Mobilizing a "Think Tank" of Past Presidents

Article excerpt

Concern for the downward trend in membership in the North Carolina Association of Family and Consumer Sciences led to the formation of a "think tank" of past presidents and other interested leaders of the state association. The past presidents group is a rich resource representing years of professional experience, strong commitment, and available networking contacts. The North Carolina affiliate is capitalizing on this rich resource in a way that could give ideas to other states. Since resourcefulness is a strength of the profession, it is time to begin with utilizing our own human resources.

The North Carolina past presidents met in July 1999 to discuss the state membership decrease and the desired status of the state organization membership in the year 2005. The group discussed factors influencing the membership decrease such as specialization within the profession and related groups that subsequently have formed to meet specific needs. Changes affecting all professional organizations were reviewed as delineated in Facing the Future-A Report on the Major Trends and Issues Affecting Organizations (1). Finally, the group reviewed membership strategies shared through an educational session during the Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, June 1999 (2).

To assist with marketing efforts, the group identified member services provided through the state organization: an annual meeting, three state newsletters, grant money for research and outreach activities, regional meetings, outstanding workshops, a mentoring program, pre-conferences with the State Department of Public Instruction, recognition, leadership development, networking opportunities, and the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences (through the national office).

After reviewing the current status and determining where they would like to see the organization be in terms of increased membership, the past presidents developed strategies to assist with the future development of the organization. The strategies are the following:

1. Revise the mission of the state organization to update and reflect the current association. …