CEDA’s First Woman President — 1975

March 31 2016

History was made. For the first time a woman, Mrs. Jeannine Wood, was elected CEDA President.

CEDA was now enjoying an annual revenue totalling $100,000, and with its influence in the business world evidently growing, many members felt the association needed a full time, permanent president. A discussion by the Board raised the following points:

Governments find it easier to relate to a permanent President rather than an elected President. There are already a number of business associations with the President a full time permanent paid employee. An Ottawa location would allow for easier access to government offices and make it easier to obtain bilingual staff.

It was recommended that the question of a permanent president be put on the agenda of each divisional and chapter meeting.

The Electrical Distributors course at Seneca had been running for a year, and General Manager N. McKellar reported 11 students had completed the full 24-week course, while 15 more had finished 12 weeks. He said the reaction of distributors to the quality of training was good, and that the course was being supported by all phases of the electrical industry.

“The estimated contribution in dollars (to the program) by manufacturers, distributors, contractors, electrical maintenance companies and others is in the order of $100,000 per class.”

CEDA Current, under the new publisher, was drawing mixed reviews from CEDA members. Jack Kerr, Publisher (Kerrwil Publications), reported that he expected the magazine to generate $700 profit over the year, a first for the magazine. But some members complained that they had heard that the mailing lists for CEDA Current were the worst in the industry, and they also believed the lists had been turned over to an outside advertising medium. These allegations were to be checked out.*

To assist General Manager McKellar in handling the clerical duties involved in maintaining the association, an office assistant position was approved. The salary range was from $115 to $130, with no benefits other than Canada Pension and Unemployment Insurance being paid. (There is no statement of how many staff CEDA employed at that time, but the General Manager reported that “the present salary of the CEDA office staff is $9000 per year”, suggesting to the writer of this history a staff of no more than one full time and one part time employee.)

* Putting this into perspective, the original circulation as received from CEDA required considerable updating. Also, Kerrwil has never released the circulation lists of any of its publications. In each year of the five-year agreement, CEDA received a dividend, with overall dividends exceeding $10,000. (Plus money Kerrwil paid for CEDA Current at the outset.) CEDA Current, since 1980, reached more than 250,000 readers annually. This is opposed to 72,000 readers annually when Kerrwil assumed publication responsibilities.


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