PDA

View Full Version : Let's Talk...



Scott Millen
07-12-2010, 10:55 PM
Here is the text of the email I sent at the beginning of the month. I'd like to discuss some of the issues broached in it. The UAMCC is here for the members, and we need to talk.

Today is a new day in the UAMCC. As we begin this Independence Day weekend, we are able to offer you a view of what the UAMCC has for its members going into the future.
We continue to provide the same basic core of partnerships with vendors running the gamut of useful services. From discounted uniform parts, through discounted lift rentals, and on to inexpensive oil changes for our vehicles, members have access to useful services every day. These partnerships are nothing new to members, and they will continue, even as we add new values. The Board of Directors has been busy these past months working to make a good organization better.
We soon will have an operational, highly selective, and easy-to-use member directory. Integrated into our web presence, and optimized for customer searches on the most commonly used search engines, this will generate useful leads for members in the geographic areas and professional services they prefer.
Also under development is an agreement with a lead generation service, which will rival the successful service that led so many members to join and to be satisfied in the earliest days of the organization. We can't be specific yet, but we can say we definitely will be providing RFP's in the near future.
There has also been a great deal of change in the basics of memberships. Some are now in place, others will be coming online as the technical details are worked out.
Memberships now will be organized numerically, a feature that will allow us to better keep track of our members, and the important features of their tenure as members. A more systematic approach to the record-keeping and to the decision-making processes of the organization's management structure will add both efficiency, and transparency that has been much needed.
We are actively forming the committees required by the bylaws, and the new approach is to begin simply, and allow the committees to grow into their tasks, adapting as required. Immediately, this means that Guy Blackmon will be chairing and re-constituting the Membership Committee. With one or two members taking part alongside him, Guy will be a direct line of communication between the BOD and the members. As part of his new duties, Guy will be representing the UAMCC in Tampa at the Round Table scheduled for the 30th and 31st of this month. If you are going, he will have new information, and maybe even some swag to hand out.
The BOD has placed the UAMCC's BBS at a professional distance in order to more easily concentrate on the larger, more existential concerns requiring our attention. At first this process was controversial, but it has worked so much better than even we originally expected, that we intend to continue this policy for the time being.
Our website has been moved to a new server, and is being maintained by a new staff of professionals. We are happy with the progress so far. As our website is revamped (slightly) and repaired, we are also integrating new functions and features that we believe will improve the members' online experience, as well as our service to the customers all small businesses need to cultivate.
We have nearly retired our outstanding debt to George Hedley, and we know we will be able to do so on time. In an earlier conference call, I publicly stated that we would be able to accomplish this with 2009 money. I was wrong. We have raised most of the funds required in this year. I regret my earlier optimism, but at the time, I believed we would be able to accomplish this goal. In any event, through careful fund management, and especially through the generosity of some of our members, we near the end of that tunnel. July's payment will leave just a few hundred dollars of Mr. Hedley's full fee left for an August payment. There is no reason to believe that we won't be able to accomplish this, as we know the Directors ourselves will be able to donate the required funds, in the event of an emergency.
Our application for status as a 501 C 6 non-profit is still exactly on track. Again there is no reason to assume that it will not come to fruition. The delay is entirely due to the financial state of California, and we have been oft assured by functionaries that it is imminent. We are allowed to function as a 501 C 6 in all respects save one: Contributions donated before the final approval will not be tax-deductable until after the actual approval, and then those contributions will be retroactively deductable from the returns of the years they were actually made. Dues are tax-deductable currently, and will continue to be deductable.
Attached to this message is a copy of the new membership application. People wishing to join, or to renew their memberships, must complete this application and fax it, along with a method of payment, (PayPal, credit card through PayPal, or attached check) to the UAMCC at the number provided. Alternatively, snail mail may be sent to 314 Marlow Court, Chesapeake, VA 23322. Your check will not be cashed, or your card processed, until your insurance agent has faxed us proof of general liability insurance for your firm.
We have two sorts of memberships available: Contractor Members, and Vendor Members. Currently we have inadequate definitions for these, so we ask that you be as honest as possible in the type of membership you choose. The BOD is in the process of making these new definitions, but the process is more difficult than anticipated, and is unfinished. Once we have adequately defined the memberships, the Membership Committee will be tasked with reviewing situations in which member status is unclear, in order to recommend action to the BOD. The BOD will take their advice under advisement, and our ruling will be final. We don't anticipate this to be a common event, as the Directors are available to all prospective members requiring advice in this question.
We are offering memberships at exactly the same rate as last year, except that during July this year, we will allow members to prepay in full as many years as they wish. Any member with a currently full-paid membership may take advantage of a 40% discount on all years paid in advance. That's four free years of every ten prepaid! As our website is currently under repair, our PayPal virtual terminal may not always be accessible, but our 800 number can be used, and payment also may be made through PayPal, the email required is membership@uamcc.org.
Any questions may be directed to any Director, to our email at info@uamcc.org (http://us.mc11.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=info@uamcc.org), or to our 800-816-3240 informational number.
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank the BOD, current and former members alike, for their service in a fraught and difficult process. Have faith, my friends, this is work worth doing! I'd also like to thank the countless members, and members of the industry at large, who have taken hours of their lives to discuss the UAMCC, the industry, and what we are doing and trying to do.
There have been many people who have contributed what they could, and no contributions have been small. Rob Huffman, Don Phelps, Matt Johnson, John Tornabene, Jeff LeCoers, Carlos Gonzales, Robert Hinderliter, Pete Marentay, Ken Fenner, Michael Kreisle, David Vicars, Bob Williamson, Terry Miller, Beth Borrego, Celeste Gothorp, Eric and Jenny Flinn, and others have provided valuable insight (as well as actual funds) to help us keep on track through this inaugural period of BOD leadership. I know I have forgotten some people of equal importance, the fault is mine alone. Please understand that I don't intend this to be an exhaustive list of contributors. It is safe to say that these people, more than most others, have spent time on the phone with me, and other Directors, in this process.
I am humbled and grateful to have had people of this calibre to guide me.
As president of the BOD, I'd like to thank our members, former and current, who have continued to commit time and money to this project. Especially, I'd like to thank Ron Musgraves, for taking a leap of faith with us, and giving so much, even after such a star-crossed and inauspicious beginning. It has meant more than the members can possibly know that he was able to step past his doubts.
More changes, and more new benefits are on the horizon, watch your inbox for developments. This process is ongoing, we know we have more tasks ahead. We still need your input, and to hear your feedback.
Have a safe and happy Independence Day Weekend and thanks for taking the time to read this, and for your support of the UAMCC. I am proud to be UAMCC.

Scott Millen
07-12-2010, 11:14 PM
We have been steadily working on fixing the pervasive problems on our website, our BBS, and our methodology, but we still have a way to go. Our website and Paypal issues are being resolved, but we need feedback on those so let us know how we can improve.

We are making a run at being as paperless as we can manage, so new and renewing members will be able to download the membership certificates, and other materials we used to mail. There are some members who have never received complete member packets, and even some who haven't received any packets at all. If you are in this position, please get in touch, and we will remedy the situation. The old packet materials are not available, so we are redesigning them. They should be ready in a matter of days.

Guy Blackmon has the Membership Committee, and is working to keep communication flowing, including goading me to contribute more regularly, so we are happy to have that help. Please feel free to get ahold of him if you feel you have an issue that needs to be raised. As always, call us with any questions, suggestions, or concerns you may have.

Thanks everybody!