I hope the 2010 year is off to a great start for everyone! Mine started off with a bang. No joke! Last week Wednesday on my way into work, I was rear ended on the highway. And yes, I was in the far passing lane and obstructing traffic during the morning rush hour. As I think back on the happenings of that morning, I'm amazed at how much the brain had to process through, one item at a time. It went something like this . . . my head hurts, need to find a pen and paper, don't get out of the car, where are my glasses (they'd gone flying off my face), find the cell phone, dial 991, oops, 911 (hands were shaking), call my husband, call work . . . and so it went, one course of action at a time. As luck would have it, I had a doctor's appointment that morning. Once she was informed of the accident and that my head was hurting, it was decided I should have a CAT scan. You'll all be happy to know that my radiographs came back normal. Of course, the question is: what is one's definition of normal?!
As we all know, the world's attention is focused on Haiti and the life changing events which have occurred to the indigenous population, as well as other nationalities working or living in the area. I've been watching the news, as I'm sure you all have. In my city, couples who are in the adoption process are asking for help to determine if their adoptive children are still alive and to hasten the adoption proceedings. For those of you who remember Wilney Audain, who spoke at EFAM last year as well as PEC several years ago, we've been in contact with him and learned last week that his birth mother and family are alive and well.
Here's an IAAP fact you may not know. Did you know that IAAP averages 110 new members every week? That's 5,720 new members for the 2009-10 fiscal year, should this rate of new member influx continue!
While it is normal to experience attrition each year, this is one normal that we should no longer accept. Instead, we need to create a new normal; one that looks at who is not renewing and then why. Are they short term members (five years or less), or are they long term members? The whys mostly will cover a spectrum of responses, but most certainly there will be a common denominator. We have just entered the 2010 year. A year that will continue to experience economic issues and corporate changes; a year that is far different from 2000 and definitely different than 1990. Have our meetings and operations changed to keep up with the times?
Twenty years ago, I used to leave work early to drive to Chicago to attend a chapter meeting. Back then, getting time off was not an issue in an office of 15-20 admins and my workload was focused on one job. Today, I work in an office that has been reduced to two admins. My workload is such that I need to know how to do everything in order to meet the demands of the staff. Today, I no longer have the luxury of time to attend as many outside functions or activities, or to travel to Chicago and back in one night. Like many of you, I now look for the value in the program or activity that is being offered.
I challenge you to create a new "normal" in your chapter and division meetings. A new normal that will not only attract members to join, but also engage them for the long-term as members. A new normal that will grow the chapter, division and association as a whole. A new normal that will retain our current members while still bringing in those 110 new members every week!
Have you seen the Power of Commitment pin that the 2010 EFAM Host Committee is selling? OMG!! They look fabulous and I'm so excited that everyone has the opportunity to purchase one should they wish. Unlike years past, this pin is not just for Administrative Professionals Week but is a pin for all seasons. It can be purchased by chapters to recognize members for reaching certain milestones such as recruiting new members, obtaining certification or recertifying, or any other reason you can think of. Members can proudly wear it to show their commitment to IAAP.
Click on the link below and it will take you to the 2010 Host Committee Store for online ordering.
There is still time to submit an entry in the 2010 Avery Great Results Chapter and Division Achievement Awards Program. The deadline submission for applications is February 1, 2010. The application form for chapters is located here, and the form for divisions is here. Please contact Amy House (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or need additional information.
Here's to a fantastic 2010 to all… Thank you for using the power of your commitment to IAAP to help our association grow and thrive this year and beyond!