Global Connections rings true at CAA National’s 2023 Annual Meeting


The CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) 2023 Annual Meeting brought together industry leaders & experts from across Canada and the globe. The Annual Meeting, held in person in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, was loaded with inspiring and thought-provoking content that left attendees feeling energised and motivated. 

CAA’s 110th anniversary annual meeting was opened by outgoing CAA National Chair, Janet Lafortune, and also featured greetings from Paula Collins, the newly elected chair of the AAA Inc. Board. 

Delegates came not only from FIA Region III, but also included leading CEOs from the Global Mobility Alliance. 

First up was a session by economist Todd Hirsch on the Global Economic Outlook. 

Another noteworthy session was a panel discussion on Membership Models for the Future. As the automotive world undergoes rapid change, this session aimed to explore innovative approaches to membership and engagement. Experts from international and Canadian Clubs shared their experiences and discussed strategies to enhance customer experiences, adapt to changing consumer expectations, and build sustainable membership models for the future that do not necessarily revolve around roadside assistance. 

Building a cause through entrepreneurship was another captivating session that emphasised the importance of social entrepreneurship in driving positive change. 

The Innovation Awards Showcase celebrated the best annual innovations in the CAA federation of eight Clubs. Attendees had the opportunity to witness firsthand some of the cutting-edge technologies and solutions that are shaping the future of mobility. Overall winners were CAA North & East Ontario for tiering and differentiating membership benefits for all lines of business, and AMA (Alberta Motor Association) for their unique programme called Hello Alberta – an initiative designed to welcome newcomers to the province of Alberta.  

The panel discussion on Home Services explored the opportunities and challenges associated with delivering services directly to customers' doorsteps, a growing category given the rise of remote work and changing consumer preferences.

The Future of Work session addressed the profound impact of automation, digitalisation, and artificial intelligence on the workforce. Attendees gained valuable insights into the skills and competencies required in the future job market and learned about innovative approaches to talent management and workforce development.

In addition to the conference content, FIA Region III held an in-person meeting. Tim Shearman, FIA Deputy President for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, introduced Jacob Bangsgaard, the newly appointed FIA Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism. Bangsgaard provided updates on the FIA budget, administration, and funding. He expressed his commitment to supporting and strengthening Clubs while fostering knowledge sharing and learning.

Ian Jack, the Chair and regional representative of the FIA Mobility Policy Commission, provided an update on the commission's work, highlighting key policy initiatives and their potential impact on the Region. Cathy McManaman, Managing Director of CAA Travel Services, also shared updates and announced that the next Annual Meeting would take place in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan during the first week of June 2024. 

At the broader annual meeting, a special presentation was shown to thank Frank Fotia, VP, International Relations & FIA Region III President, for his years of hard work and dedication and to wish him the best on his retirement.