Carl's Corner
Carl T. Seibert
COO / State Secretary

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Carl's Corner

Spring is a Great Time for Fresh, New Perspectives!

Spring 2024

Spring has arrived, that time when we focus on growth and renewal. It is a time to embrace opportunity and as the days get longer and the weather becomes warmer, we feel a renewed sense of energy!

A new lodge leadership team has been installed and the officers are already hard at work providing fresh perspectives, along with new ideas and initiatives. This hard work is sure to make a positive impact and will contribute greatly to the success of the lodge. Make it a point to thank the team for their dedication, and where possible, assist them in their efforts.

Hopefully your lodge’s leadership team was handed lodge and club operations that are well-managed and profitable. Even then they are sure to find that running a business can certainly be challenging, especially when costs are rising. However, it’s important to stay positive and approach these obstacles with a proactive mindset. Here are a few strategies that can help:

1. Review and optimize expenses: Take a close look at your expenses and identify areas where you can cut costs or find more cost-effective alternatives. This could involve renegotiating contracts, finding suppliers with better prices, or exploring new technologies to streamline operations.

2. Enhance efficiency and productivity: Focus on improving the efficiency and productivity of the operations. Review your systems and processes. Provide training and development opportunities for your employees and volunteers.

3. Stay connected with your members: Maintain open lines of communication with your members and solicit — then listen — to their feedback. This can help you identify areas of improvement and make necessary adjustments to meet their needs and expectations.

4. Adapt: Being proactive and adaptable will help you make better decisions and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Remember, challenges are a part of every business journey. By staying positive, being proactive, and continuously seeking opportunities for growth and improvement, you can navigate through difficult times and position your lodge for long-term success.

Additionally, the Florida State Elks Association provides support to its lodges through its committee on business practices. Recently, members from across the state attended the association’s Officer Training seminar, where a variety of lodge operation topics were discussed, led by knowledgeable members of this valuable committee. The Business Practices Committee operates continuously throughout the year. They hold well-attended question-and-answer sessions at every meeting of the state association. You can email questions to the chair of the committee, Richard Martin, at and he will direct them to the committee member best suited to answer. Members of the committee are even available to make in-person visits to the lodge when requested of the chair by the lodge’s Exalted Ruler. The committee maintains a presence on the Florida Elks website as well: There you will find a plethora of information on a variety of subjects, including budgeting, wages, taxes, reporting, bingo, beverage laws, IRS, AB&T, UBI and all the other acronyms we all love to hate!

The Business Practices Committee of the Florida State Elks stands ready to assist. Make them a part of your lodge management team and hold periodic meetings with your team to review the valuable information they provide!

Another hardworking committee providing valuable and continuous support to our lodges is the state Membership Committee. This committee garners extended support from the order on a national level, where dedicated staff work tirelessly supporting lodges in gaining new members and with member retention. Similar to the state Business Practices Committee, the state Membership Committee provides a wealth of information through guides and other resources, which can be found on the Florida Elks website in the section titled Member Resources. There you will find training and education on new member orientation, membership development, and the very popular GL (Grand Lodge) Membership Shareables, where you can obtain images that will lend a professional touch to your membership recruiting, event promotions and flyers.

Growing membership and retaining members must always be a top priority for our organization. The following ideas might help as you review your lodge’s approach to membership growth and retention:

  • What does a member get in an Elks membership? What is the value of a membership in your lodge?
  • What benefits do the Elks offer that similar organizations do not?
  • Is the member experience in your lodge what you want it to be? Is it positive and engaging?
  • How quickly and well do you address member queries and concerns?
  • Do you actively seek member feedback to improve your lodge and club offerings?
  • Do your members feel heard, valued and appreciated at every touchpoint?
  • Is your member community strong? Do you foster a sense of belonging among your members?
  • Does your lodge hold and encourage networking and collaboration activities?
  • Do you organize non-routine events and workshops where members can connect with each other?
  • Do your communication efforts cater to the individual needs and interests of your members?
  • Do you segment your audience based on their interests or engagement level and then send targeted and relevant messages?

Remember, growing membership and retaining members requires ongoing effort and attention. By continuously assessing and improving your lodge’s offerings, providing a positive member experience, and fostering a strong community, you can attract new members and keep them engaged and loyal over the long term.

For those attending our state convention in Orlando May 22-25, Past State President and member of the Grand Lodge Public Relations Committee, Danny Tabor, and State Chair of our Membership Committee, David McCranie, will be co-presenting a session on Membership and Marketing, titled “Let’s Soar with Four.” This no doubt refers to the last three years of nationwide membership growth and will address how we can extend this to a fourth year. It will be held Friday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. in Grand Ballroom AB at the Rosen Centre Hotel. I do hope you will consider attending!

Share with me your new and innovative spring ideas and initiatives for improving your lodge! Email me at I look forward to hearing from you!

Carl Seibert


Carl Seibert, COO
State Secretary
Florida State Elks Association