Go Northwest Region! First of all, I would like to say how honored I am to be the Regional Vice President for 2013-2014. As the Regional Membership and Retention Chairman, this is a very important position.
Our members are the VIPs of our Region and the FRA. As a national committee member for membership and retention, I take this position very seriously. As of November 2013, FRA had 61,557 members…sounds like a lot, but in the last ten years we have lost 70,678 members!! There are several factors that have caused this decline…deaths, nonpayment of dues, branches closing, etc. Now more than any time in our existence we must stand together to keep our members and recruit. The care of our members and branches is our top priority.
Recruiting new members will not cure our problems. Long standing members are the backbone of our Association. New members won’t last long if we don’t train them and give them a sense of being important to our future. Encourage their involvement and show them how important they are. Branch meetings need to be fun, exciting and informative (try new things, fund-raisers, and activities). Shipmates, we are family and we need to take care of our own. Incentives for recruiting can be retention dinners, potlucks, branch awards, as well as National awards. When someone joins, give welcome aboard packets that could include hats, stickers, pens, shirts, patches, etc. I don’t have all the answers and I need the help of all the branches…call me, email me, or write me. The size of our branches and our region is important, but if we can’t retain our members, we will shrink as an Association.
We are in the midst of the holiday season and I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year! The goal for the new year is for each member to recruit one new member and take care of our current members.
I work for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In Loyalty, Protection and Service,
Mike Archer, Vice President