IABC Los Angeles state of the chapter

President’s message, July 2014

I’d like to welcome everyone to our IABC Los Angeles 2014-2015 board year. I’m filled with excitement at both the opportunities and challenges our organization faces. But before I get ahead of myself, I really must thank our previous board members. Their support and dedication brought our membership together for some amazing events and great networking opportunities. Thank You!

Meet your new IABC Los Angeles board

  • Mike Spasoff, President
  • Nicole Maury, Past President
  • Gerhard Runken, VP, Membership (through Sept)
  • Dustin Alipour, VP, Events
  • Open Positions
    • VP, Membership (Sept. 2014 – June 2015)
    • VP, Finance
    • VP, Communications
    • VP, Social Media
    • Event and Membership Volunteers

Meeting the challenge

These are challenging times, both for our organization as well as our chapter. Professional organizations as a whole are struggling, and IABC is no different. For those of you who attended World Conference, or follow the discussions on LinkedIn the challenges at the international level are clear – as is the work being done to chart a path forward. In this message, however, I’d like to focus on the specific challenges faced by our chapter, as well as my plans to address them.

Volunteers needed!

Our chapter is an all-volunteer organization. Every chapter-run activity happens because someone steps up to make it happen. Because we are a volunteer-run organization, resources have always been in short supply. In the past, board volunteers have supplemented open volunteer roles and event schedules have been reduced as needed. This year is different. We have four unfilled board positions and many vacant volunteer opportunities. Put simply, we have just enough board members to cover the minimum commitments required to be a chapter within IABC.

One way forward would be to continue on our current path and simply ask our smaller board to do even more to maintain the status-quo – hoping that we could eventually fill the positions and return to normal. I think this is short-sighted though, and ultimately will only make the problem worse.

A sustainable plan

Given our lack of resources, our approach will be to significantly reduce or restructure our chapter activities and focus existing board resources on the long-term health of our chapter. Specifically, we will devote our major efforts to filling our open board and volunteer positions and developing a repeatable process for sustaining volunteerism within our chapter.

Below you will find a chart describing a new “lite-mode” operating model for our chapter. The reductions and changes are targeted to maintain what we feel is important in each of these areas while making time for the long-term improvements the board must undertake.

Previous operations Lite-mode
Financial reporting(a fixed requirement from international)
  • Monthly financial review and budgeting
  • Annual tax preparation and reporting
No change
Board meetings
  • Monthly online meetings
  • Two annual in-person meetings
  • As-needed in-person meetings before or after events
All online meetings
Member newsletter Monthly newsletter containing a feature article and relevant links A monthly president’s message
Membership renewal messages Personal phone call from the VP of Membership A personal email from a board member
Membership anniversary messages Personal phone call from the VP of Membership
  • A personal email from a board member
  • Recognition within our social media channels
Events
  • Monthly in-person events, alternating between panel discussions and networking
  • Annual keynote
  • Annual holiday party
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Monthly Google hangouts to discuss “lessons learned”
  • In-person events, only if a volunteer from the chapter is willing to lead the event. The chapter will cover standard costs.
Social Media
  • Promotion of chapter events
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Sharing content produced by the chapter
  • Topics of interest to or about Communicators
  • Promotion of international and regional online events
  • Sharing content produced by the chapter
  • Topics of interest to or about Communicators
  • Membership anniversary messages

 

What hasn’t changed

IABC International is undergoing a transformation and you can see the signs of this change in the newly improved Communication World as well as the newly formed IABC Academy. These changes may bring uncertainty but through it all IABC is still the premier organization for business communicators, and IABC Los Angeles continues to be a group of diverse storytellers doing incredible work for remarkable organizations. Your board is still dedicated to serving the membership of our chapter, and we sincerely believe that the changes I’ve outlined above will sustain us and build an even stronger chapter in the long term. We are, and will always be, your board – accountable to you and eager to hear your feedback.

If you want to take part in transforming our organization, or suggest a different solution, please reach out to me or other board members. My contact information, along with the rest of our board, is available on our website.

 

Vital Stats for July 2014

Membership1 new members
5 renewals this month
124 total members
Volunteers
3 current volunteers
(all board members)6 open volunteer positions
Participation19 people joined us at our last event
IABC Los Angeles is a group of diverse storytellers. We are the Los Angeles chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators – a group with 14,000 members from all around the world that join the 124 members from Los Angeles with an interest in the business of Communications.Stay up-to-date with IABC-Los Angeles
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