Let me begin by thanking you all for your prompt response to my request for your list of goals for the upcoming year. I also thank you all for your dedication, and the commitment you have made to the Grand Council. It is obvious to me, after reviewing your submissions, we all share in that deep passion that is Theta Gamma. Tis Well, for we have set some lofty goals to achieve in the upcoming year.
What I have done is taken all of your submissions and set them side by side for comparison. Not surprisingly many of your goals are shared, others are overlapping, while some are loosely linked yet linked together none the less. That being the case I have combined that information into one list. I then ranked that list by order of importance to you, and necessity to moving forward in the most efficient and effective way. It was also necessary while developing this list to take into consideration that some of these objectives are contingent on the prior development of others. That is to say that all of these thoughts and ideas are important, however they must be approached systematically in order to create a coherent plan to attain all of our goals.
- Fully Utilize the Website
- Make it the central hub for communication between the council, the active chapters, and the corporate boards
- Utilize the site for educating active chapters about the Fraternity
- Historical records
- Current documents
- Utilize the site as a data collection center for the Fraternity
- Alumni database for all brothers
- Active chapter officer information
- Corporate board officer information
- Increase Attendance and Participation
- Collect contact information for all councilmen who have been inducted since the reestablishment of the Grand Council.
- Contact every councilman and attempt to bring them back into the fold
- Develop ideas to draw them back
- Collection of past dues
- Restructuring of Convention
- Mailing to all councilmen to include agenda items
- Development of effective early registration process
- Greater promotion of event
- Making sure we have printed copies of
- Previous convention meeting minutes
- Officer reports
- Increased Presence of Councilmen at Active Chapters
- Reestablish the Scholarship Fund
- Reassess current strategic planning committee
- Development of committees which are conducive to supporting a strategic plan
- Document review committee
- Best practices committee
- Risk management committee
Now I would like to briefly touch base on each of these goals, some of my thoughts in regards to them, as well as some of the policies I expect you as officers to adhere to in achieving them. I myself do not believe that any of them are out of reach. I do believe we all must work together as a team in order to bring them to fruition. Though I expect differences of opinion there is no room for divisiveness amongst any of us.
We all realize that the utilization and development of the website is crucial to securing and fostering the future growth of the Fraternity. I need everyone to assist Joe Bithorn in any way they can. I need everyone to promote it. Once again this is going to be the central hub for us to conduct business. At the risk of sounding like a broken record here, I will state once more, “Fraternal business is not Facebook material”. I expect you all to abide by my rule of not conducting business there. Share pictures of your kids, your dog, your vacation, but do not discuss fraternity business there.
Increasing attendance and participation is vital to our existence. Though this is listed as our second goal it is actually just as important as the website development, and in many ways the two go hand in hand. We all come from different eras which together cover thirty years of this Fraternity. Collectively we know, and have the ability to reach out to thousands of brothers. I need you all to do just that. Since the reestablishment of the Grand Council 290 brothers have been inducted. If we were to collect $25.00 from each of them that would amount to $7250.00 in revenue for the council. Keep in mind that that figure does not take into account back dues.
Restructuring of the convention is going to be very important. My hope is that through addressing the tasks associated with this goal we will be able to increase not only the attendance but also increase the productivity of the council in session. Again I need you all to promote the convention. As convention draws closer next year I will need you all to be prepared.
Increased presence of councilmen at the active chapters. I strongly encourage councilmen to visit the chapters anytime they have the opportunity. I ask that you all follow a few guidelines when you do. First of all remember that when you do you are a guest of that chapter, and as such you need to respect the rules of the chapter you are visiting. Keep in mind that our goal is to help the active chapters, and that condescending behavior will serve only to drive a wedge in the relationships we are working so hard to establish. When visiting other chapters if you see something you think should be addressed please bring it to my attention. Basically gentlemen when you are visiting chapters enjoy the hospitality of your hosts, offer the assistance you can provide befitting the duties of your office, and observe and report to me the best practices as well as any ways you think we can assist the chapter to improve.
The reestablishment of the scholarship fund is self-explanatory. Joe Alamia will be taking steps to create a separate interest earning account into which we will be place the full amount that was received from the Alpha chapter in 2014 (The Old Grand Council Account).
On the topic of committees I will say that if this past convention showed us anything, it would be that we need to reassess the strategic planning committee. The need for a strategic plan is undeniable, however the work of developing that plan is far too great a task to be properly completed by just one committee. This being the case we will be further ahead by developing several committees assigned to much more specific tasks. Ryerson Mausert has offered to assist in our committee work, and I will be working with him to create a cohesive and comprehensive structure of committees and subcommittees. I ask you all to direct councilmen who would be willing to participate in committee work to contact me through the website.
As to the topic of expansion. There really is not much to say. We all want to see our Fraternity grow, and I have never met a brother opposed to the establishment of new chapters. The system is in place, and needs only to be followed. I will send this information to all of you.
The goal of fundraising for the Grand Council is in my mind one that we must look very closely at. Our own operating costs in comparison to those of the active chapters are quite minimal. There should be no reason that we should need more than the collection of dues, keeping in mind that we will be pushing to increase participation, to conduct our business. My question to you all would have to be, in a time when Nu chapter is trying to raise money to buy a house, as well as Alpha, Gamma, and Delta raising money for upkeep of their own houses, is it wise for us to seek donations for the Grand Council? Rather, I think we would be far better off assisting the chapters by helping them to promote their fundraising efforts, and place links to their paypal accounts on the new website.
Vice Grand Exalted Master: Steve Wozniak
Steve, I need you to of course perform your chapter visits, and prepare your reports. I also want you to assist Joe Bithorn with his work on the website. In addition when we have collected contact information for all of our councilmen I will be asking you to assist in reaching out to them.
Grand Secretary Treasurer: Joe Alamia
Joe, I need you of course to continue to carry out the duties of your office as you have. Please keep me posted as to the reestablishment of the scholarship fund. I also will need you to assist Joe Bithorn with the website.
Grand Editor: Joe Bithorn
Joe, please continue your work on the development of the website. Feel free to seek the assistance of any of us. Of course I will need you to work on the Bulletin, please keep me posted as to your thoughts for the layout.
Grand Chaplain: Darren Barcomb
Darren, I need you to fulfill the duties of your office. Please begin to prepare a ritual training presentation to be offered at next year’s convention. I also would appreciate you keeping me posted as to the findings of your ritual equipment inventory of the chapters. I know you have stated that you would like to attend pledging events at different chapters, please remember that the Grand Councils concern with the active chapter pledge programs is only in relation to the proper performance of the rituals.
Grand Historian: Roger Willingham
Roger, please work on collecting historical information from the active chapters. I also need you to work with Joe Bithorn to get historical documents, and historical information on to the website. Of course you and I need to get together and go through the archives at some point.
Grand Alumni Secretary: Kevin Kavanaugh
Kevin, I have one top priority assignment for you to focus on right now. I need you to track down contact information for every single living councilmen. I need that information collected and ready to go by May 1, 2016. Of course continue your work on the master database, and make sure that all of that information is passed on to Joe Bithorn so it can be incorporated into the website.
Grand Advisors: Pat Boire, and Mick Collins
P.B., Please relay the information you get concerning the facilities and pricing for the resort in Lake George.
Mick, I would like your help in developing a plan to reach out to our inactive council members, and bring them back into the organization.
It goes without saying that I will, as I always have, be relying on the wisdom and advice of both of you as we move forward.
Grand Exalted Master: Pat Carey
I will be focusing the majority of my attention on the restructuring of the convention, and the development of a committee structure which will be conducive to the development of a comprehensive ten year plan.
One Final note. Our administration has a responsibility to set an example for the entire membership of Theta Gamma as a whole. I expect differences of opinion, as well as a degree of debate. More importantly though I expect each of you to be understanding and open minded. I also expect you all to follow and uphold the majority decisions of this board. Our goals are too great to undermine ourselves. If you do not like something let’s talk about it, but let’s keep it in the confines of the executive board. At the end of each day let’s offer each other our brotherly love and move on. We do not need any loose cannons going off and sinking this ship.
Well there you have it gentlemen, there is the plan. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to respond. If you do, please do so in this email thread and reply all. THANK YOU!!!!
Always In The Bonds,