A reflection on where we’re at, and a visit with your staff!

February 24, 2020

So last week was a big one at your Sertoma HQ. We have a second story that hasn’t been used in close to 20 years, and we decided to spread out a little bit and move some offices upstairs. It gives us a full room to use for the Hearing Aid Project and also eliminates some sharing of offices. We spent Tuesday morning dodging movers as they took boxes and desks and chairs up and down stairs and we’re about set, I think!

In preparation for the move I spent part of last weekend filling the 30 foot rolloff dumpster we had brought in. After I finished getting rid of what I needed to from the office, I walked around the yard and threw branches that have fallen off the trees in the winter. It was a grey day, and it would’ve been easy to feel like it was a depressing one, too… picking up trash and branches in the grey dead of winter.

Instead, I felt an awareness of what we’re in the midst of here at Sertoma: a new energy and a new way of thinking about what we do. Your National Board is hard at work looking at our programs and policies and making changes based on your feedback. Take a look at some of the first wave of decisions here. We’ve got groups working on our meetings, club structures, and lots more even now.

And your National Staff is working too. We’re creating new leadership documents and trainings that more accurately reflect who we are today, and we’re looking for ways to help you do what you do better. In fact, I’d like to introduce you to everyone here at your National Headquarters. Merritt has moved on since we made this video, but we’ll have a new staff member to introduce to you shortly!

So why detail all of this? It’s because I need to do something that I don’t usually do, and that’s weigh in on a ballot issue that’ll be before you in April. The National Board has proposed a $25 dues increase for Sertoma.

The reasons for this increase have been explained by different board members on this site, and you’ll undoubtedly hear more in the coming weeks. However, the largest one for me is this: We want to be able to help your clubs better. We understand that not all clubs need the same things. Some need marketing help. Some need leadership training. Some need publicity, and member recruitment help. We want to help you with what you need, and that means finding new avenues through which to help. Sometimes that means a new online system. Sometimes that means a club visit. Sometimes, it may mean some extra creative work here in the office.

Your headquarters office has run at an operating deficit for three years, and this increase allows us to begin to erase that. It allows us to be nimble and make decisions and try programs that can help. It gives us the capacity to identify new systems that we can use organization-wide to help you work in your local community. And moreover, it helps strengthen Sertoma for its next hundred years.

If you or your club would like to talk more, let me know! I’m happy to, because as I’ve told leaders in the past few months–my time is yours. It’s our privilege to help you do what you do better.


1 Comment

  • Gretchen Nielsen says:

    I can say whole heartedly that serving on the board with you is an exciting adventure. Being on the board in the past was different. Now it feels like we are truly making a difference for our clubs, all of our clubs. Thanks for your leadership. I look forward to the next three years and all the great things we are going to do as a board and m po re importantly as an organization.

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