Submitted by Darryl Sweetland, Big SIR 2016
Branch 8 had a very good year in 2016 and continued its successful history of not having a negative membership for the 14th consecutive year. The accomplishment of this milestone can be attributed directly to our members who helped us surpass our Branch goal of 75 first time guests (we had 84) and new member goal of 49 (we had 51). Our membership at year end was 335 active members, an increase of 9 over 2015.
Leadership: The success of any SIR branch can always be traced back to its leadership and 2016 was no exception for Branch 8. As Big SIR I had the benefit of having a strong and experienced Branch Executive Board and together we maintained the high standard set by my predecessors. Mike Long served as Little SIR and will take over the position of Big SIR in 2017. Erland Persson was our Secretary and maintained our meeting minutes and, also kept us all appraised of upcoming monthly responsibilities. Bill Peterson, Attendance Secretary, maintained a close relationship with the Hilton Hotel, advising them of our attendance count, working on the Hilton contract and making sure the luncheons ran smoothly. Bob Barnes, Membership Secretary, among other things keeps the membership records up to date, handled the yearly roster, followed up with inactive members and handles the new member Bio’s. Ron Cassano, Treasurer, and Dennis Fitzpatrick, Assistant Treasurer, handled our overall finances from collecting lunch receipts, paying bills and keeping all our finances straight. Directors Ed Benson, Tony de Losada, Rob Laaback, Jerry Milano and Phil Trapp all contributed to the input, discussions and voting on all matters that pertained to the Branch operation.
Activities: 2016 was another good year for Branch 8 Activities. Led by Phil Trapp, Chairman, and Steve Schramm, Assistant Chairman, we ended the year with 53 activities. Of special note was that we had 10 new Activity Chairman, and 15 new Assistant Chairman. Also of note was that we had Assistant Chairman for 96% of our activities. Once again showing how strong volunteerism within our branch.
Finances: Branch finances remained strong as we ended the year with $10,174.25 in the bank as reported by Ron Cassano, Branch Treasurer, and Dennis Fitzpatrick, Assistant Treasurer.
Important Events and Innovations in 2016 of Note:
- Walt Schick was awarded, postmortem, the high honor of Honorary State Life Membership for his contributions to both the State and Branch 8.
- Branch survey conducted by the Membership Relations Committee Chaired by Tony de Losada. Results from survey were compiled and recommendations were made to the BEC for consideration and, or, implementation.
- Presidents Award: Branch 8 received the 2016 President’s Award for meeting membership goals and having full active participation in RAMP.
- RAMP (Recruitment, Activities, Membership and Publicity) was emphasized by the branch as the cornerstone to a successful SIR Branch.
- New member Bio’s are presented by the Membership Chairman, rather than the new member, at lunch and then posted to the Hotline.
- Activity announcements at lunch are now made by the Activity Chairman rather than by the individual Activity Chairman. Copies of the Activity announcements are then emailed to all members.
- New member program “I’ve Done My Part”. A program where a member receives a bottle of wine and his name tag is changed to a different color when he brings a new member into the branch.
- In 2016 we began publishing the Hotline in a single column format as well as in the two column format. It was well received and we will probably go to only the single column format in 2017.
- Began encouraging members to pay their lunch by check rather than cash making it much easier on our Treasurer.