Members and supporters of the Ontario Association of Career Management (OACM) have asked several questions about:
Since these are all reasonable questions, this Blog will provide our reasoning and the process that we pursued in creating our new branding name. Together they describe the steps taken since the Annual General Meeting in June 2015 when Zana Dragovic (Past Chair) and Kristina Sammut (Chair) announced that the association would cease being a subsidiary network of the Association of Career Professionals International and, as an independent organization, would create a new name and identity for future programming in support of career professionals in Toronto and Ontario.
The story starts with the concept of “name infringement”, as a source of litigation which, unfortunately has become a popular distraction in the Not-For-Profit zone. Clearly identified brand messaging is important in any commercial or professional sector, so that members and supporters can differentiate at a glance the prospective benefits (and limitations) which any given association can provide.
Our way to establish a new association name is through incorporation with the Ontario Government. Our Board identified a number of potential names which were not arguably or apparently confusable with any other NFP association names and secured approval to identify ourselves as the Ontario Association of Career Management. This made it possible to secure incorporation (“Letters Patent”) from the Ministry of Government Services.
Why the change from Association of Career Professionals International (Toronto Network) to Ontario Association of Career Management?
At the ACPI (Toronto Network) AGM on 9 June 2015 Zana Dragovic (outgoing Chair) and Kristina Sammut (incoming Chair) made announcements that the organization was separating from ACP International. As an independent association, it would be establishing a new name that would be unique to our function and could not arguably be confused with the ACP International branding or the branding of any other professional support association.
Of the numerous names considered, OACM was the only one which met four key criteria. The criteria are (1) clearly distinctive from other associations, (2) describing the kind of work our Members do, (3) approvable within the NUANS name search and (4) consistent with our history; prior to adopting the name ACP International, the association was branded as International Association of Career Management Professionals.
Why the focus on Ontario rather than Toronto?
Historically, the largest group of members in the association was living or working within reach of the Greater Toronto Area, although there was always interest and participation from professionals from elsewhere in the province of Ontario. It is likely that on an ongoing basis the majority of our members will continue to be GTA based, but by broadening our reach to Ontario, this provides a platform for the non-GTA Members to feel fully legitimized and welcome to participate in the networking, information sharing and professional development activities that the OACM offers. This also opens the door to other delivery channels for professional development, for example by developing virtual presentations using GoToMeeting or other modalities.
Why did we select Career Management as an umbrella concept rather than something broader or narrower?
The intention of selecting “Career Management” as our scope of interest is to attract leaders and professionals from within the spectrum of distinctive, yet related practices, so that together we can learn from each other and generate a broader appreciation of the interrelatedness of these different fields. These leaders and professionals provide, purchase and organize career services; we found that the name of the association was too tightly focused just on career service professionals. There is great benefit to be gained by attracting members from broader fields, since they are all to some extent cousins (or at least close relatives) of ours in that their mandate overlaps with ours in positive ways.
Here are three examples:
Although the following list of fields is not exhaustive, we plan to provide Event programming that includes leading-edge dialogue and professional development to our Members including:
Don Smith, Secretary of the Board
Ontario Association of Career Management