By Bradford Koshland, F313666
Well, hello again from Cincinnati. I would like to take a moment and share with you something that I read in the publication of another association (non-RV-related) to which I belong. Many associations in this day and age are losing members at a fairly rapid rate. No one association seems to be immune. Studies conducted cannot seem to pinpoint and determine why, except maybe that future generations are not ones to join associations and do things together as groups.
The president of this particular association shared the following, which has left a lasting impression with me and I hope will with you, too. It seems to have been adapted from a piece written by Reverend Joe Hoover in 1999 about church membership. It is titled “The Value of A Member,” and it goes like this.
“Ten little members standing in a line; one dislikes the President, and then there were nine. Nine ambitious members offered to work late; one forgot his promise and then there were eight. Eight members with good deeds of heaven; one lost his enthusiasm, and then there were seven. Seven loyal members got into a fix; they quarreled over programs, then there were six. Six members very much alive; one moved away, and then there were five. Five steadfast members wished there were more; one became indifferent and then there were four. Four cheerful members who never disagreed until one complained of meetings, then there were three. Three eager members! What will they do? One got discouraged and then there were two. Two lonely members, our group is nearly done; one joined another group and then there was one. One faithful member was feeling rather blue, met a new neighbor and then there were two. Two earnest members each enrolled one more; four determined members just could not wait until each found another and then there were eight. Eight excited members signed up eight more. And thus, in another six verses, there will be one thousand twenty-four.”
I think if you reflect on what is written, the same can hold true here. This is why it is so important for our members to continue to recruit new members. Only we have the information to convince someone who owns a motorhome why they should join FMCA. Remember, the future of this association is in your hands. Let’s each do our part, and FMCA will survive, thrive, and multiply. Thank you!
Again this month, I have asked one of FMCA’s staff directors to explain the work performed day in and day out by the personnel in a particular department. Loretta Buob, the director of chapter services, will explain the functions and services that are performed and handled by the department, and there are many. After you read her section of the column, I think you will be impressed as to how much support our staff provides to the national officers, Executive Board, committees, areas, chapters, and the list just goes on and on. I have come to realize in the short period of time since my arrival that this department really does not get the credit they deserve, because they are known only as “Chapter Services.” So, I have decided that while we are making some organizational changes here in Cincinnati, it would be more appropriate to refer to them by the responsibilities they handle: Chapter, Area, and National Services, “C.A.N.” for short. As most of our past and present national officers know, this staff “CAN” do anything, and to their credit, they do it well.
Referring back to the value of members, without members, it would be impossible to have chapters. And some of the best benefits of FMCA come about in these smaller groups.
Until next month, may you enjoy your summer travels wherever they may take you. On behalf of the 49 hard-working staff here in Cincinnati, we thank you for allowing us to serve our membership.
FMCA Chapters And More
By Loretta Buob
Director Of Chapter Services
Chapter Services Department staff members have functions that involve all levels of FMCA’s structure. They support the association’s almost 500 chapters, the 10 FMCA areas, the FMCA Governing Board, the Executive Board, national committees, the national secretary, and the national president, in addition to serving members who have yet to become affiliated with a chapter. Plus, Chapter Services Department staff houses, maintains, and updates FMCA’s Constitution, National Bylaws, Member & Volunteer Handbook, Strategic Plan, and other governance documents. They also support the executive director by assisting him in preparing PowerPoint presentations for the seminars he conducts at conventions and rallies.
Currently, 34 percent of FMCA members belong to a chapter. Of course, we’d love to see this percentage grow, and the good news is that members have 490 chapters from which to choose. Chapter membership is undoubtedly one of the best benefits FMCA has to offer, and one of the goals of the Chapter Services Department staff is to help spread the word.
When chapter members have a question or require assistance, be it a request for a copy of their charter papers or an insurance certificate, the Chapter Services Department is the one that fields those calls. Staff members also work with individual chapters in an effort to assist them with recruitment tools so that they can help spread the word about chapter membership while keeping their membership fresh and thriving.
This department works with the national secretary to process the annual chapter certification, as required by the Bylaws, which enables each chapter to have a voice in FMCA’s governance.
Proposed chapters are offered assistance reaching out to members who fit the criteria for the group “” be it a certain geographic area or motorhome make “” in an effort to gauge interest. When a chapter is successful in forming, staff members continue to assist through the preparation of the chapter charter and welcome letters, along with necessary guidance materials.
The Chapter Services Department works with the 10 FMCA areas “” the nine geographic areas and the International Area. Staff responsibilities include processing family registrations for eight of the 10 area rallies; providing production assistance for area rally programs for eight of the 10 area rallies; and handling commercial registrations for four of the 10 area rallies. These services are offered to all areas but in a menu-type program; in other words, area leaders may utilize any or all of the services provided. This work is done at the direction of area leaders, and the staff members simply serve as facilitators.
Under the guidance of the area vice president, Chapter Services Department staff coordinate the development of the rally registration form with FMCA’s graphic artists for inclusion in the magazine and with the webmaster for inclusion on FMCA.com. Chapter Services staff prepare and coordinate the printing of confirmation packets for the majority of these events and make sure the packets are mailed to attendees. They also provide the area with reports and an accounting of funds in order to keep them updated on the status of their area rally.
This department prepares and mails information to the Governing Board, usually on a monthly basis. I am happy to report that the majority of the Governing Board members are now receiving these mailings electronically, which has resulted in a large savings in postage for FMCA.
Committee meetings take place at the national office in Cincinnati two times per year, and all of the meeting notices and agendas (in conjunction with the national secretary and the committee chairmen), the travel arrangements, the room and food setups, the handouts, and the reports are handled by or funneled through this department. The resulting minutes of all of these meetings (again, working in conjunction with the national secretary and the committee chairmen) are prepared and distributed by the Chapter Services staff.
Staff members from this department attend the FMCA Family Reunions to help coordinate the Governing Board, Executive Board, Board of Directors, and Annual Membership meetings. Working with the national secretary, notices and minutes of these meetings are prepared and distributed. Also at the Reunion, the staff coordinates the Chapter Fair and serves as support staff for the national president in terms of meetings and evening ceremonies. A Chapter Services staff member also works in the FMCA membership booth to share information with members who might be interested in chapters and also to offer support to existing chapter members.
The staff works closely with the area vice presidents from the time these individuals are nominated, elected, and installed in their respective positions. The assistance continues as staff members provide them with guidance materials to aid them in their work. Chapter Services Department staff also assist the area vice presidents by processing their area newsletters to help ensure communication with the area chapters. This department also lends support to all national officers to help facilitate their official FMCA duties.
And last, but not least, I should mention their work with the FMCA president by assisting with the president’s correspondence, agendas, ceremonies, etc.
FMCA introduces the Tour Connection. Nel Filliger (center), founder of Fantasy RV Tours, C5644, visited the FMCA national office in Cincinnati during the Executive Board meetings in May to discuss a new partnership. Nel is shown here with FMCA executive director Bradford Koshland and FMCA acting president Judy Czarsty. The Tour Connection, powered by Fantasy RV Tours, offers members the opportunity to embark on FMCA-member-only RV caravans and rallies at discounted rates, and also to receive an FMCA discount on any other Fantasy RV Tours event. For more information, see the story that begins on page 54.