I remember when I applied to be a member of GJAC back in 2016 or so. I had only been blogging about golf in Canada for a couple years. I never thought of myself as a journalist, just someone who enjoys writing about the game with a focus on public golf in Canada. If I am being honest, I did not expect my application would be approved. But it was. And I made an effort to attend Annual General Meetings which was part of the Annual Golf and Awards Day. I was always made to feel welcome, which I sincerely appreciated. And I began to meet people, building relationships within the Association; from national and internationally known writers to other people like me seeking to create our own space for writing and engagement with people who share a passion for the game. Facts are, the Association, for me, has been important and positive space to connect and share. My voice mattered and in time I developed the comfort and confidence to ask some questions at these AGM’s. In time, I was approached to see if I would have any interest serving on the Board. To say I was flattered would be an understatement, and I thought long and hard on it, and accepted. Monthly meetings, leading a new portfolio on Professional Development which helped spawn a national virtual series which connected association members with leaders in the industry around a wide array of issues is something I really enjoyed and took pride in. Relationships continued to grow, and my portfolio, which was always collaborative in nature, helped me connect with even more people in golf in Canada and around the world.
Fast forward to the late fall of 2022 when fellow Board members reached out to me inquiring I would consider having my name stand for nomination for Board President. The same feelings from 2016 come rushing back – I am not ready for this, I can’t see myself in this role. But some assuring conversations and reflective time allowed me to confidently allow my name to stand. And while I missed the meeting where my nomination went forward, I returned from vacation to learn I would assume the role of President for GJAC in January 2023 for a two-year term.
This Association works exceptionally well as a collective. Board Members have portfolio responsibilities and work hard to advance their tasks, often helping others to do so too. Simply put, we get things done and enjoy the chance to do so. And over my time on the Board, and now as Board President, it is exciting to see the Association bring value to members beyond the Golf and Awards Day each year. Make no mistake, it is the highlight of our Associations’ calendar, where we come together to meet and celebrate golf journalism excellence in Canada. But we also enjoy the chance to meet new and old friends, and help welcome new members to this Association, building a new generation of future golf journalists, and leaders.
We’re not a secret society, we do not wear goofy hats or have secret handshakes. We’re passionate about this game, eager to connect with others who share the same interests in the context of journalistic pursuits in Canada (and this goes well beyond traditional mediums).
I would be only too happy to connect with others and talk about your engagement in GJAC, or your potential interests. There is an application process and you must demonstrate relevant journalistic interests in golf. My journey has been enriching, enjoyable and engaging. And to me, that is what GJAC is all about. By the way, no Ack Ack-A-Dak needed. You can visit the GJAC website here.