I’m so very excited to begin the new award year as the incoming Chapter President!  That said, the Executive Board has spent the past two weekends completing the planning sessions, reviewing our successes and challenges from last year and gearing up to take on this year with greater clarity and a unified mission.  As a group we revised our Team Charter and aligned the 2023-2024 KRAs to better support the goals of the chapter.  The Member Interest Survey, which had 24 participants, provided the Executive Board with some well needed clarity in areas we need to focus for improvement.  The outcome of which is that this year our primary focus will be growth and member retention.

The Ladies’ Night Out events have become a successful staple of the Oceanside Charter Chapter and will be coordinated through the efforts of Deidre McVay-Schulmeister, Cindy Grossman, and Kristen Heath this year.  The LNO success is attributed to the diversity of venues and offerings that our members have been able to resource.  April, May, and June LNOs were well attended with approximately 15-20 members/guests at each event.  The August LNO event is also one of the chapter fundraisers for the year.  If you can’t attend this fun event, please consider making a donation in support of your Chapter.  Christine Burnette and I will be hosting an evening of networking activities including an instructed class on Paint & Pour at Soulvines Wellness in downtown Melbourne. Attendees will be given a chance to paint, drink/snack, network, and take home their own project.  Members interested in organizing an LNO event should reach out to Deidre at deidremcvay@gmail.com.

As a chapter we are encouraging our seasoned members to share their ABWA stories with us so we can thank them for their tireless dedication to the chapter and community, and enlighten our newer members with just how much is available to them through ABWA.  This year our chapter endeavors to achieve Best Practices Level I, and seven to eight members will be traveling to the National Women’s Leadership Conference in Chattanooga.  Three of the members are new to the chapter and ABWA (two of which are also college students). Members who wish to share their ABWA story can email it to me at paworrow@bellsouth.net or Christine Burnette at bvip321@gmail.com.  Let us know what brought you to ABWA, what keeps you here and what we can do to make your member experience a better one!

This past year our chapter grew by 24 new members, but we were challenged by only 70% retention in our first-year members.  To address this, the Board has created a Sunshine Committee that will have specific goals to reach out to new members to get them engaged in committee activities early, speak to members we haven’t seen in a while to better understand what keeps them away, and to spread the cheer of ABWA as organically as possible.

Upcoming in August, our speaker is Teresa Rand, who will be speaking to the membership on the topic, “Improve Communication by Understanding and Leveraging Personality Types.”  In September we will hear from Elia Twigg, speaking on the topic,  Boosting Productivity: Unleashing Efficiency through Processes, Templates, and SOPs” and in October we have scheduled Dr. Cindy Schmitt to facilitate a speed networking event for the membership.

I am looking forward to what appears to be an exciting year ahead for myself and the Chapter!

~Patricia Worrow