Polling non-renewed members; term limits; different schooling show classes

Polling non-renewed members; term limits; different schooling show classes

Our new Suggestion Box has been a big hit with the membership and a welcome source of feedback for the board. Going forward, we have decided to address each and every suggestion submission in the form of an article. So here’s our first one! We think this approach will serve the purpose of transparency, keeping the membership informed while also being informative and educational. Board member Vicky Busch has been appointed to write these articles, once the board has reviewed and decided how to respond to each submission. This article and its content will always be approved by the Board.

In a recent Suggestion Box submission, someone thought it might be useful to poll recent “non-renewed” members to find out why they had not. The Board discussed this at length and while we are, of course, always concerned about the reasons for “non-renewed” members, we feel the many reminders that are sent from the Membership Director and public access to the Suggestion Box are sufficient efforts and avenues for redress. We also want to respect the possible members who may not be renewing for personal or financial reasons.

A second suggestion was for the Board to consider term limits for the office of President. This issue has been tossed around many, many times for over 20 years. The Board discussed this idea, and emphatically acknowledged that one of the biggest stumbling blocks is the apparent lack of interest within the membership for becoming a Board member to begin with, which is a requirement to be considered as a candidate for President. Interest can be expressed by simply attending the Board meetings – a practice which the Board encourages. Another factor is that many current Board members are not interested in serving as President. However, term limits are a valid idea, so the Board plans to revisit the issue at future meetings. Some things which must be considered are: 1) how much Board service should be required before serving as President; 2) the possibility of a graduated process to serve as President. One option we plan to address was suggested by Board member Gerlinde Beckers – it is the process adopted by the Louisiana State board of Education, in which there is a three term process before one serves as President. Keeping in mind that the job is not as easy as it looks, and that time spent in service of the club on the Board is critical, this seems a feasible and practical option.

Sidenote: Clare Boothe Luce once said “No good deed goes unpunished.” As the first American woman to be appointed to a major overseas Ambassador position, she probably knew of what she spoke. Board participation sometimes feels like that. It is truly community service. The positions are hard work, thankless in most cases, and a hefty dose of aggravation. However, to serve the greater good of the community, the sports we love, our children and clients, all of that must be put aside. If as a member you think you want to join the Board, there is a process. Start by attending meetings which are always announced far in advance. Decide if you want to be involved. When elections roll around, if you are a member in good standing, then submit your name to be on the ballot. It’s that simple. We would LOVE to have more willing bodies to serve.

Another suggestion was not really a suggestion, rather a perception. One anonymous member is concerned that certain Board members might be intimidating to other Board members and might be “running the show” on their own. While the Board certainly appreciates the concern voiced in this submission, please be assured that while each person is different, the Board is comprised of strong minded, strong willed, dedicated and intelligent members who would never be run over by anyone. The best we can do to allay anyones fears in this regard is to invite them to our meetings. But be warned, they are energetic, productive and fun!

One member suggested that schooling shows offer divisions in their classes to avoid the Adult Amateur having to compete against the Professional, JR or any combination thereof. The Board agrees with this and, for 2015, will include in its recognition criterion that Adult Amateur, Professional and JR divisions be offered at schooling shows. While these suggestions will be made, the Board cautions that we do not ultimately control these schooling shows that are put on and run privately. Please consider helping us out by also voicing your suggestion with the management of these schooling shows.

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