State Communications Director

Monthly Letter to the membership

March 2022

It been a very productive fall and winter for A.B.A.T.E. of PA communications.  I’ve worked countless hours managing Office 365, preparing for the L&L and bringing the new website online. Dedicating the time would have been much more difficult for me had this been during the riding season!  Here is an update on where we stand today.  First, I’ll talk about Office 365 and then an update on the new website.

We have 70+ users on Office 365 as of February 28.   As users request an account, they are added day by day.  March 9 will be the first monthly online training session for officers with Office 365 accounts and those wanting to learn more about it before requesting an account.  If you would like invited to one of these sessions, just send me an email at mark.barr@abatepa.org.  For now, these sessions are scheduled for the second Wednesday of every month at 7 PM.  All you need to join is a phone, tablet or PC with internet access.  If you want an account, you can request one on the website at https://abatepa.org/scd/ .

All members/officers who have requested an account, please follow the directions in the email you had received and log into your account and begin to check out Office 365, and use it.  If you didn’t see an email with those instructions, please check your junk mail or spam mail folder.  You would have received that email within a few days of when you requested the account.  After logging in, you will also see an invite to the online training sessions.

The new website is up and running.  New content is being added almost daily.  There have been two big enhancements since last month.  First enhancement is to the Join and Renew Membership page.  Previously, members would click a link that took them to PayPal to complete payment, and then returned them back to the website to enter your name and membership details.  Now, the member completes the form with membership details and clicks submit, and is then sent to PayPal to complete payment.  Reversing the order now ensures that the state office receives your information for processing your membership.  Also, on the Join and Renew page, current members or membership officers can use the link at the bottom to change member information such as address, phone, email or change in chapter.  The other big enhancement is to the Events page.  Anyone can now submit their chapter’s events by clicking the red button and completing the submission form with the event’s details.  Also, now anyone can use the event search feature to find events by district.  If you want FREE advertising for your chapter’s events, get them on the event calendar.

Feb 2022

What's new Zeke?  Well, since you ask... there's plenty of new things happening.  The most obvious new thing with A.B.A.T.E. of PA, is the new website.  The new website went live on January 22.  The web address has not changed, it remains abatepa.org.  As before, you can buy or renew membership, purchase event tickets such as Hazen and donate to A.B.A.T.E. and BikePAC.  There are webpages for each chapter that can be accessed from the chapter directory.  A chapter page contains officer information, meeting date, time and location and links to the chapter's website and Facebook.  The officer and resource page is a single location with links to download tools for all officers and links to the page of each state officer.  New functionality has been built into the website.  Chapters can submit their events to be added to the calendar using a form on the events page.  Chapters can submit their Between the Lines articles to the new Newsletter editor using a form on the editor's page.(you can still submit them by email, but now you send them to newsletter@abatepa.org).  On the communications officer page there is a link where chapter and district officers can submit a request for an Office 365 account.  The website will be a work in progress for the next few months.  Things to come include photo galleries and update content.

At the L&L this year we had 3 hours of Office/Microsoft 365 training. 50 members attended the training with 15 returning for the advanced session at the end of the day.  The seminar focused on the basics of Office 365 including logging in, navigating the console and an overview of the applications.  There are 55 officers with accounts as of Feb 6.  We have licenses for 300 accounts, that's enough for 5 per chapter and a few for each district.  The goal is to have at least one officer from each chapter using Office 365.

I will be having monthly online training sessions using Teams.  Each month we will focus on a different topic.  All Office 365 users will receive an invite to the training sessions.  The first will be mid-March and the topic will be "Storing and Sharing Documents".

On the homepage of the website at the top you will see a background photo that changes every few seconds.  I plan to change the photos every few months.  If you have a really cool photo of a chapter event, email it to me and I'll put it in the rotation.  webmaster@abatepa.org