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Delegates Say ‘Bienvenue’ to Two New Chapters at the Spring Leadership Summit & Council Meeting in Montreal
Mid-Year Committee Reports Highlight Organization’s Progress
Director of Marketing & Communications
The CREW Network organization expanded its reach into two new markets after delegates approved the affiliation requests of CREW Idaho and CREW Iowa during the recent Spring Leadership Summit & Council Meeting held in Montreal. CREW Network now has chapters in 76 major markets across the United States and Canada.
Said CREW Network President Diane Butler, “We are thrilled to welcome CREW Idaho and CREW Iowa into our organization. Both markets offer unique opportunities for our members to do business and the members of those markets now have 8,000 instant contacts within 75 additional markets across North America. This is an exciting time for everyone in CREW Network.”
CREW Network’s Canadian members received good news when President Butler announced that the Montreal office of Norton Rose Canada has agreed to serve as CREW Network’s registered agent in Canada. This partnership is important particularly for CREW Network Foundation to now be able to recognize tax deductible contributions from the Network’s Canadian members. CREW Network Foundation is in the process of completing its registration to become a Canadian charitable organization. This announcement comes at a critical time for CREW Network Foundation. Foundation Chair Kathy Carr announced that Foundation donations are down considerably at this point in the year and reminded delegates that these donations are what fund CREW Network’s career outreach programs, scholarships and research. This message was not lost on the delegates who made personal donations on the spot totaling nearly $5,000.
The updates CREW Network board members provided regarding the current work of the national committees all pointed to one thing; CREW Network never stops working to bring value and excellence to its members, chapters and the industry. Angela O’Byrne, board liaison to the Audit Committee announced that the audit went very well and was approved by the committee. Said, O’Byrne, “I am proud to be part of an organization that is so well run and well managed. For this organization to be as healthy as it is during these times is a real tribute.”
Kris Beason, board liaison to the Scholarship Selection Committee, announced that the committee selected five undergraduate and, new this year, two graduate students to receive scholarships totaling $45,000. The winners are currently being notified and will be formally announced during the 2012 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace in Chicago. Beason announced that the committee received a record number of applications this year and attributed this to the dedicated efforts of chapters to contact universities and make connections.
CREW Network members can expect to see a new white paper published by the end of the year. Board member Tina Makoulian described the Industry Research Committee’s current project as being research that is more inwardly focused. The white paper will focus on the leadership characteristics of successful women in the industry. The committee wanted to build on the LPI assessment taken by the delegates earlier this year and take a more in-depth look at the assessment. The committee will focus specifically on leadership characteristics that lead to success and look for data and trends pointing to areas where women should focus more and influence the training CREW Network provides. The committee will use the LPI Assessment results of CREW Network members and leaders within the industry as the basis for the paper.
Two task forces were assembled this year; one to study the vendor membership category in order to develop a working definition for chapters, and the other to study ways to increase the effectiveness of communications between CREW Network, chapters and members.
Based on the request of delegates at the 2012 Winter Council Meeting, the Vendor Membership Task Force will present delegates with a proposed vendor membership definition to discuss at the Fall Leadership Summit & Council Meeting in October. Once approved, the definition will be submitted to chapters as a best practice.
The Chapter Communications Task Force identified an opportunity at the delegate-level to improve communications. A survey of delegates revealed that 53 percent of delegates do not present monthly reports to their chapter boards and 84 percent do not present monthly reports to their memberships. Further, nearly 70 percent of delegates responded that they received no training prior to assuming the delegate role. Delegates suggested several ideas for improving these statistics, which include a video training tool, monthly sound bites and a dedicated Web page for delegates to access and share resources.
Finally, delegates participated in a leadership development training session delivered by Julie Benezet, founder and managing principal of Business Growth Consulting LLC. During the session, Benezet discussed the differences between managers and leaders. She describes the leadership mindset as being “a frame of mind that sees the strategic opportunity in every operational moment and is comfortable with the discomfort of not knowing.” During the session, delegates took time to explore their personal “drivers” (core passions that move you into the future) and “hooks” (things/behaviors that get in your way and pull you back) and identified the role those play within their careers and relationships.
Delegates will convene for the final meeting of the year in Chicago later this fall when CREW Chicago plays host to the 2012 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace, October 24-27. Rally you chapter members to attend this year’s convention - the chapter with the highest percentage of members attending will win two free convention registrations for 2013. Register now at www.crewnetwork.org.