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July 02, 2013

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Well, of course Neil Griffiths is right. The problem is that the leadership -- both staff and volunteer -- of IABC have too long ignored the needs of those wonderful volunteers toiling away at the chapter level. That's part of the reason it's in the mess that it's in. How ironic for an IEB member to take you to task for ignoring the real heart and soul of IABC, when that's exactly what the leadership has been doing for the last 10 years.

I think you're getting to the heart of it, David. In my reply to Neil Griffiths' comment that you mention, I said that this whole kerfuffle isn't about the big picture: it's "all about little pictures where effective communication is important."

I also think there's another significant aspect to the members-as-the-lifeblood of the organization. Chapters of course - but not only. I believe what's currently known as Members at Large can play a far greater role in the binding together of IABC into something truly relevant. That's the key word - "relevant" - and the sole focus on Chapters doesn't hit it.

Just 0.02 from a former member. Jeez, it's hard to give up on this...

Hey Robert & Neville - maybe we should start a new association for all the IABC old timers.

Since my term on the IEB ended in June 2000, after many years, I've kept in touch with many former IABC board members from pre-2000 days. But I've had virtually no contact from anyone involved with the association since the day my IEB board role ended, except some of my local chapter friends.

I was amazed at how there doesn't seem to be any role or interest in maintaining contact/input/advice from the volunteers who have decades of managerial and subject matter expertise - exactly what the association needs at this moment. The new folks who come in always want to put their stamp on things (which is normal), and are always looking ahead with big ideas (not a bad thing), but seemingly forget that what makes IABC worthwhile is also everything David mentioned above. It's the tribe thing. IABC can't be run like a for-profit company.

My membership expired this year and, for the first time in over 20 years, I've not renewed (yet, anyway).

Neville, as you say.... hard to give up on this...

Great points, Michael. And I love the 'IABC Old Timers' idea, maybe we'd get a pension too :)

Making use of veteran members' knowledge and experiences (good grief, I just labelled myself as 'veteran' for the very first time) isn't something I've ever seen IABC do. Or maybe it's all been something to do with the Fellows.

In any case, tapping a big resource - and I bet it's a resource brimming with goodwill and willingness to help - has got to be one of the simplest steps to take in reinventing IABC.

Just saying, as the saying goes.

I'm with you, Michael and Neville. Over the years, as I saw IABC drift farther away from the chapter-centric model that existed when I was on the IEB, I tried raising the issue (as I saw it, anyway) in a variety of ways. Nobody seemed interested. And I wasn't the only one. Many long-timers who I know had their hearts in the right place got the same brush-off. IABC's loss, as far as I'm concerned.

I can identify the very moment when the decline began, from my perspective. I'd be happy to share it with you privately so as not to publicly shame the person who I believe was responsible.

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