Board Actions, August 2019

Sertoma Board of Directors

August 23, 2019

At their August 2019 meeting, the Sertoma Board of Directors took the following actions:

  • Cheryl Cherny was approved as the Sertoma representative on the Hearing Charities of America Board.
    • Discussion: The HCOA Board has one member designated as the Sertoma Representative, to serve as a liaison between the two organizations. While there are other Sertomans on HCOA’s board, Ms. Cherny will serve as the official Sertoma representative this year.
  • The Board amended the Policy Statements, Article III, Section C, Paragraph 5 to read: Any member removed by the Board of Directors or members shall be ineligible for holding a National office for a period of 10 years from date of removal.
    • Discussion: This policy was amended to close the loop on the board eligibility requirements.
  • The Board voted to put forth an amendment to the Sertoma bylaws raising annual member dues by $25.
    • Discussion: There are many reasons for this increase, but here are a few:
    • We want to support our clubs better. We’ve told you how we will be cleaning our database, adding fields and search functions, and recognizing what you do better than we have in the past. These initiatives take resources, both in raw dollars and in staff hours. We’d like to do even more, by creating marketing materials you can use in recruiting members and in helping you conduct your club business more efficiently. All of these initiatives take resources.
    • We want to develop a path to membership. In our strategic plan, we’ll be working on recruitment strategies by developing a path to membership for prospective members, ending with new active candidates for you! Developing these materials takes resources.
    • Sertoma dues have not increased since 2012. In that time, inflation has averaged 2% annually, which has affected the cost of doing business for Sertoma. Utilities, insurance, materials have all risen during that time period. We want to continue what we’ve been able to accomplish. Continuing the level of service we have takes resources.
    • What has not risen for Sertoma is salaries for HQ staff, which have remained stagnant in the last five years. Sertoma’s ability to compensate staff will result in a limitation of its ability to find and retain talent to support the organization. We want to ensure the quality of our staff. Hiring and retaining staff takes resources.
    • Just to maintain our current level of service has required the use of operating reserves. Over the past three years, the Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to use our limited resources to simply maintain the current level of operations. This dues increase will allow us to retain those funds and ensure the viability of Sertoma. 
  • We’ll be talking more about this proposed increase in the coming months from different angles, but we believe that this increase is both long overdue and also one that Sertoma needs to begin to support our clubs better.


  • Nancy Humphries says:

    “Raising member dues by $25 annually” sounds like EACH YEAR member dues will be raised by $25. Really??

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Nancy –

      Good catch! No, not really 🙂 the proposal is just one increase, not an annual increase in perpetuity. I’ve updated the post to reflect that. 🙂

  • Jo Carroll says:

    Good Work. Thanks

  • Mary Beth Lyles says:

    Will any dues increase require member approval? I know that it has been voted down by our membership twice in the past 2 years. While it may be needed at the national level due to continued overall decline in membership, it will be a death sentence for many of our clubs. This totally negates what you are trying to accomplish. The only way for Sertoma to survive for the long run is to somehow generate growth overall in membership which would then solve national’s financial woes.

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Mary Beth, I wholeheartedly agree! At the National level, we want to help you with your recruiting! That’s the main reason we’re cleaning and updating the information in our database… so we can send more people in a targeted way to you. We have 5-10 inquiries at the national level per week, and we want to be sure we know what projects you’re involved with locally so that we can send those people who are interested to the best fit!

      • Mary Beth Lyles says:

        This didn’t answer my initial question – does any dues increase have to be approved by the Sertoma membership or does the board have the right to pass this dues increase without membership approval?

        • Merritt Whitley says:

          Hi Mary,

          I’ll step in and answer this question since Aaron is attending a Region Meeting!

          In order for a dues increase to pass, it must be voted upon by members. It cannot be passed by the Board otherwise.

  • Bev Wineso says:

    According to the verbiage the dues increase of $25 annually means “each year National dues will increase by $25”? 2020 to $105 per member, 2021 $130 per member etc? Also means CLUB dues increase EACH year by $25 ie $175 to $200 in 2020, $225 in 2021? When your members turned you down this year for any increase. When our clubs actually experience VALUE from our national admin, they will support dues increases. Just not there yet and this money grab won’t fly right now. The BOARD needs to start listening to the members that elected them.

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Bev, you’re absolutely correct!!! that was a mistype on my part. The Board certainly isn’t asking for a $25 increase in multiple years; I’ve changed the post to reflect that.

      It’s my hope that even in the next year, the changes we’re making nationally will be clear through the Board’s strategic initiatives!

  • Debby Larsen says:

    Congratulations to the Sertoma BOD on making these decisions. We need to make strong again in both membership and financials. Thank you for your leadership.

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