Brian Magness



Monthly Letter to the membership


Chapter, District and State Elections are over. There may be some new faces doing the job or they may be the same, but one thing remains, the Job needs to be done. Congratulations to everyone for either taking the leap or for continuing the trip. Either way, realize that you are not alone. You have a ton of tools to help you, and you should take advantage of them. Everything from the Officer tools online to the knowledge of your State Officers and your predecessors. Lean on the ones who have done the Job and tweak it with your new ideas. Do your newer or prospective Members know who you are? Do they know what your responsibilities are? Do you know what is being asked of your position?

It’s a belief that the organization and what we stand for should speak for itself.  How do prospective members know all this?  The only way they will is through us.  We need to provide them with as much information as we can so they can make an informed decision on whether to join or not.  We’ve seen that sometimes we lose our excitement and think we don’t have to spell things out.  Well, if they don’t know the what’s and the why then they won’t want to have anything to do with us, now or in the future.  The truth is that people who become interested are looking for something.  We must provide that ‘something’. Introduce yourself as often as you can and let people know what you have to offer.

One way to do this is by maintaining the level of excitement you had when you first joined A.B.A.T.E. of PA.  It can be contagious!  You have felt it and now it’s time to pass it on.  When you meet that prospective, new member make them feel like they are part of your Family.  All it takes is a “Hey, how’s it going?”, eye contact when talking, an attention to what they have to say and maybe just an introduction as a Chapter Officer.  If you show that you have an interest in them, they’ll listen to the rest of what you have to say.

Another way to show people you are sincere about your job is through your meetings.  You finally got people to your meeting so why not make your meeting accomplish ‘something’.  Maybe you need to restructure, stick to Robert’s Rules, prepare an Agenda to be followed by everyone, follow the COP’s, or just have your meetings on the same day every month at the same location every month.  Families are built on structure.  If your meetings are just a get-together to complain about other members and issues or to just talk about your events, then that’s not really spreading what the organization is about.  Remember, they are new.  They don’t know what’s supposed to be going on.  Explain it to them through your preparation for the meeting, your Officer involvement in the meeting, what your committees are doing and just the overall vibe that we know what we are here for.  Show them that you know what you are doing.

As a Membership Officer, you really have the second most important position in your Chapter.  It’s not just about filling out the paper and sending it in.  It’s about the “hugs”.  It’s about making everyone feel important.  It’s about taking care of problems particular members may have.  It’s about being excited to fulfill the position you have assumed.  So, basically, we are all Membership Officers!  If it wasn’t for the members, we wouldn’t be enjoying all the freedoms we have.  Strength in numbers!  Who tells us about our goals and our next issue to tackle?  Well, that’s the LC.  They have the most important position because they keep us informed.  We wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t have something to work towards.  Guess what, we all have ‘something’ to work towards.  The success of our Chapters.  Everyone should encourage their Membership Officer.

One of the best ways to know what your responsibilities are is through the COP’s. The absolute BEST way to get this knowledge is by learning from the people who have been there. There is an L&L in January, and your State Officers are working on some ways to make sure newer Officers get the training they need. This is where some very knowledgeable people devote a lot of time to explaining what your job is. Most of us really like to talk. The tools you will come away with are invaluable and you should come out of it with a renewed sense of excitement. One good YouTube video, already out there, is “ABATE of PA Being a Successful Chapter”. Whether you are an Officer or not, check it out.

Once again, CONGRATULATIONS and Thanks for your dedication. We’ll see you somewhere on the trip

Peace and Ride Safe.

Brian Magness

State Membership Officer, A.B.A.T.E. of PA