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By Melvin Gitler

At our last board meeting, I requested everyone to write down ideas about what they would like to see happen with the association in the next 3 years. I received numerous jotted down ideas and pieces of scribble on paper. The one thing is that our members are diverse as well as sloppy in their hand writing. There is one thing clear on reading the notes and that is there must be a change of our existence as we know it today. It will be different in three years.

There were a few glaring ideas on the notes. The overall number one issue to our members who were at the meeting was the name of the organization. It seems, and very well so, that names in today’s market place go along way in identifying and understanding what the organization is all about. Name also moves towards communications. The communications of our group lacks spunk now. We have become blasé’ in our actions. Our name does not send out a message of fear when we walk into a room from being a lion, we are now all lambs.

We moved into being lambs due to the lack of membership. We must retain, get and hold more and more members. Shrinkage is not an option. Our meeting must grow or all that we do and say goes unnoticed. At the national meeting, this idea was brought up at the end of the meeting. The message of the national is unclear. They do have a message for us but without the proper monies it goes unheard. We on the other hand can send our message out but it is erratic. We must make our message clear and when we do it must be heeded. If our message was clear then membership should grow. It is with this growth that will make us move on and on.

Membership must grow with services offered our members. When we had health insurance good or bad, we could draw members. Today we need another hook. Maybe the people reading this editorial can and should send us some suggestions. I keep bringing up various insurance but insurance is not cheap and there are no bargains from highly rated providers. One idea that has been brought up is buying food from a Sysco as a cooperative. These are just some foods for thought.

This Association is ours to grow or die. The choice is ours. Walk down the right side of the road and it is safe. Walk down the left side of the road and it is safe. Walk down the middle and eventually you get squished.

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