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May 2015: Charles Curry

Charles Curry120x150

Those of you unable to make the business section of the general meeting on April 12 missed an interesting and informative discussion about how Prime Timers Austin conducts business.

After a summary of the 2015 budget adopted by the Board (covered elsewhere in this issue) several members asked about the assumptions behind the budget numbers, including the membership projections and how we are doing in comparison to those projections. These discussion led to a number of suggestions including:

  • Establishing a donation program for supplies we would otherwise have to purchase;
  • A financial assistance program to help members who cannot afford the cost of the annual banquet to attend; and
  • Seeking assistance from Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s staff in seeking status for our chapter as a charitable or educational organization eligible to receive tax deductible donations.

In addition to these specific suggestions, members raised broader questions:

“How do we as members make suggestions?”

“How do we know what happens to those suggestions?’

In case there are others with the same questions, I would like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about those two issues.

How do I make suggestions about Prime Timers Austin?

Every issue of the Momentum includes a list of officers, Board members and committee chairs: our leadership team. Each of you should have a membership roster with contact information for each of these folks. (There’s one available in the “Private” tab of our website if you can’t put your hand on your copy.) If you prefer a personal conversation, leadership team members are usually at general meetings as well as the activities on our monthly calendar. Please take a moment to share with them your thoughts or suggestions for improving our organization.

We are also putting together a membership survey. Mark Blangger talked about this during the general meeting and asked members with ideas about the survey to contact him. If you have ideas about the survey design or know a topic you would like to see covered, please let Mark know. There will be additional information in the Momentum as the survey is developed.

Finally, for those able to attend a general meeting, the business session is always an option for making suggestions.

One of my “lessons learned” from the April general meeting was that we need a way to capture suggestions in writing so folks know their suggestion is heard.

How do I know what happens to my suggestions?

That depends on the suggestion. Some can be acted on immediately. Some require action by one of our standing committees (Membership, Program, Hospitality Member Support, Communications and Activities). Others require Board action.

As examples:

  • The donation program is on the agenda for discussion at next month’s Board meeting. Committee chairs have been asked to list supplies and other items they expect to need.
  • And Board members working on getting our chapter recognized as a charitable or educational organization eligible to receive tax deductible donations have been advised that Congressman Doggett’s staff may be of assistance.

In any case, if you make a suggestion, the person to whom you made it should follow up with you on what was done in response. If you haven’t heard back, maybe a friendly reminder will do the trick. (Some of us have been known to forget even things very important to us – like where I put the car keys!)

Right now, the Board’s agenda and minutes are not available on the website. The website is currently “under renovation,” however. Including them might be something we can consider, so members can see what the Board is discussing and what decisions have been made.

This is our organization. Let’s all do what we can to make it as good as we would like it to be.

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