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IIMC – Beyond Its Years
Executive Director's Blog
by Denice Cox
As IIMC approaches its 70th anniversary in 2016, much has changed – operationally, organizationally, demographically, financially – yet, IIMC’s initial mission of serving the needs of Municipal Clerks everywhere has not wavered from the Organization’s inception.
From education to annual conferences, from Institutes to online and webinar programs, IIMC continues to monitor itself, thanks to its Board, as it searches for new ways of immersing itself in its membership.
As a non-profit professional association dedicated to Municipal Clerks, IIMC understands that it exists to serve and support its members. We have a sincere commitment to customer service, and that commitment is reflected in all of our education programs, conferences and membership activities. In this pressurized world where customer service is all too often an afterthought or an exaggeration of the latest marketing campaign, we place the needs and wants of our members at the top of our “to do list.”
All areas of your Organization: Board of Directors; Membership; Administration; Conference; Finance; and Education are operating well and experiencing growth and success.
Board of Directors
The IIMC Board of Directors is an engaging group, solidified in their efforts and responsibilities to ensure that every decision is sound tactically and financially. Over the years, their prescience and vision have manifested into increased Region XI membership, the hiring of a Director of Professional Development to better reflect members’ education needs, a four-day conference to reduce cost for Delegates, financial stability and growth, and oversight into all IIMC governance decisions.
Due to more strategic and fiscally responsible planning in travel, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors made 2014 the eighth consecutive year the Organization’s Board of Directors has been under budget. The Organization’s commitment regarding non-domestic travel and efforts of those Presidents the past few years played an integral role in financial prudency. IIMC continues to keep Region XI (Outside North America) travel to only those Associations with which IIMC has a strong affiliation. IIMC also utilizes, whenever possible, American Express points to help reduce travel expenses. IIMC also was successful in having State/Provincial/National Associations help when possible, and we thank them for their assistance.
The Board is committed in its quest for continuous improvements and change in all aspects of this Organization to better serve you – the members.
IIMC has embarked on two highly successful membership engagement campaigns. The first one was directed at municipalities with population of more than 2,100. The second campaign involved populations with less than 2,100. Over the past few years, both of these engagement campaigns have brought in more than 500 new members and more than $180,000 in revenue, proving that IIMC is an attractive option to Municipal Clerks.
The efforts of the Membership Department have helped make the 2014 year-end membership figures exceeded the $1 million mark for the eighth consecutive year.
Administration Building - Headquarters
One out of the two offices at Headquarters is fully leased through 2017. We continue to search for our second tenant. The lease pays approximately 25 percent of the monthly mortgage with IIMC tackling the rest of the mortgage. However, with the rental of the second office, IIMC’s mortgage liability will be reduced to minimum payments.
One additional highlight in 2014 included increasing IIMC’s restricted building reserves to $24,000. IIMC remains proactive in maintaining the upkeep on the premises. Headquarters is in good shape, and the building was painted in November 2014.
A first in its history, IIMC now has accumulated $500,000 in a restricted reserve fund, which can only be used with the Board of Directors approval. This nest egg is imperative to non-profits since membership numbers tend to fluctuate and the economy takes a toll on renewals. This reserve is IIMC’s emergency account if ever needed. Getting to this figure a good year or two ahead of what the Board projected means there was a compulsion to reach financial health.
Thank to existing policies and processes that steer us in a positive direction. We’re diligent about administering the Organization’s finances. The 2014 Year End Budget ended with a profit of $204,000. When you think of the impact the economy has had on our membership and conference attendance these past years, IIMC’s financial accomplishments are a strong indication of an Organization’s collective efforts and willingness to adhere to a set budget, while continuing to broaden its horizons and provide members with valuable services.
National Highlights – Regions X and XI
This past year, IIMC recognized a few historical firsts -- Membership numbers in Region XI (outside North America) grew to an all time high with more than 7500 members with the Netherlands bringing in more than 400 new members. Thanks to many of our Region XI affiliates, IIMC held its first ever Region XI Symposium in Brussels, Belgium, attracting more than 100 attendees from the United States, England, Spain, Scotland, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Israel, South Africa and Wales. IIMC’s 2016 Region XI Symposium is slated for summer 2016.
The 2014 year also witnessed IIMC President Young visiting the Alberta Municipal Clerks Association Annual Conference, another first for this Organization.
The Department hired Jane Anne Long, Ed.D., as its Director of Professional Development in January 2015. The Department continues to work on creating and developing new IIMC-approved online courses, webinars and to search for new methods of improving access to education programs for its members. Conference education sessions fall under this Department’s purview.
E-Communication – E-Briefings and News Digest
IIMC is averaging a 27% open rate on email announcements such as the weekly E-Briefings and News Updates. The industry association average is 18%. Our click rate is 23% (members clicking on links within the announcements) and our bounce rate is 5% (emails that bounce back to IIMC). We have 10,053 active contacts. These numbers depicts a membership that is engaged with their Organization.
IIMC’s web site continues to attract members. As IIMC becomes more proficient and knowledgeable about the legal implications of social marketing through social media, a dif- ferent avenue of communication is being imparted to the membership through Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and Facebook.
The 2015 Conference in Hartford, CT, was IIMC’s first 4-day annual conference. Although attendance just fell short of projections, the Conference was hugely successful in terms of its education programs. The four-day conference survey did not reveal an overwhelming response to return to a five-day conference; however, Delegates certainly appreciated one less night of hotel costs. IIMC looks forward to its 2016 Conference in Omaha, where it will celebrate its 70th anniversary.
In all, it’s an honor and a pleasure serving as your Executive Director.
President Kelly's Message - August 2018
by Denice Cox
My how time flies! It is difficult to believe it has been 60-plus days since we departed the lovely City of Norfolk where Alan Bull, MMC, and our Region II Hosts continuously sought to remind us of the 2018 nautical conference theme “All Hands-on Deck…Global Networking for Shared Success.” It was truly an outstanding conference. There were so many highlights; one hardly knows where to start - from the pre-conference academies, the Athenian Dialogues, the music and food at the All-Conference Event to the roving young musicians at the Annual Banquet, not to mention the General Sessions and the numerous educational sessions; the naval theme emphasis reminded us why we came together for this conference: network, collaborate and communicate. We were encouraged to soak in the knowledge to help us stay on top of the waves and/or weather and the rough seas on our individual voyage. If you have not taken time to look at the conference photos, I recommend a peek by visiting www.iimc.com. The pictures offer a mere glimpse into the Norfolk conference experience.
On a personal note, I extend my sincere gratitude to members who took the time to offer words of encouragement and showed their support of me in various ways during the conference. Preparation for and attending the Norfolk conference was bittersweet in the wake of my husband’s sudden passing in January. He was looking forward to attending Norfolk, would have enjoyed every moment and likely have talked to everyone in his path. I know he was there in spirit, which strengthened me immensely.
Since Norfolk, there has been no lull in activity centered on IIMC. To begin with, shortly upon returning home, we had an unprecedented resignation of two Region Directors within the same week. We express our appreciation to former Region II Director Heidi Brunt, MMC, New Jersey and former Region VI Director Dan Buchholtz, MMC, Minnesota for their service to IIMC. Both Heidi and Dan were dedicated members of the Board during their tenures. We regret the circumstances that led to their individual decisions but wish them well in all their future endeavors. Following the process for filling Board vacancies outlined in the Constitution, the new Region II Director is Diane Pflugfelder, MMC, Municipal Clerk/Administrator of Liberty, NJ. The new Region VI Director is Audra Etzel, MMC, Deputy Clerk of Rockford, MN. The oath of office will be administered to both during the October Mid-Year Meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas. We extend a hearty welcome to our new Directors.
One conference no more ends than it is time to begin planning for the next. Having said that, there’s Magic in the air in Birmingham, Alabama, the host city for the 2019 Annual Conference. I, along with Executive Director Chris Shalby, Assistant Director of Professional Development Ashley DiBlasi and Event Planner Sharon Ozimek recently visited with the Birmingham Host Committee for an exhaustive site visit. The Host Committee plans to lay out the red-carpet and showcase their amazing southern hospitality. You should start planning now to attend IIMC’s 73rd Annual Conference. The Host Hotel is adjacent to the Birmingham Convention Center. Unless we completely fill the Host Hotel, all conference attendees will be in the same hotel. If, however, we exceed the capacity, the overflow Hotel is just across from the host hotel. Based on initial plans, Birmingham will be a memorable experience in educational sessions and more! You do not want to miss the magic that is in store.
My theme for the year is “Together, WE can!” The word “together” is seemly a simple word; frequently used, but sometimes misinterpreted. According to
, the word “together” is an adverb, meaning “with each other”: “in or into one place, group, mixture, piece, etc.”: “in a close relationship”: “in or into association or relationship”: “by combined action.” In addition, the word “together” can be used as an adjective; defined as “appropriately prepared, organized or balanced”.
When thinking of the word “together” in the context of organizational structure, some may think all members ought to be of like minds; when actually nothing is farther from the truth. There are countless wonderful ideas and suggestions within the hearts and minds of our members that have yet to come forward. Please explore opportunities to share them. Our best future depends on building upon the great accomplishments of our past. Author and historian Edward Hale once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Togetherness leads toward unity, mutual respect, cooperation and growth. Remember, “Together, WE can!”
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