August 21, 2016
On Sunday, August 21, 2016, your Best Practices committee and general members held the annual meeting known as GAP Day at the Villages Clubhouse in Homestead. If you?re still confused about Best Practices, here is a concise explanation: ABWA National offers a BEST PRACTICES program to its chapters (leagues). The Best Practices program provides a structured blueprint for members to follow in order to meet the Association's mission, core values, by-laws and tax-exempt status. You and your Executive board have decided that following the Best Practice program is a good thing for the chapter.
The first Best Practice duty that must be accomplished at the beginning of the chapter's year is known as a GAP Analysis. That?s the special meeting where we examine both our good points and our failings as a chapter. In other words, we try to find the GAP between where we are and where we want to be.
We covered five sections in our analysis: Strategy-planning for the year and running of meetings; Operations Management-paying bills, banking, meeting set-up; Annual Curriculum-timing meetings, speakers, community outreach; Strength and Vitality-new membership, guests; and The ABWA Brand-website, social media, promotional brochure.
We rated ourselves as either ?Acceptable? or ?Mastered? in most areas. (A round of applause for us, please.)
But we also agreed that six areas need work. 1) We need to strengthen our meetings by applying a more structured use of Robert?s Rules of Order. 2) We need a better system for reimbursing our members for their committee expenses in a timely manner. 3) We need to assign a meeting ?mentor? to guests whose job it is to make the guest welcomed during the meeting. 4) We need to become more knowledgeable about the Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational scholarship programs. 5) We need to put effort into starting and stopping meetings to last no more than two hours. 6) We need to make sure our league?s website is updated each month.
After we finished the structured analysis, the meeting became less formal and we talked about other items we would like to see implemented to make our chapter better:
1) All of us should be aware of the crisis we have regarding a meeting place. It?s difficult enough when our members are so spread afield, but the place where we had been meeting has been going through some difficult times. Everyone at the GAP meeting agreed that we need to keep looking but that we need a permanent place soon. The hospitality committee and the board have been screening places and will continue until we are satisfied we have a place that will be best for all. 2) The group talked about implementing various forms needed to make committees? jobs easier. 3) We talked about ?Networking? and discovering what amazing things our fellow members have accomplished. Suggestions were made to look into having a Christmas bazaar with members showcasing their businesses in selling booths, and also about selling small business card style ads in the newsletter. 4) A suggestion was made about having a ?business card exchange? at meetings.
If you missed this Gap Day meeting, you missed a couple of very special hours where members really thought about what they wanted, and more to the point needed, from their chapter.