Niagara, St. Catharines Consortium

2020 Year In Review

It seems so far away now.  The end of 2019.  Working on a Strategic Plan for my EMC events and content, my plans on visiting (physically) as many plants in my consortium areas as possible, meeting members face to face and connecting on a human, emotional and social level.

January to March 2020 ended up pretty close to where I expected to be in respect to my Strat Plan.   On March 4th, some members and I attended an AMAZON Facility Tour in Mississauga.   So many interested members that I secured another tour for late March.   That was cancelled by Amazon.   Also cancelled was the March 17th TMMC (Toyota) plant tour that had been in place for months.  Cancelled.   Then, on Wednesday, March 18th at 11am, the EMC entire team had an emergency web meeting…what is our “GO FORWARD” plan based on this novel Corona virus called Covid-19????

The world became a more frightening place.  Many companies told employees to stay home, do NOT come into work.  Some could work from home.  Plenty were on temporary lay off.  What and who were “essential businesses”??

How long until we (EMC) could visit members?   When could we get back to events hosted at member plants, and get a tour as a large wandering group, having close contact conversations about how to better produce products, how to improve our throughput, what KPI’s to include in our own businesses?

Pivot.  Change.  Adapt.

By April 8th, the FSA team had a ton of meetings virtually, and put a plan in place on creating content via Teams, and Zoom, and other platforms, to get back to helping host SIG events, and webinar content events.   We all knew we needed to continue to support our members.   That is exactly what each person who works at EMC cares the most about.  Supporting our community partners and members to grow their business.

Also evident was the rapid updates from our government, our local government, rules on how to work safely, and what this Covid-19 virus was doing, and not doing, and transmission, and so on.

EMC then knew in our hearts, that we needed to ensure our membership received the most up-to-date information, as quick and concise as possible.   The FSA’s (in conjunction with our marketing teams) then sourced the absolute latest news and info, and sent that out to members and non-members alike.   All in the name of helping our manufacturing in Ontario (and Canada) thrive.  And Survive.

As summer ended, we all became much more confident in our webinar hosting and attending events.  We had been hearing lots of “your microphone is on mute”, which became humorous.  We began to take stake in the face-to-face communication and networking that humans need as a staple in keeping up our mental health.  We understood that this virus was here for a longer haul.   Kids would be going back to school in some capacity.  Maybe.   There was talk of vaccinations at some point in 2021.

The fall of 2020 felt more “normal”.  Professionals that drive business, understand they need to do whatever needs to be done, to be safe, to get work done, to support our customers. 

We always overcome.  We always adapt.  We always change.   We are strong, world-class manufacturers, and we will always meet the needs of our world-wide customers.   And EMC will always be there to support each and every company as we always have.

Here is to a fantastic 2021, which we all know will require us all to pivot, adapt and change!

The Niagara, St. Catharines consortium of EMC continues to grow and provide outstanding value for members. The upcoming fall schedule will highlight some key events for manufacturers including MOL update, legal update, Funding/SRED and more. EMC members have the opportunity this fall to provide feedback into what they would like to see in the 2020 events schedule.

As with any membership driven focus if you have an idea for a SIG event or want to host an event please contact me at

On this local consortium homepage, members have access to SIG event schedules and presentations, plus other member shared documents.


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