Results of 09 Leadership Meeting

LA/OC Chapter Secretary, Mark Alexander, of Alexander Video Productions just got back from the 2009 MCA-I Leadership Conference in Kansas City. He filed this report about the meeting which sets the organization’s course for 2010!

When MCA-I President Lee Vogel suggested we go for a walking tour of the area, our group of 15 was all for it. But as soon as we left the restaurant and stepped outside I almost regretted that decision. It was around 9:30 pm, about 35 degrees and this Southern California native was out of his element! Nonetheless, off we went across the tracks and over to the Union Station in Kansas City, MO. When we stepped inside this very old and historic building we realized it was huge and virtually empty. Of course we just had to check out the echoes. Tourists!

We were in Kansas City for the MCA-I Leadership Conference on October 10th. I arrived Friday night at the Alladin Hotel for what turned out to be a very intense and full Saturday of discussions about where the MCA-I is at right now and where we, as chapter representatives, would like to see things go. It's easy to forget that the MCA-I is truly a member run organization--until you sit in a room with other member-representitives from all over the country! Along with those of us in KC were a number of people taking part online. The agenda was packed.

Membership reported that the numbers are lower when comparing the years 2007 thru 2009. It was suggested that every chapter possibly have someone who is responsible for recruitment and retention. Treasurer Mike Brown reported that actions taken by the board have put the organization on the right track for financial health. Things being as they are, that was good news. The Benefits Committee reported that, based on survey results of chapters, the benefit most people would like to see more of is Health and Dental insurance. This will continue to be examined. Of course there are many other benefits available to members and the committee has been working hard to confirm and enhance those.

Go to the website and see the large number of discounts available for products and services. Benefits are broken into three categories Production Services, Business Services, and Medical. Check them out.

International President-elect Gary Shifflet is coordinating the online "Golden Reel" Media Festival and he reported that it is shaping up to be a success with 88 entries at the time.

Connie Terwilliger provided a comprehensive look at the MCA-I website. This is a huge endeavor and there are many opportunities for members to help with the site and the various modules like "Find A Pro." press releases, articles, eNews, Leaderlinks etc. Anyone who wants to pitch in is encouraged to.

We were given an exercise to do that involved creating a list of needs. Basically answering the question: What is it that the chapters need from the International Organization? We came up with 26 items including such things as: providing access to other chapters meeting ideas, centralized marketing materials, video posting, surveys, free internet hosting, a "help from the experts" section for the website etc. This list was to be whittled down to a workable handful by the end of the day.

After much discussion and debate (polite of course!) motions were made, voted on and passed to:
1) Establish a 3 to 5 person web support committee
2) Establish a 3 person sponsorship committee
3) Eliminate "associate" memberships effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Finally we came back to the list of "needs" that we had created. We took a poll to determine which of those should be considered most important for the organization to keep or develop:
1) Access to other successful chapter programs
2) International webpage volunteers to work on specific modules
3) The Media Festival
4) Member to member “help” forums on the website
5) Leverage the 501(c)3 status
6) Vendor sponsorship

Going forward with these items will require some contribution on the part of everyone in all the chapters. If we want it, we have to make it happen ourselves. At the start of the day Lee expressed his hope that each person there and online would be able to walk out with a plan that they were excited about, could take to their chapters and would get behind and contribute toward. By the end of the day we all felt we accomplished those goals.

It was hard work but the MCAI is certainly moving forward and improving. Along with the work itself, we had fun and made some new friends. Maybe that comes from being huddled together out in the cold late at night waiting for a cab. Turn up the heat, please.

Mark Alexander
Alexander Video Productions