CIYC’s Strategic Plan

The Cedar Island Yacht Club has developed a Strategic Plan to provide a focus for our future development. Under the direction of Paul Cairoli, a cross-section of our membership took part in focus groups to identify the Club’s strengths and weaknesses and, from there, developed a business plan and vision statement to anchor our expectations for development.

Planning for the future requires clear goals to keep the focus and the Strategic Objectives included below offer the members of the Executive a means of staying on track with projects and goals from year to year as officers change.

CIYC Vision/ Strategic Business Plan

Make Up and Implementation
The plan consists of five distinct components, which together form the operational plan operation of the club. The five areas are:
1. The Vision Statement
2. The recommendations of the Strategic Focus Group
3. Strategic Business Objectives
4. Officers Goals
5. The Balanced Scorecard

By Definition Five Components are defined and made up as follows:
The Vision Statement:

A clear, compelling picture defining our identity, values and what we will be in the future.
The Focus Group Recommendations:
A report prepared by a cross-section representing the membership of the CIYC whose intent was to provide a guide for the Executive to follow in respect of all aspects of the Club. The report is intended as the basis for the Strategic Objectives.
Strategic Objectives:
A multi-point, broad based document derived from the the Vision Statement and Focus Group Recommendations. Generic in nature, elements of these objectives will be germane to all Officers in respect of their various duties and areas of responsibility.
Officers' Goals
A list of time-sensitive objectives that are categorized as immediate short-term (within 6 months), short-term (up to 2 years), long-term (over 2 years). They are prepared by the Club’s officers and are derived from the Strategic Objectives. They are approved by the Commodore and recorded and tracked so that all projects are captured and long-term projects are preserved. All goals have clear measurable targets, timelines for implementation and completion and identify resources required, both financial and material.
Balanced Scorecards
These are the measure of key operational identifiers submitted by Officers that collectively and quickly show the operational status and health of the Club.
When collectively reviewed, these five items comprise the CIYC Business Plan. Reviewed monthly, it becomes a living document that is always current and dynamic in nature

CIYC Vision Statement

The CIYC is a vibrant fun sailing club with full membership located on the shores of Lake Erie.

We are dedicated to our members' total enjoyment of CIYC's wonderful atmosphere, the beautiful grounds, facilities, and programs that make up our Club.

We will continue to be the yacht club where people, of all ages and like interests, will want to be.

CIYC will be the model by which all other yacht clubs measure themselves.

Strategic Objectives

  1. To ensure facilities meet the highest requirements for our members in respect of aesthetics, ergonomics and age of members now and for the future.
  2. To continually improve relationships with stakeholders and the community.
  3. Maintain full membership in all categories.
  4. Provide education for levels of sailing and sailing related activities.
  5. Offer good value for membership through racing , social and cruising programs.
  6. Provide members and stakeholders with timely, accurate and transparent communications.
  7. Be financially responsible to the membership and ensure our present and future monetary needs are identified and provisions made.
  8. To improve efficiency and reduce cost at all levels.
  9. To develop new programs and continually improve existing programs.
  10. To develop clean /green practises to the best of our ability.
  11. To maintain a yacht club that is safe ,fun and free from from intimidation.
  12. Up grade the role of club officers by developing skills and giving them authority and responsibility for their areas of responsibility.
  13. Meet the requirements of an ageing membership whilst building a strong base for youth.
  14. Develop future club officers and prepare them through the respective committees.

Report To CIYC Executive and Membership Re: Strategic Initiatives

Scope of Project

The CIYC Executive requested that an analysis be done to determine what factors would influence the creation of a club Vision and Mission Statement and influence the creation of long-term strategy. The emphasis was that it should be largely influenced by a cross-section of the membership.


The Commodore and Vice Commodore chose a cross-section of the membership to take part in two interactive group sessions to analyze the Club’s current status. The group was comprised of approximately 20 members representing existing Full members, new members, established members, Honorary members as well as Associate and Social members. Using an initial survey and a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis of various CIYC operational segments, the group identified key areas that could become critical paths moving forward. The group also defined to the Executive the key items that could define the vision of the CIYC.

Key Strengths and Weaknesses by Operational Segment
(*Denotes item was identified as key)

Club Overall

membership dedication*
facilities and location
Town support

too far from populated areas
hard to expand
shallow water *

Facilities / Property

own the property*
park-like setting on the lake*
protected harbour*

dredging, lake levels
lack of expansion room
poor visual first impression*
poor playground for kids


bond through sailing*
not expensive*
unsocial/cliquish, do not handle new members well
no young sailors*
unsupportive of social events.


hold membership together*
big 3 events and growing
nothing for kids*
poor member support need to contact and get more people to commit
no winter events

The Executive

guided by good governance*
communicate well*
thinks like the membership

loose cannons; people trying to run the club from outside the executive*
lack of people wanting to take on Exec. Positions*
lack of transparency
term of office too short
needs to spend more time on community relations ( Town, Melton’s )

Learn to Sail

national accreditation
good volunteers
promotes new and younger members

hard to find instructors
cost to train
loses money



level of participation
no development series/ instruction/ blue racers in decline
rules unclear

Part II Recommended Actions

After dialogue on the above assessments, the group offered its thoughts to the Executive for consideration as detailed below:


Our location is second to none, offering one of the only direct lake accessible yacht clubs in the area. Combine this with its park-like setting, we should be exploiting these through promotion.
We recommend the Executive keep the upkeep of grounds and clubhouse foremost in its future planning, including the visual first impression of the Club that needs attention.
Playground facilities are poor and if we are to attract youth we must start by providing the youngest with a safe, more up to date play area.
We must look like a yacht club and the best yacht club we can be.


This may be our single biggest operational concern and if not continued it would create the biggest threat to the operation of the Club. The group is concerned about its relationship with the Town and other stakeholders such as Melton’s and Erie View. Our relationship with our dredging stakeholders may not be as sound as we think and notwithstanding, given the critical and financial importance, we encourage the Executive to give strong consideration to renewed and higher level association with stakeholders.


We have a good story to sell but we need to sell it. Our Full membership capacity is constrained by space but we feel having a full membership status needs to be maintained and even a waiting list would be a positive.
Whilst the need for youthful members is important (due to our aging membership), the group identified that we should not be encouraging youth membership at the expense of our wise and valued, more senior members. We look to the Executive to balance the membership.
In respect of older members, we ask their needs be considered when upgrading facilities. Items like picnic benches do not always go well with tired knees and backs.
Finally, we recommend that new members are integrated into the Club using a mentoring or buddy system. We want to remind all existing members that a simple hello or introduction will be most welcome by a new member. Perhaps a picture board of all members is required.


Social does a great job. We want to remind them to keep changing up a bit. Perhaps look at smaller lower key winter activities such as winter pot lucks.
There was concern that the burden of Social fell on the shoulders of too few and could be assisted by more volunteers and the appointment of a Champion for each event.
We need to utilize the website more to promote social.

The Executive

The Executive needs to work on more timely communication and more transparency. Minutes on the website are old and not up to date (at the time of this writing the most up to date minutes were from 10 August).
The group feels there are splinter groups that, while operating with good intentions, are acting independently from the Executive and the membership on numerous projects. The group feels, to be more effective, these groups need to be constrained. The Executive needs to regain control.
To address lack of new blood on the Executive, the group encourages the Executive to engage the Nominating Committee earlier in the year. This will help identify possible candidates earlier and perhaps encourage more people to participate. July was a date to be considered.
We feel that the current term of the Executive at one year is too short to fulfil plans and mandates. Although we encourage a longer term, perhaps two years, we feel that too long a term may be detrimental and that a maximum term be imposed also.
The Executive needs to develop a stronger relationship with the Town.

The Town and Stakeholders

The relationship with the Town came up in our discussions more than any other topic.
Concerns ranged from costs to CIYC if the town decided to stop dredging to damage to our relationship with the Town based on what was perceived by the group to be antagonistic discussions in the past.
We encourage the current Executive to explore the current relationship with all stakeholders and rebuild where necessary. We hope the Executive considers a formal structure to ensure timely and accurate communication.

Greening of the CIYC

Not a lot of time was spent on this subject other than to say we must be aware of and strive to be as green as possible in as many areas as we can.
Elimination of paper plates through the addition of a dishwasher was raised as well as being conscious of latest technology such as LED lighting.
There was a caution that green can be expensive. It was recommended we be aware of changing legislation and liaise with other clubs to see how they handle waste, toxic paints etc.


Keep CIYC News.
Remember we want to have fun.
Let’s look at a youth sailing program.
Put up a suggestion box.

Thoughts for a Vision Statement

The group did not create a vision statement but did recommend for consideration the following key points that they felt were the essence of a clear, compelling snapshot of what the CIYC should look like 5 or 10 years down the road.

Fun, vibrant and energetic in all aspects of sailing (this is our product)

Improved and nicer grounds and facilities than they are today

Visually looks like what a model yacht club should look like

With full docks and fully utilized facilities

“Where people of all ages with like interests want to come”

Final Statement

The Group wishes to thank the Executive and membership for allowing us to take on this task. We have tried to be candid where we needed to be, passionate where necessary and honest to a point.
We hope no one takes offence to any opinion contained herein, it was not intended to be personal. We recognize so many things that the Club and its individual members have done right and will continue to do so.


“The Group”