Canadian Security Magazine

CANASA executive director resigns

Jennifer Brown   


Less than two months before its largest annual conference, CANASA’s executive director has left the organization.

Tracy Cannata, who was in the position of executive director of the Canadian Security Association for the last five years and an employee of the organization for 13 years, is no longer with the association, CANASA officials have confirmed.

When contacted for comment Cannata did not say why she left the association.

“I’ve enjoyed working with this industry and I wish everyone well,” she
said, adding that she could not talk about the details around her
departure, saying only that, “I’m disappointed that I’ve left.”

CANASA’s director of education, JF Champagne has assumed the job of
executive director effective immediately and will lead the organization
through the conference to be held at the Congress Centre in Toronto
Oct. 17-19. The executive committee will begin the process to look for
a replacement after the October show.

“They have asked me to take the position on an interim basis, I have
accepted that position and I will be leading the national office
through the October show, that is the mandate at this point,” Champagne
said in an interview August 29.


The Security Canada Atlantic show will also take place three weeks from
now in Moncton, New Brunswick. Champagne says he will meet with the
executive committee then.

CANASA national president Kim Schellenberg was not available for
comment, and past-president Ivan Spector declined to comment on whether
Cannata and the board had parted ways on bad terms.

“I wish her the best at whatever she does. She contributed a lot to
CANASA. I believe it was her decision [to leave]. I defer any questions
of a sensitive nature to Kim Schellenberg.

Champagne has been with the association for two years and his role as
director of education will continue in “a limited fashion” over the
next two months. Most of the resources from the national office become
dedicated to the annual Toronto show at this time of the year.

“We feel the national office will be able to carry the tasks and we’re
a very well-run machine. Tracy Cannata has left a very strong team and
our finances are sound. The association is as strong as it has ever
been,” he said.

Champagne said it was Cannata’s decision to leave the organization and
that much of the show organization was “in motion”. Her last day was
August 25.

“We’re all very sad about her decision to leave the association, but at
the end of the day she’s left behind a very strong association.”

Champagne said the association would continue to align itself with its strategic plan.

“They will be looking for someone who is able to deliver that plan.”

Cannata, who came to CANASA from the computer industry, did not have a
security background, but Champagne said her skills transferred well to
the security industry.

“She was as qualified as many people who had been in the industry for
many years because she definitely had a very good grasp of what the
industry needed and where it was going,” he said. “It’s definitely an
asset in the job, I think, if you come from the industry, the executive
will consider it as one factor, but what ultimately will make their
decision I’m not sure.”

Asked if he would consider putting his name forward for the executive
director position, Champagne said he has not made up his mind, but
would consider it in the coming weeks.

“Whether or not the executive committee would be looking at someone
with my kind of skill-set or if they’re looking for something else, I
think we’re all under the understanding that I have an interest in
being one of the applicants and by the time we go through the show we
will see if it’s an interest to me and whether I’m a fit for what they
are looking for,” he said.

Despite the timing of her departure, Champagne says he isn’t concerned with how it will be viewed by the membership.

“From the membership’s perspective, it’s no question the executive
director position is at the forefront. At the end of the day, being so
close to two of our shows, the feeling of the membership will be that
if they walk into the show and see the structure, the fundamentals are
still going, they will say, we lost a great member of the team but they
can still deliver a great a event to the membership,” he said.

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