Wow! The winter seems to be flying by again this year. I don’t know about all of you, but it just doesn’t seem to me that we get any real down time in our jobs anymore. From last years twelve-month golf season, to trying to catch up with work that has been deferred due to several years of budget constraints, it seems we are always on a pretty fast pace. I for one would like to see a real winter again sometime, when the courses get a complete rest, and we all get to slow down a little. Oh well, at least we are employed and the golf economy seems to be improving!
On the subject of being busy, the chapter manager, officers, directors, and committee members of the CIGCSA have been hard at work this winter as we prepare for another season of chapter events. We recently held our third board meeting since the annual meeting in November, and are well on our way to completing the planning for all chapter activities in 2013.
I am happy to report that Dave Likes, our Events/Education chairman for this year, with help from his committee, is putting together an excellent calendar of events. There are still a few details being worked out, but I am confident that when the calendar is released in the next few weeks, it will be very well received by our membership. I can go ahead and report that our Annual Shop Meeting will be held on March 18th, at the Ironwood Golf Course Maintenance Shop in Normal. Go ahead and mark your calendars, as Dave is putting together an excellent program of education for the day.
I can also report that Mike Rayman and our Communications Committee have been reviewing all of our methods of chapter communication, and the Board of Directors has approved several changes for 2013. First, after difficulty with actually publishing issues during the past two years, we have decided to suspend our Balllmark Newsletter for 2013. It was the Board’s feeling that our newsletter had been in decline for several years and if we were going to proceed with it in the future, we would need to commit more resources, probably hire an editor, and try to make serious improvements. After much discussion, we decided to move forward in 2013 without the Ballmark and review this decision at the end of the year.
This decision was impacted by our desire to commit more time and resources to other areas of communication. Mike and his committee have set up a chapter Facebook account, and a chapter Twitter account, and we are moving forward with new software to manage our chapter databases, electronic mailings, and our website. All of these changes should improve our communication and continuity moving forward.
We will also be undertaking a member recruitment campaign. Under the guidance of our membership committee, co-chaired by Eric Parker and Brian Barnes, we will be aggressively reaching out to those in our region, who for whatever reason are not currently members of the CIGCSA. We will also be putting methods in place to do a better job of welcoming new hires to our area and making sure they have every opportunity to get involved with our chapter.
Last on the subject of our activities during the past few months, I can report that the Vendor Relations Committee, chaired by myself, recently began the third year of the Partner Recognition Program for our Affiliate members. After reviewing the program, with help from our most recent PRP members, the slightly modified 2013 version of the PRP was sent out to all Affiliate members. Our initial response has been very good, and we look forward to continuing the excellent relationship with our Partners.
In reporting all of the above chapter management activity, I just realized that I haven’t yet mentioned Dave Shulman, your Chapter Manager. Dave has been an integral part of all of the “offseason” work that we have undertaken. When hired two years ago, it was the Board’s intent to gradually transition Dave into a position of responsibility for most of our chapters operations. The Board of Directors and Committees could then fill the advisory and major policy making roles that would make best use of their time. I can report that while we have not yet completely realized this goal, we are well on our way to making it a reality for our chapter, and Dave deserves much of the credit for this progress.
In closing, let me say thanks to all that came out and joined in our Winter Social Event earlier this month in Decatur. We had a reasonably good turnout and it seemed that the evening was enjoyed by all.
Also, as the Golf Industry Show in San Diego quickly approaches, for those that are planning to attend, I wish you all a great week in California! The GIS is a great opportunity for education, networking, and hopefully some much needed R & R! For those that don’t plan to attend this year, I also wish you a great week and try to get in some of the above at home so that your batteries also get re-charged!
Finally, I would like to again encourage everyone to share your ideas, comments, complaints, suggestions, and input of any kind with myself or anyone on your Board of Directors. We are sincerely trying to manage your chapter in the best interests of the entire membership, but your feedback makes that much easier.
Have a great rest of the “off season”, and I look forward to seeing everyone at our upcoming events!
Scott Werner, CGCS
Lincolnshire Fields C.C.