Each month the president of Quota of Flint sends out a message to the members.
Dear Quotarians,
Did you know Quota International of Flint has a secret society? It's called "The Fifth Wheels" and is comprised of all of our past-presidents. Well, okay, it's not really THAT secret, since nearly a third of our members belong to it, but there may be members who don't know about it or what they do.
The tradition is that if the Fifth Wheels choose to meet, they can only do so on the fifth Thursday of a month. I was advised to call upon this illustrious group and was fortunate that one of the year's fifth Thursdays occurred this summer so that I could solicit their collective wisdom before my first year as president went into full-swing.
So, we gathered together on Thursday, July 30th. Kathy Mora graciously made her office available, and Barbara Rumbel contacted each and every one of our past presidents. And every single one was present, save one who was having dental surgery ( I hope you feel better Joy!).
It was a wonderful evening. I bought some pizza and salad. Kathy Mora provided beverages and several people brought desserts ( delicious, delicious desserts). I laid out for the group the four areas in which I am interested in either exploring changes or emphasizing. These include 1) Service, 2) Board Structure, 3) Membership, and 4) Foundation. Our most esteemed parliamentarian, Carolyn Stubbs, suggested a fifth area to look at, and that is the way we structure our meetings (Gasp!).
We set about discussing each of these topics. I was thrilled at how receptive these past-presidents were to my ideas and even more excited by the way they helped me to fine-tune some of the things I was thinking. It was really an incredible evening that energized me for the tasks ahead.
A little bit about the direction we will be moving over the next year: First of all, our business meetings will not be chock-full-o' reporting. We will build in social time and endeavor to deal briefly with the minutia of the organization. Then we will spend the remainder of our time exploring a generative question that helps us with the big issues that will focus our work and sustain and grow our club. The very first issue we will explore in September is Service. I will be asking our Service Committee ( yet to be appointed) to think a little differently about how we award our funds and our time, moving back to a competitive granting process where applicants will challenge us to meet as audacious goal fundraising goal and where they will have to find ways to incorporate our volunteers in the project for which they are requesting funds. The club as a whole, will determine on which of our mission areas we will focus and the Service Committee will set about writing a request for proposals (REP). I anticipate some lively debate. I also anticipate that by moving in this direction, we will make a far greater impact in our community, becoming more widely known, and attract new members to our ranks.
In the coming months, I'll talk more about Membership, our Foundation, and our Board Structure. ( I need to make sure I'll have material to write about for future months' newsletters!) I know, though, we will ensure there is ample discussion about each of these areas so that everyone feels comfortable with the direction we are heading.
Usually the term "chicken" refers to someone who is afraid to do something. In our case, though, in this, our Year of the Chicken, we are going to turn the tables on this phrase and associate chickens with moving forward, taking chances, making an impact, and of course, having fun!
To our Fifth Wheels, and to everyone, I say, "Bawk! Bawk!"
Yours in Quota,
President Shelly Hoffman