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A Message From the State Secretary

So Much to Learn and No Time to Learn It!

So Much to Learn and No Time to Learn It

Winter 2016

Greetings and a very happy new year to all! Speaking of a new year, the start of a new year in our lodges is right around the corner, April 1. Will your lodge once again elect qualified leaders for the lodge, members who are not doing the lodge a favor with their service? Or, will your lodge continue a trend of electing only self-serving members of the clique who will make sure to keep the bar and food prices low and the dance bands on stage? Exercise your right to vote in the lodge officer elections. Take the time to meet the candidates and ensure that they have every member’s best interests at heart. When evaluating the leadership potential of a candidate, go back and read my article in the last issue of Florida Elks News or online and hold them to some very high standards.

It’s Not Over Until We Win!

Its Not Over Until We Win

Fall 2015

When I set out to write a new article, my goal is always to get our members thinking! I believe that far too often we allow our thinking to get confined to local lodge issues and local community needs and this causes us to limit our scope. By sharing with you my insights and thoughts on a scale of the somewhat bigger, I hope that we can expand our horizons and develop new solutions to the issues that affect our lodges. It is gratifying to me to be thanked for my articles by our members, but what I find most gratifying is when a member tells me that they implemented a thought or idea in their lodge and they share with me the results! It is in this spirit of seeking continuous improvement that I share with you a few of my latest thoughts and ideas!

Was it Raining When Noah Built the Ark?

Was it Raining When Noah Built the Ark

Summer 2015

At our recent national convention in Indianapolis, the Florida Elks were honored to receive two very flattering mentions. The first was from our national president, John Amen, who remarked at our Florida Dinner that in his travels to all 50 states this past year, the Florida Elks were by far the best state in Elkdom. His exact quote was that we were at the “pinnacle” of leading change in all of Elkdom! The second honor came from Rick Gathen, the Grand Lodge Membership/Public Relations Manager, who recognized Florida for being the most improved state in all of Elkdom for membership after the dramatic turnaround in our membership loss wherein we slowed our annual loss from -3.77% to -0.37%! These are great honors indeed from men who are in the know, and many thanks go to all our members who have worked so hard for us to earn them!

Should you ever need confirmation that you belong to THE BEST state association in all of Elkdom, you have it now. Not to rain on the parade here, but what is it going to take for us to remain on top? It has been a long and slow grind to get here. Do we have what it takes to stay?

Are We Finally Starting to Turn the Corner?

Are We Finally Starting to Turn the Corner

Spring 2015

So close! That’s right; we were only 195 new members short of a statewide membership gain! That’s a loss of just 0.35%, the smallest loss we have had since 1991! Congratulations to everyone who helped contribute to this success and a success it was indeed! We start the year 55,865 members strong!

Back in February 2010, then Grand Exalted Ruler, Jim Nicholson, challenged our state to “throw some money” at addressing our membership losses, a membership loss trend that began in 1990. Inspired by the late Dave Vergason, PSP, our association’s staff was already underway developing a strategy after watching our membership fall from a high of 93,213 members in 1990 to 67,151 members that year. Subsequently, that same year we had our largest ever recorded loss in membership of 5.42% which took us down to 63,512 members. Shortly thereafter the FSEA made it a priority to find out how and why we were losing members and we set a goal to reverse this destructive trend.

Now That We are Out of the Water, It’s Time to Fix Ourselves

Now That We are Out of the Water Its Time to Fix Ourselves 1

Winter 2015

I am often surprised at the turnover we continue to have in our Lodges in the office of Exalted Ruler and Lodge Secretary. Arguably the two most important leadership positions in a Lodge, far too many are quitting in the middle of the year and oftentimes for reasons not related to health, work or family. For many years, this question was asked of Exalted Rulers at the state annual officer training seminar: How many of you are here because you think you are doing your Lodge a favor? In recent years we have had to stop asking that question because too many Exalted Rulers were responding in the affirmative. In an earlier article I wrote about the game being played in many of our Lodges where one faction takes over the Lodge and their detractors sit patiently on the sidelines awaiting the next elections. They then bring legions of members in to sway the vote and overthrow the sitting administration. This game goes back and forth, year after year, and then we wonder why the Lodge never moves forward. It is hoped that by members simply recognizing the game and how it is played that a strategy can be implemented to prevent this from happening this year!

Louisiana State Legislature Increases New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax

The Legislature of the State of Louisiana has acted to increase the New Orleans Hotel Occupancy Tax from 13% to 14.75% effective April 1, 2014. This will affect our convention room rates and they will go from $128.56 to $130.52 per night.

Convention Attendees With ADA Transportation Needs Urged To Contact Grand Lodge

In order for the Grand Lodge to support the transportation needs of attendees with disabilities you are urged to contact the Grand Lodge if you require special assistance. Special coaches capable of kneeling to accommodate wheel chairs will be placed along the routes for those in need. If you require assistance please contact Tina or Jessica at the Grand Lodge as follows:

TinaH@elks.org

JessicaR@elks.org

 

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