Thursday, October 15, 2015

FAQ's for Chapters and Important News

Thanks for your overwhelming messages of support during this time when we are looking to fill the position of director of chapter development. The employment announcement will be posted on the home page of hearingloss.org in the coming days.

Many of you have had questions. Here are the most frequently asked.

QUESTION: What is the Unified Membership Program and is our chapter supposed to be part of this?

ANSWER: The Unified Membership Program is a joint membership program designed to increase membership at both the national and chapter levels. The new HLAA Unified Membership Program ensures that chapter members understand the benefits and value of both HLAA national and chapter membership so that together we can build our membership and work together as one unified organization. 

This program has been in pilot testing for nearly two years and discussed at HLAA Conventions 2014 and 2015. It is mandatory for new HLAA Chapters and was offered (but not mandatory) to those chapters who were in the old Chapter Rebate Program so that we could work out the logistics and make this as smooth as possible for all chapters to participate. Currently there are 21 chapters participating and several others still completing paperwork. We have encountered a few unexpected challenges, so we are glad that we started small before opening this up to all HLAA Chapters.

For example, how chapters negotiate with each other about zip codes has been more time consuming than we expected. Getting agreements signed by chapter leaders also takes some time, since it is important that everyone understands that this program is about growing our membership, and being clear and transparent on how communication occurs among national, chapters and leaders and, of course, how revenue is shared in the model. 

When the director of chapter development position has been filled, we will provide all details about how the program works and how you can participate. The Unified Membership Program was born out of the idea and proposal from the Sarasota/Manatee Chapter (FL) and the New York City Chapter.

QUESTION: How do I receive TWIB (This Week in Bethesda)?

ANSWER: TWIB is a brief, weekly update of activities. It was originally meant for the Board of Trustees and past Board members although we now freely encourage them to pass it along to leaders as it has information you can share at meetings or cut and paste into your newsletters. We post the document on the HLAA Official Leaders Listserve. However, not everyone belongs to the Listserve (Yahoo Group) so we will put it on this State and Chapter Development Blog

QUESTION: How can I be sure I get all the messages from the national office?

ANSWER: The email list we are using is not perfect. It depends on you returning your chapter updates and keeping us up to date. There are ways to ensure you receive important news:

Please subscribe to this State and Chapter Development Blog for all the latest news. No login required -- news will be delivered directly to your inbox. It’s easy!

If you have any email address changes, please send them to Gaelin Bryant.

Please send in your chapter updates any time there is a change in leadership or meetings. If there are no changes at least send the form once a year by October 1 and indicate no change. Download the update form on the Leader Support page (scroll down to "Updates Due October 1 Annually"). 

QUESTION: What deadlines pertaining to chapters are coming up for the HLAA Convention?

ANSWER: HLAA Awards, Call for Papers and Delegate Registration deadlines are fast approaching.

See the posting on this blog about HLAA Awards, HLAA Convention registration for delegates, and speaker presentations. 

On behalf of the HLAA Board of Trustees, the national office staff and members everywhere, thank you for your work on behalf of people with hearing loss. 

Barbara Kelley
Deputy Executive Director
Editor-in-Chief, Hearing Loss Magazine

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