I thought it might be nice for each of the Convention attendees (not all 300, just the three from our club) to share what they brought back. Martha will give an official report (we will post it on here) but here are a few thoughts and insights we each gained:
Convention was awesome with so many Quotarians who are accomplishing tremendous work in the care and support of people around the world. Quota is stepping up to the plate with fabulous new ideas to get us going and growing with modern technology and services. More and more assistance will be given to us to gain and retain our members.
A new initiative is happening in Louisiana regarding emergency notification for the deaf and hard of hearing populations. It’s called SMART 911. If someone is in trouble who is deaf, a new service will now accept texting from a phone to call for help. Police, fire, rescue personnel and medical emergency staff are all involved. This is a terrific connection. I’m hoping we can begin to do the same in our state.
Another special program called sparked.com assists non-profits in obtaining services, volunteers, and items simply by posting them on this website. It’s like Volunteers- on-line, only better, where you advertise what you may need in the area for:
Someone to donate ear plugs
Someone to donate space to hold a meeting
Volunteers who will help with starting a garden at the schools
Local businesses who may donate goods, money, services, etc.
Just small things that make our time more effective, more involved in the community, and increased collaboration among those people who want to make a difference. –Martha J. Herman
There are a wide variety of clubs and activities out there and if we connect with the people we can take away great ideas for our club. -Kim
I love getting to see Quotarians from around the world. I enjoy finding out how they make a difference in their clubs and their communities. It occurred to me that we could be using our Travel Raffle winnings to send to the Hand-to-Hand projects. We don’t designate our funds (many clubs do not), but we might want to consider what programs are going on in the name of Quota.
International President Karen Murphy encourages us to, “Put our Heart into Quota and put Quota in our Heart.”
This isn’t just hot off the press, it’s happening right now!
Kim, Martha and I (Emily, your friendly blogger) are sitting here in fabulous Cincinnati, Ohio surrounded by over three hundred Quotarians from around the world! The latest numbers on Quotarians are as follows: 5,283 members in 265 clubs in twelve countries. Our incoming President Karen Murphy is hoping to focus on “Gain and Retain”. No, that’s not weight. She means membership.
I encourage you to think about how you can help our Grand Rapids club focus on sharing the name of Quota with more people. When I first started in Quota, I was on our Membership committee. I used to challenge our membership to think about who you know. Who can you tell about Quota? Your hairdresser? Your assistant?
Let me tell you, it pays to talk about Quota. The firemen were meeting here when we first arrived at the hotel. Do you know that in one conversation, our fellow Australian Quotarians talked to several of those firemen. The firemen were so impressed about Quota that they put it on Facebook. They told their friends that if anyone wanted to learn more about Quota to contact Karen. There are twenty people who contacted her to learn more! Why are we keeping it a secret? Start talking about Quota. Ask your neighbor what they like to do. Everyone feels better when they help someone. Ask them if they know someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing. That is an easy way to start a conversation about Quota. Don’t be shy. Let’s share Quota with everyone!
*Note from the editor Have no fear fellow Quotarians! In case you have been living under a rock, or you’ve simply been out-of-touch with news; we are changing from Districts to Regions. District 20 will now be known as Region 4. Our Regional Director, Yvonne, is helping us leap “4-ward” into this change.
President Martha writes:
News & Views from the Port Huron Conference, 5/16/14 – 5/18/14
Here are the highlights of our great adventure to the last District 20 Conference!
Friday: After checking in to our rooms and at the conference desk, we dropped the suitcases off, put on our kitchen aprons, if we didn’t forget them (that would be Maureen and I), and headed to the rooms where we enjoyed yummy snacks, wine, soups, salads, and more wine. Kath S. and Cathy K. were donned in a flowered apron, and a Q stamped half apron, respectively. Very cute. HOWEVER, the stars of the event were Kim and Rachael, who plumped and primped outstanding versions of HOT babes in outrageously exquisite aprons complete with hats, plumes and strategically placed cupcakes on their full aprons. No scrimping here…Kim won first place and Rachael won second place with loud cheers and hoots. Congrats, ladies!!
Saturday: We enjoyed breakfast at the nearby Country Club and started with meetings, reports, and introductions of several of the members who have positions in their respective clubs.
Some stats that I saw were significant are:
Members attending: Flint, 10; GR, 6; Iosco County, 5; Kalamazoo, 5; Port Huron, 14; Traverse City, 5.
Members in each club are as follows: Flint, 31; Port Huron, 31; GR, 27; Traverse City, 13; Iosco Cty, 48 and Kalamazoo, 12. Collectively, the 6 clubs and 162 members raised $57,000 for the populations we serve along with special projects over the last year. Yahoo! We do make a BIG difference!
An entertaining, yet powerful presentation was given by a Port Huron organization that changes the lives of young people named Save Our Neighborhoods and Streets. As a non-profit outreach program, the director and his staff have successfully supported youth to obtain leadership skills, soft skills and manners, and encouraged them to stay in school. He challenges them to become respectful citizens and educated individuals. Quota has participated in their outreach and supports them when possible.
After lunch, we were divided into ‘food’ groups to discuss topics such as membership development, fundraising ideas, retention, and more.
The results of that session will be available for all of us, shortly, if Lisa Kent can read our notes! There were interesting perspectives from all conference attendees.
Tess Tompos, International Representative, gave us an update on some of the changes that will occur as we begin our mission with Region 4.
I won’t go into all the structural changes, like reducing the QI Board from 8 to 5, reducing other staff positions, but I will applaud that QI will now host all of our websites for FREE; only one delegate needs to go to the conferences and conventions so we can save money at the Club level, grant writing for larger sums of money to work with, and others. If you would like to review the Region 4 Bylaws and Rules of Procedure, I will be happy to share them with you.
Besides the significant awards given for the best dressed apron, the following awards were given to our Club
The Helen David Service Award for our partnership with Northview Public Schools for the support given by us in the production of the ‘Miracle Worker’.
Significant years of service awards were given to:
Sarah Glover – 15 years
Anna Moore Butzner – 20 years
Kathleen Slagal – 25 years
Gwen Powers – 25 years
Robin Keith – 25 years
Diane Friar – 30 years
Peggy Bishop – 30 years
Maureen Martin – 30 years
Cathleen Kaiser – 30 years
Eleanor Roberts – 50 years
Virginia Ebers – 50 years
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR UNENDING SUPPORT!!
Saturday evening’s entertainment was a young man, named Jason, who wowed the crowd with his hypnotic antics!
It was really funny and I’m so glad I wasn’t up there trying to remember my name, forgetting the number 6, or saddened by my cat. Rachael can tell you more!
District 20 is no longer (water under the bridge so to speak) and we are now Region 4, stronger, smarter, and ready to MOVE (or leap) FORWARD!
Our Q.I. headquarters has been busy this winter (they must have a lot of snow too) and they have created this amazing blog! What’s so great about it, you ask? It’s much easier for you to share this with your friends and family (just like sharing our blog). Q.I. is constantly updating it with news from around the world so we can see what great things our friends are doing all over the world. Why wouldn’t you want to share this with your friends?
Go check out their blog today. It will be linked permanently for you on our blog under Community Partners.
Go on, check it out!
October 11-13, 2013
The weekend weather was gloriously beautiful. The hotel was on a harbor with salmon leaping through the air every few minutes. I walked to the lighthouse each morning to see the sunrise. There was a wonderful farmers’/craft market within walking distance. Oh, to have a GR Quota friend to share it with! Oh well, I survived, sat with district friends at the meetings and dinner and learned so much. Nice weekend!
Eighty attendants included big groups from North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Laura Lehman, International President, opened the Saturday proceedings by explaining several concerns the Board had about moving headquarters to Dallas; after one meeting there, they have changed their minds so QI headquarters will stay in Washington DC.
Regional candidacy is open so the web site has all the candidates with their information. Votes must be to governors by October 15. This does not concern our club because we are unique in that we remain the same six clubs currently in our District will also be in our new Region. Yvonne Babe is running unopposed so she will continue on as Regional Director.
There are more than 50 JQ clubs invited to convention and being asked to submit a video for convention.
There will be a “Draw Down” at convention. Tickets are $100 and must be purchased by March 1. (They may be bought as a group.) 400 will be sold and the winning ticket will be worth $10,000!!!!!
Members are not reading the online version of the Quotarian online as was hoped, so there a hard copy of the publication will be mailed to all in February.
Barbara Schreiber was introduced. She is a young 45 years old with a bundle of energy. I was impressed with her new outlook, quick thinking and commitment to Quota. By the way, she asked again that everyone email her with one reason why you love Quota (she only had a very few respond to her first request—maybe that shows how very few read online!)
She did say that an average of 87 members worldwide are leaving each month.
Quota’s fiscal year is being changed to the calendar year, which should make many things easier for all.
Karen also said that her club’s JQ has raised $5,000 and will be raising $15,000 next month. Wow!
She announced that this year was NOT a deficit budget year!!!!!!!!!
$1.5 million was donated by Quota worldwide.
There were “reports” by all the district governors.
The 6th district raised $81,000 last year!!!! Yikes!
Julia Witherspoon was the guest speaker — she spoke about her Cops ‘n Kids program and said “I love Quota!” about 600 times (sincerely each time!). She has two new extensions called “Book ‘em” (books for prisoners that they receive right after being booked) and “Books at Birth” which are given to new moms when they leave the hospital. She was presented with an honorary membership in Quota —there were many tears by presenter and presentee. It was quite touching and she is such a wonderful person—so inspiring and loving! (We might want to plan ahead for our March project and think about doing a version of either of her two new projects so we can buy books at the Book Fair in November ????). Just a thought…………
Concluding the afternoon was a panel discussion with the board members. Many attendees had questions about the new structure but I think we have most of the information that was covered and we were promised to receive much more. Possibly the biggest concern was the fiscal calendar change re: dues/taxes. There is no definite answer at present, as the board will have to wait until the Regions make singular decisions in January. We were reminded several times about the time involved in making this major structural change.
This is wordy, I know, so I will just say further that there was a nice banquet on Saturday night when I sat with the Flint contingent and had a very enjoyable time. I bought a Q pendant from the Silent Auction, which raised $1466 for the Wanda Frey Joiner foundation. Sunday involved lots of talk about Cincinnati: cost of the registration is $360 per member. The good news about that is that you can pay in 4 installments.
We split up into Regions to discuss the future. Our Region 4 discussion was about how we can use the new structure to change the way we do things as one entity going forward. For example, our yearly conferences could still move from club to club but without a “host” so that each club contributes in a different way. Also, communication within the Region will become more important, actually, necessary.
That’s it in a nutshell (maybe a big Brazil nut?). Please contact me if you have any specific questions.
For me, one of the best parts of Quota has been making friends from all around the world. As the digital age reduces the size of our planet, we are able to connect with friends half-way around the globe quicker than ever before. We can send them a quick message on Facebook, a birthday wish on Twitter, or post a picture of time spent with them on a blog.
That’s what I wanted to share with you today.
Well, that and Kim took a picture on her phone, figured out how to email it to me, and I’m sharing it with you. Seriously, if Kim can figure out how to do that (and post her president’s messages on the blog), you don’t have an excuse!
Our incoming Quota International President, Karen Murphy, is making her way across North America with her husband Brian. They are visiting clubs, cities, Area Meetings, and Quota members. As Karen and her husband head toward Milwaukee to the last Central Area Meeting, Kim extended the invitation to our club via email and Robin, Cathy and myself joined three members from Kalamazoo (Betty, Judi and Suzy) Thursday evening. We had dinner at Watermark Grille.
(Kim’s phone photo)
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all enjoyed our time with Karen and each other (I’m not leaving out Brian; he was also interesting, he was also mostly quiet, like any good Quotarian husband).
Karen is fascinating; a forward-thinker, a superb leader, funny, a good listener, a proud Quotarian, and Australian so she has that great accent.
Pat is currently at the Central Area meeting as I type this. I’m sure she will have news to share when she returns. We will be sure to post it on here so you can keep up with the latest from Q.I.
I want to leave you with this reminder. Quota is about sharing and caring. We help others, we make a difference. We also make friends and strong connections that bring us closer. When we make a difference, it ripples through so many more people than we can ever hope to reach. But it’s when we get together, sit down, and have a meal. It’s the thanksgiving of our new friendships, lasting friendships, and laughter. I have learned this through experience. There is great joy in our service and there is great joy in our gatherings. Yes, I am plugging meetings. Every meeting. Conference, Area meetings, Conventions, and club meetings. Dinner meetings with future Q.I. presidents are a bonus. And don’t forget committee meetings.
These are the connections that make us stronger. These are the connections of Quota.