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Heather Buzila

The NEC in Detail: Director of Training and Development and Director of Volunteer Relations

An oversized open laptop shows a woman with a headset on. Two people are standing on either side of the laptop and another person is sitting with a laptop open on their lap.
An oversized open laptop shows a woman with a headset on. Two people are standing on either side of the laptop and another person is sitting with a laptop open on their lap.
Copyright: magurok

This is the sixth and final post in a series describing the roles of the Editors Canada national executive council by Heather Buzila.This series is also available in French (cette série est également disponible en français).  

Following on my post about the directors of professional standards and publishing, I’ll provide an overview of the duties and responsibilities of the two national executive council (NEC) director roles that I have yet to cover.

This post will focus on the roles of director of training and development and director of volunteer relations.  

Director of training and development

As the name suggests, the director of training and development leads the training and development committee. Together, they oversee programs for training and professional development at the national level of Editors Canada. Over the last few years, these programs have focused solely on the Editors Canada webinar program

The director liaises between the training and development committee and the NEC, keeping each abreast of what the other is doing. This includes reviewing the goals and requirements for the Editors Canada webinar program. It may also include working with the committee to set the overall direction of the webinar program (what webinar offerings should focus on, what needs to be covered, etc.).

The director of training and development sometimes helps other Editors Canada committees and members with things related to webinars or training. For example, if another committee wants to produce a webinar or video promoting their activities, the director can advise on what may or may not work.

Communicating with outside entities (such as like-minded organizations) about training-related issues may be part of the director’s role. For example, the current director has contacted several groups over the past couple years for assistance in improving the equity, diversity and inclusion content of Editors Canada webinars. They have also been contacted by other editing organizations seeking assistance with or promotion of their own training programs. 

While it isn’t required of the position, the current director of training and development says he still occasionally finds the time to “get his hands dirty” and host a webinar. Not only does this help out the committee, but it also helps him keep his feet on the ground and remember what producing the webinars actually involves.

The ideal volunteer for this position will have spent time on the training and development committee. They should have a decent working knowledge of the webinar program: knowing which topics have gotten good attendance, which subjects have been covered, etc. It’s also useful to have knowledge of the technical aspects of hosting or delivering a webinar. But rest assured that if you are interested in this director role and don’t know much about webinars, there are people who can help you get started.

Director of volunteer relations

Volunteers are essential for the healthy functioning of Editors Canada. The director of volunteer relations attempts to ensure that the association’s volunteers are provided with meaningful volunteer opportunities and are acknowledged for their service. Part of this work is done by overseeing the volunteer management committee and the member services committee, as well as several national positions, including the Facebook group moderators, the forum monitor and the mediator.

The director of volunteer relations communicates and encourages Editors Canada volunteer opportunities as much as possible and devises methods that reach the entire Editors Canada volunteer pool. Part of this is accomplished by ensuring the volunteer management tool, VolunteerConnect, is kept up to date and used properly. They also look for and make connections with committee chairs, committee volunteers, Editors Canada members and leadership for any projects that are in the works in order to match volunteers with volunteer work that suits their interests.

The director also comes up with ways of expanding the volunteer pool (to include voices from across the country) and keeping committees filled with engaged volunteers and fresh ideas.

The ideal volunteer for this director position is organized, has great communication and people-management skills and is open to collaboration. A sense of humour is also an asset!

Final words

I hope this series of blog posts has increased your understanding of what the NEC does and what’s involved in each of the director roles. It was a learning experience for me as well, since I got to explore each role in detail. 

I want to take a moment to thank my fellow directors on the NEC for all the help they gave me about specific information regarding their positions. I wouldn’t have been able to complete this series without their assistance! Suzanne Aubin’s kindness and generosity in translating these blog posts have made this series even more useful and accessible by making it available in French. And thank you to Élodie Bescond for her work copy editing the French posts. Thanks also to Emily Lam for going above and beyond the scope of her work as proofreader by uploading twice as many blog and social media posts each week that this series ran.

If you have any questions about the director positions or would like more information, please email me at


Previous post from Heather Buzila: The NEC in Detail: Director of Professional Standards and Director of Publications

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About the author

Heather Buzila

Heather began her editing career in 2007 and is a certified copy editor and stylistic editor with Editors Canada. She currently works at Athabasca University in Edmonton, where she edits materials for online courses in humanities and social sciences. She's also edited fiction and nonfiction book manuscripts, professional development modules and website materials for diverse organizations. She has been a member of Editors Canada's national executive council since 2018 and served as president for three years. Heather also chaired the 2021 Editors Canada conference and plans to continue volunteering with the association.

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