Presidential Corner – October 2016
Good Lord and butter!
These have truly got to be the “dog days” of summer. When I was growing up in the small-town South that’s when the old folks said you had to watch out for rabid dogs, “’cause the heat’s got to them and turned them mad”. I hope by the time you read this we’ve finally gotten that first of the season cool front.
Board/Committee Chair Session
The Board had a joint meeting with Committee Chairs on September 6 for a roundtable discussion on how we’re doing as an organization – what’s going right and what could stand improvement. The discussion was intended as a kick-start to putting together a budget and work plan for the 2017 year. Committees will put together their goals – what they intend to accomplish – and budget requests – what resources they need to do that – for the Board by November 1. The Board will take a first pass at those along with the projected revenue in the November Board meeting and give final approval for next year’s plan by the December Board meeting. We adopted a financial policy in 2015 that says we will have an adopted budget in place by January 1 each year – the start of our fiscal year. A report on 2016 accomplishments and the 2017 plans will be presented to the membership during the first quarter of 2017.
Among the things that the Board and Committee Chairs thought were going well were: the increase in memberships, the increase in number and variety of activities, the expanded role for committees and the addition of separate ad hoc committees to handle PRIDE and the AIDS Walk. Our increased outreach and involvement with other organizations in the community were also mentioned as positives.
There were a number of things we thought we could and should improve on:
– we need better representation on our committees, particularly geographical diversity;
– our Board and Committee meetings should be better organized, more businesslike and respectful of members time commitments;
– we need more diversity in our membership to reflect our community – particularly the African-American population;
– Austin’s growth and traffic issues are increasingly an issue for our membership affecting both our meetings and our social activities. There is an increasing reluctance to travel across town, particularly during rush hours;
– Our internal communications needs to be improved – between Board members, between the Board and Committees, within committees , even between our members. As an example, members have expressed confusion about events listed on our calendar – whether a listing means there is a Prime Timer group attending or is just for information.
We can begin to address some of these concerns immediately, others will take some time and will be part of our work plan for 2017. Committee chairs are already looking for more convenient meeting locations. The activity listings in Momentum will have a separate category of “other events of interest” to designate events you might like to attend but there is no organized Prime Timer activity associated with the event. We will continue to explore different ways of describing events and look for options that would allow members to see who is planning on attending.
If you have suggestions on any of these issues please contact any Board member The Board members and Committee Chairs are listed in every edition of the Momentum and all of our contact information is on the roster that you received by email.
Prime Timer of the Year
Three years ago the Board decided to recognize one of our members each year with the Woody Baldwin award for outstanding contributions to our organization. The President appoints a nominating committee to select three nominees for this award. The nominees are announced in the November Momentum and the balloting for this award is conducted at the November general membership meeting. The recipient of the 2016 award will be announced at the Holiday Party in December. This year’s nominating committee will include: David Soileau (2014 Baldwin award), Charles Curry (2015 Baldwin award) and Jim Harp (immediate past President).
Don’t miss out on the many events scheduled this month – they include opportunities to mix and mingle with new members, play cards or dominoes, get some exercise together or get all dolled up for Halloween. If you haven’t already done so please sign up to walk with us at the AIDS Walk on Sunday, October 16. For me personally this is more than a fundraiser for ASA – it is a commitment to those who are no longer here to walk with me and a reminder to the community that this plague has not yet been beaten. If you need help signing up please contact our Walk Chair, David Soileau.
Be cool, be safe, have fun and spread good cheer.