MRIA Annual General Meeting Notes from Toronto

AGMmriaTonight was the first time I’ve ever attended an MRIA annual general meeting. I showed up, signed in, got my YES and NO voting cards and now I’m ready to rock.Why haven’t I attended before? I’m not really sure.

Below are my unofficial notes. Any errors, whether by interpretation or typo, are my own. Please refer to official MRIA for official details.

  • Jalapeno popcorn, sushi, chicken skewers for those who came early enough to nibble [caution – jalapeno popcorn is not recommended for people who don’t do hot!]
  • The Karaoke microphone has been placed in the middle of the room, have your song lyrics memorized
  • Sandy Janzen called the meeting to order at 6:40 and introduced the board [Rick insisted we hold the applause]
  • Last year’s minutes approved and seconded
  • President’s report
    • Strategic plan every three years – consider member value and focus on what members want
    • Several years ago we focused on education, this time we focused on growing and responding to change, how must we evolve to meet the changes
    • Lots of staffing changes this year, welcome to Grace Woo
    • Look forward to continuing change
    • MRIA is the single voice of market research in Canada, no competing groups in Canada, we have responsibility to do it right for our members
    • Proud of several things – our website, online a lot more now, digital brings more possibilities to engage with our membership
    • Members love events, meeting each other, networking, want more opportunities to learn, webinars, speakers
    • Reached out to other organizations, CMA, AMA, Greenbook, other associations, what can we do together, perhaps discounts or just awareness, make our events known to people outside our association
    • Strong member relations this
    • Looking forward to political panel at Niagara conference this year
    • Got our financial house in order again
    • Reserve fund is where it should be now
    • Proud of moving MRIA to a downtown location, will happen this year
    • Strong partners on the board
    • Thank you to the board, volunteers and members
    • Stay strong, move forward in a positive direction
  • Financial statements by Rick Hobbs
    • Fifth consecutive year – clean, unqualified opinion, that’s kind of a big deal
    • Ended year with surplus, fourth time in eight years, hope it marks a trend for years to come
    • Pleasure of working with professional staff, thanks to team members and office staff, thanks to board of directors and officers for submitting timely receipts and minimizing costs
    • Auditors said they wished everyone was as prepared for audits as MRIA was
  • Auditor was appointed
  • Tribute to departing members
    • Rick Hobbs, John Tabone, Cora Waters, Ruth Corbin, Michel Saulnier, Eleanor Austin, Edward van dam, Don Williams, Roland Klassen
  • New president – Anstasia Arabia
    • Goodbye and thanks to Sandy Janzen
    • National board is vibrant, heart working, considerate people
    • Top goal is further strategic plan as laid out in 2012, further standards, education, government portfolios, further ties to sister associations, focus locally on our roots the chapters
    • Standards – members are passionate about standards, this is why people are members, backbone of our association, unites us all, from coast to coast, motivates them to continue being a member, but we must adapt to changing environment particularly as pertains to new technology; reviewing standards in political polling area
    • Membership – member development, need to gain increase in membership, outside traditional backyard, emerging industries like social media, analytics, need to align our values to member needs
    • Education – develop courses etc that are relevant to new and existing audiences, need to spend more time here. CMRP under formative review, want it to thrive, status quo is not an option, don’t have critical mass for it to survive, need to come up with options to increase the number of CMRPs, will review recommendations in less than a week, options for how to engage the membership in this decision, discussed at length in every board meeting
    • Outreach – office of privacy commission and CRTC often speak with us in terms of how they affect our industry, we are currently self-regulated, need to ensure anti-spam legislation will not adversely affect our members
    • Glocal roles – poised to advance presence globally, we work globally, strong global relationships, want common standards, learn from each other, share costs, time to shine a greater light on our greatest asset which is our chapters, want to increase chapter engagement, want more tools for chapters to share information, continue to gain local exposure, relationship with MRIA happens at local events
    • Looking forward to fantastic year ahead
  • Questions
    • Does board have CMRP? Only half of board does – Anastasia owns a data collection house and so CMRP doesn’t apply to her
    • Will the board review the minutes of the unofficial CMRP meeting that were posted on the MRIA blog? Yes, Anastasia was first to comment on that note.
    • Decline in revenue, where is membership/publications going, achieving strategic plan, want explicit report card? Yes, membership is down. Education is not selling as well. Publications is having challenges with advertising. Membership has been static for many years. Membership fees were frozen this year.
    • Standards and polling – early thoughts on this direction? First step is add a panel to the conference. Christian Bourque will moderate. [Check the MRIA blog and add your questions to the comments to the section.] Will organize a mini-conference around this topic very soon. Ruth Corbin will be working in this area.
    • Plan to engage younger members ? Talk about this a lot. Set up a speaker’s bureau at universities, run student only events, many chapters involved with students. Sponsor students at conferences. Please share ideas, connect with your local board to get involved.
    • How can board/member discussions be more open, more quickly?  Appreciate the increased involvement of members. MRIA does not have a social media policy for board members, therefore is a comment on behalf of a person or the association? Different comfort levels on social media, need a policy so board can act as professionally as possible.
    • Didn’t like dirty laundry in open LinkedIn forum, can we have a forum only open to members, looks bad on us? Great suggestion.
    • Want discussion on MRIA website, don’t like going to ten different social media sites to have a discussion.  Will put this forward as a suggestion.

2 responses

  1. Heather Gregg

    Thanks Rick for sharing your notes, H

  2. Walter Mucchiut Gimenez [ESTIME]

    Annie, you are ALWAYS the BEST!!!

    Thank you! W


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