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October 24, 2002 Staff organize mid-winter communications conference



by Howard Bokser

From February 9 to 11, more than 50 communicators and other professionals from the field of university and college advancement met at idyllic Mont Tremblant for the CCAE (the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education) Mid-Winter Communications Conference.

Concordia’s Chris Mota, co-ordinator of media relations, and Howard Bokser, acting director of advancement communications, co-chaired the event, the first mid-winter conference focusing on communications for CCAE .

The association, which includes advancement professionals from Canadian universities, colleges and private educational institutions, has previously held mid-winter conferences covering such topics as alumni relations and fundraising.

The Mid-Winter Communications Conference was aimed at experienced professionals in media and public relations, government relations, marketing communications, publications, alumni and development communications and Web communications. The co-chairs selected topics such as ethics in advancement, business principles and the impact of diversity on communications.

John Parisella, vice-chair of Concordia’s board of governors and president of the Montreal advertising firm BCP, gave a well-received talk on the secrets of successfully managing creative people. His message was: Let them know their role in the big picture.

Participants came from more than 30 schools across the country, from Memorial to Simon Fraser and parts between, including a group from Concordia. Reports were that the conference topics were relevant, networking opportunities valuable and the spectacular setting an asset.

For CCAE, the conference was a success in terms of participation and finances. Our thanks to Concordians Irvin Dudeck, Jean-Philippe Roy and Jocelyne Sultan for their work. Former Concordia staff member Leisha LeCouvie (who’s now at McGill) secured a number of sponsorships to help the cause, and everyone went home with some new and valuable insights.