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by Donna Tschiffely

I mentioned in my last blog (posted on May 20) that the board meets the third Thursday of every month.  In fact, the third Thursday of every month is a very busy day around DMAW – that is also the day we conduct our monthly luncheons.  This latest one was with Andy Hogan from LM&O Advertising – but another blogger will talk to you about that.

I, on the other hand, am going to give you the “fly on the wall” perspective of the board meeting. Now I can’t cover everything in one blog, but I will select a committee to highlight.

As board members arrive, you feel a sense of close collegiality…a couple of board members go out for a cup of coffee at Starbucks before the meeting starts; others are catching up personally and professionally…there is genuine laughter and like.  Finally, it’s 3pm, time to start and everyone settles in around the conference table; the conference phone is launched for those who need to call-in.  The meeting begins.  It becomes immediately obvious that everyone takes their role as a board member seriously, and brings to the table talent and focus to ensure the success of the organization.

The committee reports begin, but the most important and the committee that gets the most time is programs.  Vickie Norman, Vice President & CEO of Robertson Mailing List Company, serves as a co-chair and reports on the results of the committee’s latest meeting.

Vickie presents to the board an upcoming schedule of activities – monthly luncheon speakers, planned webinars, planned half-day and full day sessions.  She also asks the board two questions that actually cause a good bit of discussion – and not everyone agrees.

First question, the program committee is considering a series of sessions themed, “The Business of Running Your Business.”  There are many small business owners as members of the DMAW – they need help running their business, e.g., how will the changes in healthcare impact a small business?  How do you keep and hire good people?

Some on the board feel this type of information is not directly related to the mission of the DMAW, i.e., does not directly address direct marketing, and the members can get this information elsewhere.  While others feel it is providing a service to those members who need this type of information.

Second item is a little bit more fun – Vickie’s committee wants to have just a plain ole’ fun event – no speakers, no educational value – just enjoying an afternoon out with friends and colleagues – and they have selected, Washington Nationals vs Houston Oilers Game on Thursday, Sept. 23 – beginning at 3PM we would have a cookout reserved at the stadium, and for $55 you would get food and tickets to the game.

As the fly on the wall, I would like to put a bug in your ear!  What do you think about these two issues?

  • The Business of Running Your Business session – do you think the DMAW should conduct these types of sessions or are they too far afield from our mission of educating professionals in direct marketing? If you think that we should do them, which do you think the more appropriate vehicle, a lunch, webinar, another format?  If it would not be appropriate for you to attend, would you refer the appropriate office colleague?
  • Washington Nationals Game – time and finances permitting, would you attend this fun event? Does this sound like fun to you, is there another event you think would be more fun or should DMAW not do fun events?

Help our board members make the right decision:  Click here to complete this quick 5-question survey.

Or, give me your feedback directly donna@dmaw.org.

Either way, I would love to hear from you – your input as a member would be most useful and give us insight as to our next step!

As you can well imagine, there was a lot more discussed at the board meeting and I’ll cover more in future blogs.

In the meantime, I hope you will take a minute and give me you feedback on business and fun!

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Donna Tschiffely is Owner of Conference Incorporated and is also the Executive Director of The Direct Marketing Association of Washington (DMAW). Donna has over 36 years experience in the strategic development and execution of conventions, trade shows and special events.