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Executive Director's Blog
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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 - October 2018
by Denice Cox
In the next few weeks, the IIMC Board of Directors will convene in Little Rock, Arkansas to hold their annual Mid-Year meeting. Prior to the actual board meeting, Board members will spend time in Board development reviewing the results of the recent membership survey and using that information to guide development of IIMC’s next 3-year strategic plan. The complete mid-year meeting agenda is posted on the IIMC website. I invite you to take a peek. As you will see, the agenda has no fluff but rather contains a great deal of information. Upon review, one gets a true sense of the significance of the various standing committees and their role in making this such an outstanding professional organization. The Board members will be expected to roll up their sleeves to do some heavy lifting as we carefully review and consider the business of running IIMC and planning for its continuing success. There will likely be a lot of in-depth discussion concerning some of the policy recommendations. During those discussions, I believe the focus will be on the financial stability of IIMC as well as what is in the best interest of our membership. Being a membership driven organization, we are obligated to keep that emphasis front and center. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Board will have an opportunity to hear staff reports from the individual employees that provide the day-to-day service of the organization. Hat’s off to our dedicated and amazing staff members! The quality and amount of work they provide is immeasurable.
During the month of September, I had the distinct honor to visit Portland, Oregon to attend the Oregon Association of Municipal Recorders (OAMR) 36th Annual Conference and OAMR’s 35th Anniversary. They were wonderful hosts and provided an amazing conference chocked full of educational take-aways. And I, all the way from North Carolina, took away some pertinent information about public records applicable in my day-to-day application of related laws. I was aware that Oregon and North Carolina had similar laws related to public records, so what I learned was timely. In addition, I learned a lot about fundraising the OAMR way! They are very serious and creative in their approaches to raising money for scholarships. I took notes about that, too! Debbie Hamilton, now Immediate Past President, reminded conference attendees to “Do What you Love, Love What You Do”. The conference theme was “Runway to Success”. To my new friends in Oregon, I say thank you and a job well done.
As I conclude for this month, I’m about to experience the “International” part of our IIMC. Within a couple days, Executive Director Shalby and I will be leaving to attend the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) National Conference in Lincolnshire, England. In addition to attending the conference sessions, we will be meeting with SLCC officials to confirm plans for the June 2019 Study Abroad Program and Region XI Symposium. Please stay tuned for more details on the 2019 Study Abroad Program and make plans to attend, if possible.
Later in the month, I will be accompanied by Past President Monica Martinez Simmons in attending the Institute for Municipal Administrators of South Africa (IMASA) 20th General Meeting and Annual Conference in Western Cape, South Africa. It is in traveling to visit and learn with our international members that we build, enhance and strengthen our international affiliations. I look forward to sharing details upon our safe return home.
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