continue to move the organization and its goals forward. We have a new website launching soon, have improved our committee structures, are developing best practices for Social Media, examining our diversity, and much more — all during a pandemic.

Many on our Board are actively responding to the pandemic and other incidents. Many are educators adjusting curriculum for virtual formats, or scientists who may not have access to labs. Most are working remotely and are at, or beyond, capacity. This has tested continuity plans globally. Despite these challenges, CRHNet’s team continues to give what time they have and support each other through it all. It is affirming to see how a mash-up ​_of DEM pros can operate during a crisis and keep things progressing. We also look forward to spotlighting some behind the scenes work from both CRHNet and HazNet in the future.

I started in this role just before the last Symposium in Winnipeg. We began planning the 2020 Symposium shortly after that, and intended to bring it to Ottawa in the fall. Of course, that has all changed, and we are now given the opportunity to create a virtual Symposium that has the potential to reach more people, have more diverse programming, and innovate in the ever-changing time in which we find ourselves. We will see the whole community and our members come together to continue an old tradition through a new platform, and I cannot wait to see what it grows into with the CRHNet team. It’s not work if you like what you do. Thank you all for the opportunity to grow with you.

Ramona McVicker
Executive Director, CRHNet