Leadership Category

Updates from the Executive Director

In turbulent times, we often look to our places of belonging. For lots of us, Sertoma is that place, and we’re honored to be just that for so many of you.

With that in mind, I’ve been trying to let other people talk in this space, but if you’ve met me, you know how difficult it is for me to stay quiet for very long. There’s so much to talk about!

First off, so many of you are using Zoom and other virtual means to meet… I love seeing your gallery screenshots! Keep posting them and sending them in!

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When Is It Safe to Start Meeting Again?

We know that many of our clubs are eager to begin meeting again. We miss our service to others, we miss our stewardship, and perhaps most of all, we miss each other! 

As your club begins to consider returning to “normal” by resuming in-person meetings, we encourage you to consider the following:

  • Follow all meeting guidelines and laws from the Center for Disease Control, as well as state and local government and health agencies. It’s important to make sure that your club is in compliance with allrecommendations. If you are not sure what’s in effect in your area,

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Changes for Our 2020 National Convention

Monday night, the Sertoma Board of Directors held a conference call to discuss the upcoming National Convention. The health and safety of our members is our highest priority. In addition, it’s highly likely that local guidelines will not allow gatherings of our size. As a result, we have decided not to hold an in-person convention in 2020. Sertoma staff will issue refunds for all registrations to this point. Please call the InterContinental Hotel at (855) 516-1093 to cancel your reservations. 

However, we are excited to announce that we will instead be holding a Virtual Convention on Saturday,

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Volunteering from Home

Like me, I know many Sertomans are wanting to help people in this challenging time.  We want to be of SERVICE TO MANKIND but are stuck in our houses.  It can be difficult to find ways to help people while maintaining social distance.  The wonderful news is there are many ways to help people around the country and around the world, without leaving our house.

I have found twenty-nine different places with very diverse volunteer opportunities, that you as an individual or as a club can volunteer and make a difference.  There are sites that you can help a student make sound career decisions,

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Headquarters Updates in the age of COVID-19

After some correspondence with members over the past couple of days, it occurs to me that I haven’t updated everyone in quite some time! My apologies… I’ve been so head down with the day-to-day, I’ve neglected these updates! There’s a lot to get to, so let’s jump right into it!

First, I want to thank everyone who voted in Sertoma’s recent elections/ballot question. And special congratulations to Renee Ward and Cindy Markham on their elections to the National Board! The individual member dues question was approved, and that money will be extremely helpful in first, easing the operational deficit your HQ has been operating with,

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Club Meetings: Pandemic Style


These days it’s hard to watch the news or scroll through Facebook without hearing someone mention Zoom. While it’s only one of many video conferencing tools available, it seems to have become the most talked about. As we continue to keep our distance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing is bridging the physical gap and allowing us to safely socialize in all areas of our daily lives using what had been a corporate tool. Even the Sertoma staff is using Zoom for staff meetings!

So why talk about Zoom here on the Sertoma website? Because Sertoma has a business account with Zoom that is used by the board,

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Club Learning Doesn’t Have to Stop When You Can’t Meet

During their third quarter calls to clubs, Communications Specialists found out what you – club leadership and members – wanted in regards to Sertoma training. Thanks to your feedback, we are hard at work developing new educational content that you can enjoy from a distance.

However, you don’t have to make your learning experience a solo one! Our brief video trainings (usually no longer than 10 minutes a piece) are prime material for a virtual board or club meeting. Just send out the link ahead of time so that participants can view the selected training; then, with a few prepared talking points and a moderator,

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Sertoma and COVID-19

The Executive Committee of Sertoma’s National Board met last night to discuss COVID-19 as it relates to Sertoma’s upcoming National Convention.

After discussion, we will be following guidance of local, state, and national authorities.  At this time, neither the Kansas City area nor the state of Missouri has advised against gatherings of the size of our convention. We expect attendance to be under 150, which is well below every governmental agency’s threshold for guidance on canceling. As that guidance changes, however, we will surely look at postponing or canceling this event. In the absence of that guidance, we want to let you know of the actions we are taking:

  • First and most importantly,

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New Changes to Voting

In an effort to encourage more participation in Sertoma’s elections, we’ve changed the voting process this year… you’ll now be able to vote online or via paper ballots!

If you’ve been voting online and are comfortable with the process, that process will not change. However, if you’d like to vote via mail, please read on!

When you receive your Sertoma Digest in the mail in late March, you’ll find a ballot that you can tear out and send in. We’ll be counting both online and paper ballots together. Your mailed ballot must fit the following criteria:

  • Your ballot must be mailed directly to Sertoma HQ,

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It’s Our Future We’re Talking About

Before the ball dropped in Time Square to ring in the New Year, John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine” was performed. The song asks the listeners to imagine an existence in which there is no heaven, hell, war, religion, possessions, and no need for greed or hunger. Now, I am asking you, can you imagine an existence without Sertoma?

If this was the case, in many communities, there would be no camps for deaf and hard of hearing children, programs for disadvantaged youth, hearing aid recycling programs and more. Think about the local programs your clubs have established and maintained,

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Board Meeting Outcomes

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,

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IRS Deadlines and Forms. Here’s What You Need to Know!

Did you know that your club is required to file a form 990 with the IRS each year? The IRS has three versions, and the form that you will use is based upon your club’s gross income.

990 Filing Thresholds
  • Gross Income < $50,000   990-N
  • Gross Income < $200,000 and Gross Assets < $500,000   990-EZ
  • Gross Income $200,000 and Gross Assets $500,000   990

For the majority of clubs (if your fiscal year begins July 1) then your filing is due November 15. Your club’s deadline ultimately depends on your fiscal year.

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Join the Sertoma Board!

Were you born to be a leader? Are you driven and determined to build a stronger future for Sertoma? If the answer is yes, then we want you to join our Sertoma team.

The Sertoma Board of Directors are seeking candidates for Director at Large (three-year term) and Junior Vice President. To apply, please send in a bio and high resolution electronic photo to Aaron Ensminger at aensminger@sertomahq.org.

If you would like to be featured in the winter Sertoman magazine, please submit your bio and photo to Aaron. In order to be included on the ballot,

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Change is Good!

As a new Mission Specialist, I’m thankful for this opportunity to highlight a few of my favorite upgrades to our Sertoma Annual Fund. When I first learned that there were changes to the Annual Fund donation levels my initial reaction was, ‘Oh no, more changes?’ I was pleasantly surprised, however, to learn that the changes included a few new affordable levels of monetary giving as well as recognition for giving on a larger level including hosting a CELEBRATE SOUND® event. 

First, let me talk about the new Sustaining Member level.  Think of a membership donation to your local non-profit TV or radio station during their annual pledge drive,

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Board Actions, August 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.

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Resolution Committee’s Update

Adopted by the Sertoma Board on February 7, 2019

At the February Board meeting held by a conference call, the Resolution Committee reported their recommendations to the full Board.  The Board adopted the recommendations of the committee.  Of the six resolutions presented prior to the Resolution Committee meeting, the following items came from members and clubs during the Region meetings in the fall of 2018.

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Online Member Management Update

As everyone has probably read by now, a new process is in place for club officers to use for club member management, and for our national volunteers to request information for their assigned areas. After more than a year of working with the developer of the 10-year-old custom module, it was clear that this change to the previous member management module and process was necessary…

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Member Management Module Update

Sertoma club officers and national volunteers,

Previously, we shared with you that the incremental progress of normal computer upgrades and updates were affecting Sertoma’s 10-year-old custom member management module. We worked with the developers at Blackbaud for more than a year on this project…

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Spring Solicitation Mail Correction

Attention clubs and treasurers,

We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication that has recently occurred. The spring club solicitation letters that were mailed out in late March were meant for the clubs who have NOT given within the last few years.

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Train a Trainer for Your Club!

Do you ever wish you had a trainer and great training materials readily available within your club? Now you can! All clubs have an opportunity to send a member to a special “Train the Trainer” event at the 2018 Convention in Kansas City.

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The Dues Debate

Most of us would probably like to have dues remain where they are, but then again, most of us would probably prefer to not make a car payment or take a trip to the grocery store. Sadly, during the past decade cost increases have continued to add up while our membership has not. The result is growing expenses and shrinking revenues.

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Building Bridges and Increasing Growth

Building bridges defines the work we need to secure the future of Sertoma. Our future requires us to build bridges in new communities. We must engage people and organizations in new ways to develop the volunteers, donors and members to expand our hearing health mission. Our future requires us to build a bridge to our current members and clubs, so that we can support their work to develop the human and financial resources needed to expand their local sponsorships. This is the work we have undertaken in our Vision 2020 Plan.

To see that happen, there is one more bridge we must build.

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2017 Convention Follow Up

It was great seeing everyone at Convention this year. For those who missed out, don’t worry, we’ll catch you up on a few key details!  Find out who joined the Board(s) and won some of the year’s biggest awards.

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Sertoma Elections 2017

Sertoma elections will be held in March to determine the roles of Sertoma Vice President and Director at Large.  Online member voting will be available March 31 – April 9. Chapter voting ballots will be mailed out February 21, and must be postmarked on or before April 3.

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2017 Club Development Workshops

The Secret to Recruiting and Retaining Members, Volunteers and Donors

It’s not a secret, really. All that is involved is understanding three simple principles, and these will allow you to overcome the barriers to people’s time and money.

Why – People want to know the difference their time and money
will make – it has to be important to them. So, the difference that
your club makes in the community has to be clear, meaningful
and measureable.

Engaging Communication – People spend a lot of time today
screening out communication.

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2016-2017 Board Openings

Are you looking to become involved in Sertoma at the national level? There are three board openings for 2016-2017: Two Directors-At-Large (2 & 3 Year Term) and one Vice President. Being involved at the club and district levels are great ways to prepare for the National level. If you are ready to fulfill the responsibility of the future of Sertoma please consider running for a Board member position.

Advice from current and past Board members on what it means to be on the National Board:

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Year End Wrap-Up

Once upon a time a young father-to-be joined a group of men to help St. Joseph, Missouri become a better community. He experienced a way people can come together from different walks of life and help their community. He learned how to serve as its President. He grew in knowledge and opportunities to become the District Governor and see clubs in the area and how they help their communities. He experienced a variety of cities that had Sertoma and many people whose lives had been touched and changed by the services received. Later he served on the Sertoma Foundation Board as a Trustee and worked with volunteers to merge the Foundation and Sertoma International into Sertoma,

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