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Aug 27

IIMC – Beyond Its Years

Posted to 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.
May 05

President’s Message - April 2017

Posted to President's Message by Denice Cox

Grand Rapids, Michigan was the site of the 2017 IIMC Region V Conference. It is also will be the site of the 2021 IIMC Annual Conference. Seventy Clerks from Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana attended this conference, the first in this region in many years, The conference began with an Athenian Dialogue facilitated by Stephen French, MMC, from the Hillsdale. The book was 31 days: Gerald R. Ford, the Nixon Pardon, and a Government in Crises. This was am excellent book and the fact that the dialogue was held at the Gerald R. Ford Museum made it surreal. We were also privileged to hear about President Ford from the museum’s curator, Donald Holloway. Holloway spoke about the many different exhibits and the fact that this venue is different than any other presidential museum. The majority, if not all the other Presidential museums and libraries are located in the same place. This one is not. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is actually located in Ann Arbor. It was an experience walking through history. I would highly encourage you to visit this, or any of the Presidential Libraries. A special thank you goes to Steve French for doing a phenomenal job facilitating his first dialogue.

Michigan President Sarah Bydalek, MMC, Walker, MI,and her entire team, did a great job in all facets of this conference. The facility, The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (the same site that the 2021 IIMC conference will be held) was absolutely beautiful. President Bydalek arranged a great education program. Michelle L. Steffes, from IPC Consulting, guided us through a great day discussing how we can avoid burnout. That afternoon, Steffes offered many great tools that will help to empower leadership. Concluding the education component were current Region V Directors Mary Johnston, MMC, Westerville, OH, and Robbie Hume, MMC, Lawrenceburg, KY, and past Region V Director Terri Kowal, MMC, Auburn Hills, MI, who facilitated a Crucial Conversations Roundtable. The entertainment was awesome too. What made this entertainment even more remarkable was that, while the two-man band entertained us with music from all genres, one of the band members painted a portrait of the Grand Rapids skyline while also singing. Now, he did have some help with the painting from many of the Clerks in attendance, including yours truly. An auction was held for that painting and I could not have been happier to bring that painting back home to New Jersey! Thanks to President Bydalek and her team for a great conference.

Well, here we are, just seven short weeks from our 2017 IIMC conference in Montreal. I cannot be more pleased with the responses we’ve received. We are getting close to selling out! As I continue to receive conference updates from our dedicated IIMC staff, I can assure you that this is going to be a conference like no other. This conference, the first outside the United States since 2004 when we were in Whistler, BC, will have many of the usual events such as the All-Conference event and the Annual Banquet. But there will also be changes to various other events including the Montreal Mingle (previously the Presidents Welcome Reception) and the Opening Ceremony. I think you will be overjoyed with these changes as we incorporate much of the Montreal culture into these events. If this conference will be your first travel experience outside the United States, you could not have picked a better place. Montreal is an extremely safe and walkable city, at any time of day and night. From any of the conference hotels, you can walk to many of Montreal’s magnificent and historic sites. While in this beautiful city, I encourage you to embrace the culture, food and all the history for which Montreal is known. You will grow immensely from the experience.
Vincent Buttiglieri, MMC
IIMC President

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