I have been browbeating all of you about the fact that I intend to take a break from being President of BARS for the past three years. Election day for us is Wednesday, 11/4/20. That day is coming up quickly and I would like to share some thoughts about this situation and what it means for our club.
The current election slate is:
Vice President: Kayla Creamer, W2IRY
Secretary: Scott Ginsburg, K1OA
Treasurer: Bruce Anderson, W1LUS
BOD Member: Mike Raisbeck, K1TWF
BOD Member: Henry Christle, WA1VAB
(Ex-Officio: Andy Wallace, KA1GTT – with Tom Walsh, K1TW’s departure in that seat as former President)
First of all, an empty seat for President would be a very bad thing for BARS. I hope you will agree that in my three year term, a lot of things BARS has done have done well. We have cleaned up some clutter. We’ve started some new ways of doing old things. We’ve expanded things we already did. And we have welcomed new, enthusiastic, active members in. Look at Bruce’s membership reports and you should be ecstatic as I am that BARS has over 100 people who think joining us for $15 (or for free, after passing an exam) is a bargain and well worth the enjoyment.
I can’t take credit for all that. These efforts were by a TEAM, a wonderful one, and these team members have been producing for multiple years. Five people are willing to keep at it while I take a bit of a rest and remain on the Board in a lesser role. Bravo! And make no mistake, I have ENJOYED being President for three years and helping produce what we have. But I want to pause before I am burnt out.
To that end, my opinion was that finding a new President for BARS was not a task for the current President. I tasked my BOD with going out and beating the bushes. And they did. I did not dictate who they would call or what they would say. I simply impressed upon them for the 10th time that finding someone to lead the club was our most important task in this unusual year. Previous writings and announcements by me impressing the need for a President on the club yielded no response. So we didn’t have any volunteers. We discussed who to call, kicked around several names. This was a tough conference. We knew some folks had been excellent club officers in the past – but they had done their time and probably would not step up again because they had done it several times already. BARS has been around since the 1970s, remember.
So with that the BOD made some phone calls and tried to plead the case. They called many good folks, and I am sure they used their best vacuum-cleaner-salesmen tactics.
THESE FOLKS ALL SAID NO.
In a previous meeting Zoom I said well, I can’t hold that against them. They have their reasons. Just like I have my reasons for stepping down. But someone later discussed with me that no, don’t be so soft – if people are enjoying what BARS does, they should also be willing to take a part in running it.
After thinking about that awhile, I agree. How important is BARS to you?
The BOD actually discussed the idea of running “headless” without a President. Some clubs apparently have that situation – and are surviving, somehow. But make no mistake, they must also be struggling. Imagine BARS with no President, trying to take on some fun new project to promote – a CW class, a kit build, some sort of get-on-the-air coordinated activity. How tough would that be to pull off successfully simply via committee?
Henry, WA1VAB, is probably my biggest cheerleader and he has suggested that I remain as President but delegate most of my duties downward to the BOD. He believes with their support I could have my workload eased. That could be true, and sets the bar somewhat above “headless” – but I prefer to take more of a break.
At an earlier ARRL Convention in Boxborough I attended a presentation about growing your club. The presenter made the point that you need to train your replacement. Bruce Blain, K1BG, also said that to me recently. Fingers then pointed at our VP, Kayla, W2IRY. I do my best to deflect that discussion because as “normal” as Kayla’s ascension from VP to P might be I know her personal schedule would not allow it. And I am pleased she’s willing to do the myriad of things she does as VP already. So we need to find another way.
So how can I convince ONE OF YOU to take a term as President?
Maybe I am doomed – if it was so easy I wouldn’t have to step down and if it was so hard why would anyone want it? In BOD discussions we were trying to think about how much time it takes to be President. Someone estimated it may take two hours a week of work to be President of BARS. Someone else told me that was not enough time. So I began to think about all the regular things I do as President trying to hold things together for my friends in the Billerica Amateur Radio Society.
-Run the club meeting (once per month, now on Zoom for the duration): 2 hrs/mo
-Coordinate a time, present agenda, and run the BOD meeting (if needed): 1-2 hrs/mo
-Make Club announcements via website or email: 1 hr/mo
-Coordinate columns and input for newsletter, if needed: 30 mins/mo
-Find speakers to present each month: 1 hr/mo
-Write opening column for newsletter: 1 hr/mo
-Answer questions about BARS coming in via contact form on www.w1hh.org or elsewhere: 15 mins/mo
-Act on BOD or club decisions (communications, club project, activity, housekeeping, website): 30 mins/mo
So there it is – on a good month without major issues – TWO HOURS OF YOUR TIME PER WEEK will keep this club alive.
Will someone with the enthusiasm to facilitate BARS surviving into 2021 please step up? You won’t have to do it ALL. A TEAM of six experienced people will share the load with you. You don’t have to have ambitious plans or knowledge – I will be happy if BARS continues on a steady course, as I have said. But we need a leader. Right now.
President, Billerica Amateur Radio Society