For an incoming President there is one thing that is certain: You can’t run your club alone.
When leading any grass roots organization you need help from trusted partners to make you time as president a success. The benefits of surrounding yourself with people with different strengths, personalities, and talents cannot be understated. I would even recommend filling board seats with employees from various companies in and out of the ad business. Having a lawyer on the board, or a 501-3(c) Non Profit employee or a financial guru will round out the talents and allow the board to foster fresh perspectives to shape your club. The annual ADMERICA conference is a great resource for incoming presidents getting ready to embark on leading their local club. The National ADMERICA! Conference showcases this knowledge base in the form of roundtable discussions led by experienced AAF leaders, spanning from Governors to past presidents, who are eager to share their experiences leading clubs. There is a pay-it-forward mentality that links the members of the AAF. The ability to share knowledge and gain insight from your peers is there for the taking if you want it. You just have to know its there. Carol Montoya, the Executive Director for the DC Ad Club from District 2 facilitated the nine table discussions along with Sara Yoskoski, the Club Services Coordinator also from the DC Ad Club. The discussions featured nine essential topics to effectively run and manage your club.
- Financial and Fiscal Responsibilities
- Public Service
- Government Relations
- Working With Your Board of Directors
- Special Events
- Membership Growth and Retention
- Successful Committees
Financial and Fiscal Responsibilities:
Shelly Magee, Sponsorship Chair, District 3
Nationwide, clubs struggle with this topic. As a former president I can tell you I have had many sleepless nights worried about the bottom line of my RAF club in Rochester, NY during my tenure as president. And as president no topic is more important than the financial health of your club. Here a sound CFO is a welcomed addition to the board.
Hosted by: Yeosh Bendayan, Incoming Governor, District 4
One way to add value to the membership dues is through programs. At this table conversation is centered around what programs worked and just as importantly, what didn’t. This topic offers the biggest potential for club growth.
Allison Robbins, former Governor, District 6
Communicating to your clubs is one of the most overlooked areas of club management. Sounds odd since we are in the communication business but the reality of an all-volunteer organization the parable of the “Cobbler’s Shoes” comes into play. Most of the time save-the-dates, go out late. Sponsorship packages get set aside. The social media to promote the event goes silent. Learn for the mistakes of others, your club and membership will thank you. Well maybe not, president can be a thankless job.
No community is without a public service need. Non-profits and a 501-3(c) are always looking to marketing help. How about a golf tourney? Media auction? A 24-hour creative marathon? Getting feedback and tips from those that do it well makes all the difference.
Clark Rector, National AAF EVP of Governmental Affairs
This is the most overlooked topic for any president. It was for me. However there are many important Governmental issues that our industry faces on an annual basis. Issues like regulation, tax-deductible advertising spends, and censorship. You may not think they affect you now, but I encourage you to get involved early so that you can help affect real change on issues that directly impact the advertising industry.
Working With Your Board of Directors
John Aguillard, Treasurer, AAF San Antonio
Sometimes managing the a-type personalities on your board can be a struggle, but if you surround yourself with people you trust you’ll have more success. But what step do you take if a board member goes AWOL? What about someone who want to get more involved? What is one of your board members has a different vision for the club? How should you respond?
Teresa Todd, Immediate Past President, AdPros LA
All clubs have special events. Wine tastings, media auctions, 20 Minutes & Beer talks, socials and yes the American Advertising Awards. In this roundtable a president can find the next big thing for their club and turn an ordinary date on the calendar into meaningful content that boosts membership.
Membership Growth and Retention
John McCafferty, Chairman, American Advertising Federation Council of Governors
All the roundtable discussions really are derived from this one. How do we keep our current membership happy? How do we grow and offer more? How does a president articulate the value of an AAF membership to a C-level business leader? All presidents have these same questions, and all former presidents are willing to share what worked for them.
Dawn Reeves, Governor Elect, District 7
This one goes hand in hand with “Working With Your Board of Directors”. It’s only by working with your board that you will be able to craft and staff appropriate committees that help move your club forward.
Are you an incoming president for your local club? If so, make a point to come to ADMERICA next year. Find the extra money in your budget; Hold a special event just to raise the necessary funds. It’s well worth it. And while you’re here make sure you attend the Club Management Roundtables. It will be the most important session of your experience. It was for me. And if you missed it or would like to know more, feel free to reach out to the moderators and ask them questions. Then you can pay-it-forward to your incoming President or maybe even be a moderator at a future roundtable discussion.
About the Author
Joe currently serves on the NA3 committee for the AAF and is a former AAF club president of the Rochester Advertising Federation from District 2. He’s co-owner and Creative Director at Brandtatorship, a boutique advertising agency in Western New York that specializes in forging ideas that help companies take charge of their brand. Read more…