Board Meeting Outcomes

By Aaron Ensminger, Executive Director

January 24, 2020

The National Board of Sertoma met January 9-10, 2020, in Kansas City, Missouri. Below are the decisions that will affect Sertoma policies. These changes will be communicated more specifically as procedures are finalized by staff.

The Board has voted to allow all members to search and view the member database.

Comment: We’ve heard for a long time that access to the member directory should be expanded, and we’ve listened! As of July 1, any member will be able to view any other member’s contact information. 

You’ll have the opportunity to opt out of having your contact information shared at any time, and that opportunity will be publicized many times. You can change your preferences at any time by clicking here.

The Board has voted to remove the requirement for Affiliates to have an Audiologist or licensed Speech-Language Pathologist on staff.

Comment: Again, this is a change Sertoma clubs and members have asked for in the past. Please note that at this time, the requirements for continuing education grants and community grants have not changed.

The Board has voted to change the club building process.

Comment: A new manual is coming soon detailing all of the changes. However, the main changes include:

  • The minimum number of members to charter a new Sertoma club is now 15.
  • From the time of charter, a new club will have one year to hold one fundraiser (for any cause) and one hearing health activity.  A CELEBRATE SOUND® event will fulfill both requirements.

This process will help streamline club building.

The Board has voted to create a National Membership classification.


Under Sertoma, Inc.’s bylaws, the Board of Directors can create nonvoting member classes. The Board has voted to create a National Membership classification. All current members are already National Members of Sertoma by virtue of payment of National Dues. National Members who are not members of clubs will pay the National dues directly to Sertoma. We’ll be able to use this new classification in a lot of new ways to help clubs:

  • We’ll now be able to take prospective members through an entire join process online, and then present them to clubs as a next step of membership, versus potentially losing someone who’s excited about joining because of a delay in contacting them at the club level. We’ll be able to help recruit members for you!
  • We’ll also be able to proactively invite past members to rejoin Sertoma and potentially let them know about clubs they may not realize even exist. In addition, we can proactively create clubs where we have a cluster of interested members but no cohesive network in place.
  • Finally, we’ll provide an easy on-ramp for virtual members (whether they’re club or national members), since we’ll be signing them up nationally!

It’s important to note that this changes nothing about the way that clubs recruit and sign up members now.  It simply creates another pathway to membership and a national pathway to recruit new members.

The Board has voted to create a Corporate Membership Classification.


Clubs have been asking for corporate memberships, and until now, it’s been difficult to include this under our current system. However, we will soon have memberships that are “owned” by a corporation rather than a person. Clubs will be able to use this membership classification to garner more local corporate support, and to also create more valuable partner/sponsor packages. Watch for details on this classification soon.


  • Norm Borchers says:

    These are the most productive changes made by the board in many years. It is a giant step towards getting Sertoma back on a positive footing.
    Keep up the great work.

  • Robert M. White says:

    As the world and society norms change, so must we – Sertoma, Inc.

    Great Work & Teamwork to the Board!

  • Joe Schneider says:

    As a newly elected and Past Regional Director I’m excited to see these changes. It sounds like members of the board are listening to the Sertoma members in their Regions

  • Eddie "D" says:

    Easier to build a club of 15 rather than 25. Providing parameters also helps.
    Corporate participation also a great aid to the club’s membership. Do not like to speak of the past as it shows old age, however, our organization had both in place many years ago. Not sure why we stopped. I am in favor of both changes. Kudo’s to the Board for recognizing the need.

  • Renee Ward says:

    Needed changes! Makes me happy and proud that our club members are sharing things that they would like to see changed and staff is making it happen!! Good leadership!! Sertoma is trending upward!! I’m excited!!

  • C.J. Farr says:

    Great news! Thank you to the board and our leadership for responding to members concerns!
    C. J. Farr

  • Cindy Markham says:

    These changes are awesome! Thank you to the board for responding to Sertomans ideas and concerns! Job well done!

  • Cheryl Cherny says:

    This is great to see! Thank you to the board and staff for all your hard work and for getting the communication out to the members.

  • Mark Daley says:

    The Board deserves an A+ great job 2020 will continue to be awesome for Sertoma

  • Dr. Les Hutchinson says:

    So glad to see the change in requirements for “affiliate” status recognizing how many nonprofit community agencies provide interpreting, social and community support services for people with hearing loss. However, they typically don’t have audiologists on staff since they don’t provide clinical services .

  • Dave Reidel says:

    Well done! Forward thinking to meet today’s challenges.

  • Monica Watts says:

    Quite a productive meeting you had there! Thank you for moving forward!

  • Capt. David Oppenheim says:

    A big “BZ” to our board. (A naval term for saying “a job well done“). This board is doing a great job, as well as our new executive director, of recognizing member input and acting on it. I’m looking forward to the new energy in Sertoma to build bigger and better clubs!

  • Tim Hazel says:

    Sounds like a very productive meeting with a lot of positive outcomes.

    • Gretchen Nielsen says:

      It was great to see you Tim.

  • Don Bartelmay says:

    I want to congratulate the Board on every one of the decisions you made, they ALL will help Sertoma move forward, and make an easier path to, or for continued membership for members who have disbanded Clubs, or who want to affiliate with Sertoma in areas with no Sertoma Club. Corporate membership will help us not only to grow, but to build relationships that will help us to further our Mission of Hearing Health. Great job Sertoma Board, I am proud of your work for our organization.

  • HARVEY says:

    I feel these are great changes and thank the board members for making them.

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