CAA_SCO_SPR21

CAAE_SCO_SPR21

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46 | CAA MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY [TAYLOR] ROY TIMM; [SUBURB] ISTOCK.COM/BUZZANIMATION insider: member service Driven to Help We spoke to Ethel Taylor, the new chair of CAA Club Group, about adapting to a global pandemic, the organization's legacy and its ongoing obsession with safety by LISA GORDON Congratulations on being appointed chair of CAA Club Group in May 2020. You've been a member of the board for more than seven years. Why did you get involved? I appreciate the values and integrity of the organization, and the fact that it is so Member-centric. During my career, I have always focused on looking aer employees and customers. You have extensive retail management and leadership experience with Sears Canada and Blacks Photography. How does this come into play with CAA? When I worked in department stores, I dealt with a multitude of different businesses. As board members, we work with management, and my knowledge of how large organizations operate is helpful. CAA Club Group is very complex. We have roadside assistance. We have three different types of insurance companies, a large travel organization and retail stores, so you have to understand different elements of business. When you became chair, Covid-19 was well underway. How has the pandemic affected operations at CAA Club Group? We made the decision not to lay off any employees, so everyone has retained their job. That has meant redeploying staff, such as retraining travel agents in insurance, and adapting our stores. That redeployment really speaks to the values of the organization. It's easy to let employees go, but in fact, it took a lot of initiative to re-educate and redeploy our resources so people could keep their jobs. The pandemic has negatively impacted our travel business, of course, but we have seen tremendous growth in the insurance divisions. Tell us more about how CAA has responded to the challenges presented by Covid-19. The leadership teams have worked really hard to maintain a sense of teamwork and engagement, because working from home is a change for many employees. We helped our roadside people stay in business; few people were driving, so we had them delivering PPE and food to areas that needed it. In March, we called our customers who were An important priority is to grow our membership so that more people can benefit from CAA

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