GCSAA symposium builds chapter strength, effectiveness
Leaders from 27 chapters participate in event
Forty-seven leaders from 27 affiliated chapters strengthened their leadership
skills at the 2016
Leader/Executive Symposium, March 29-30 at GCSAA headquarters in Lawrence, Kan.
The symposium is funded, in part, by the Williams Leadership Endowment Fund through the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG).
This annual event allows chapters to send a volunteer leader and association staff. The program is intended to strengthen each chapter's leadership team, build on successes and learn new concepts and ideas to support chapter effectiveness.
The attendees participate in sessions focused on a broad segment of volunteer and association management topics with plenty of time to network with their peers from around the country. GCSAA staff also highlighted the various ways the association can assist in chapter operations. In addition, the attendees broke off into separate groups focused on issues related to region and role.
GCSAA CEO J. Rhett Evans opened the session focusing how chapters can host successful events. Evans discussed a variety of needs in getting strong attendance and participation. Events must add value for attendees. Understanding people's needs and then exceeding expectations are what drive success. Chapters also had the opportunity to learn from one another.
Irene Cline and Bill Hamilton, CGCS, of the Sierra Nevada GCSA presented on adding outreach events to drive participation, membership and exposure. While Brian Laurent of the Miami Valley GCSA discussed the process for enhancing chapter websites and integrating association management systems to aid in chapter effectiveness.
Following updates on the Environmental Institute for Golf, marketing, communications and chapter outreach grants, J.D. Dockstader, chief operating officer, discussed GCSAA key initiatives, including strong satisfaction statistics from the recent Golf Industry Show in San Diego.
Tuesday concluded with round-table discussions focusing on:
- Board recruitment/orientation
- Member engagement/retention
- Tournament structure/attendance
- Sponsorship opportunities
- Unique meeting formats
This session was the first of its kind during the history of the event and allowed for sharing of best management practices.
On Wednesday, Steve Randall, director of chapter Outreach discussed "Our Outreach Journey" with attendees. The session focused on communication and leadership strategies to aide both chapters and individual members. The presentation combined what is being done in the field with ideas to improve and enhance communication and leadership skills. The session concluded with discussions on social media and regional round-tables.
A Note from Carol
This was a great event and I hope a Central Texas leader will be able to attend with me next year.