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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.
Jul 06

President Kayser's Message - May 2018

Posted to President's Message by Denice Cox

May 2018 has finally arrived, and the 2018 Conference in Norfolk is just weeks away. Staff and the Host Committee have been working tirelessly to ensure that we all have a great Conference. Let me encourage you to download the IIMC Conference App for it is an awesome tool -- everything Conference is in the palm of your hands. It will save you time and enhance your Conference experience.

When you are planning your time at the Conference, along with the education sessions, be sure to plan on attending all the activities: Opening Ceremonies, the All-Conference event, the Annual Business meeting and Annual Banquet and your Region meeting and dinner. The networking opportunities at these events coupled with the education sessions will enhance your experience and expand your network of contacts. There is a new activity at the Conference this year – Conference Bingo. This is an opportunity to meet new people and, perhaps, win a complimentary registration to the 2019 Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. Of course, we couldn’t put on the Conference without the support of our sponsors and vendors. Please take a moment to thank them. Stop by the exhibit hall and visit the vendors. You may already be using some of their products; however, there could always be new innovation or service that could improve and make your city more efficient.

In the Exhibit Hall, be sure to visit the International Relations booth to hear about what is going on in Regions X and XI. They will have information about the 2019 Study Abroad Program and Symposium that will be held in June in the United Kingdom. That is something you will want to participate in if you can. The Symposium and Study Abroad Program are outstanding opportunities to learn and network with your international colleagues.

Let’s not forget the IIMC Foundation. There will be plenty of opportunities to support the Foundation at the Conference – the silent auction, 50/50 drawings and the Hawaii Fundraiser. The silent auction has two ways to participate - bring an item to donate or to bid on. All the funds raised go right back into Clerk education, in ways of scholarships and grants.

We are happy to announce that IIMC Gives Back returns. This year we are partnering with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk, Virginia. On the IIMC App you will find a wish list of items, some of which you could bring with you or, perhaps, pick up locally. The Charity will have a booth in the exhibit hall to drop off your items and to discover more about the good work they do. And, IIMC is excited to help facilitate this great cause.

It is going to be a great Conference, and I look forward to seeing everyone there.

In April I travelled to the Alberta Municipal Clerks Conference in beautiful Canmore, Alberta. The snow was on the mountains and the sky was a perfect blue, and the Alberta Clerks were warm and welcoming. We had great session on policy writing, stopping gossip in the workplace and a great session on leadership with Drew Dudley. We also heard from the Alberta Ombudsman’s Office, an interesting office in the Provincial Government that has recently been given some oversight in the municipal realm. It was an inspiring conference and this Texas girl took away some excellent tips and strategies, new friends and some gorgeous mountain pictures.

As I have travelled this year as your President, I have learned something new or heard a unique idea at every conference I’ve attended that I could take home to Fort Worth. We all have different jobs and titles for certain, but we are truly more alike than we are different, and we are all truly public servants.

That thought brings me back to the Conference. Come ready to learn, ready to meet new people who will become new friends and be ready to expand your horizons. You never know what you may discover.

See you in Norfolk.

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