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Oct 09

President Kelly's Message - October 2018

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 11:40 AM 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.
Oct 09

President Kelly's Message - September 2018

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 11:40 AM by Denice Cox

Hello IIMC members!
This is my monthly check-in. I want to let you know what and how IIMC is doing. I may not have mentioned last month that I will have a traveling companion this year named “Bear Charles.” He was given to me in Norfolk and, so far, he has traveled with me on both of my IIMC-related trips - Birmingham, Alabama and Pinehurst, North Carolina.

I first wish to thank the North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks for inviting me, as IIMC President, “home” to attend their 2018 Annual Conference in Pinehurst at the beautiful and self-described “majestic century-old” Carolina Hotel. The hotel originally opened in January 1901 and is called the “Queen of the South” because of its extensive verandas from one end to the other. The conference theme was “Spicing Up Local Government” and boy, did they ever! In addition to the numerous networking opportunities, spending time with the vendors and raising scholarship funds through the silent auction, those in attendance returned to their various communities more knowledgeable about diversity and inclusion, employment discrimination law, selling surplus property, what’s new in the Secretary of State’s Office, social media, NC open meetings law and more. We were also delighted to have Region III Directors, Pamela Smith, MMC, Sanibel, FL and Sonya Tolbert, CMC, Albany, GA in attendance. They added their own “spice” to the occasion. It was great seeing old friends, meeting new ones and learning more to help in my day-to-day work environment. It was a wonderful conference.

IIMC is hard at work -- IIMC committee members, that is. The last month has been another busy time for the Organization. It’s amazing to see firsthand the amount of work it takes behind the scenes to make our Organization successful. Being aware of what it takes to keep things moving along gives new meaning to our theme of “Together, WE can!” As your IIMC staff prepares for the Board’s annual Midyear Meeting in Little Rock, AR, the committees are working hard to review their goals and objectives. They will review draft policies to recommend to the Board for its consideration during the mid-year meeting.

But just weeks before the meeting, actually September 7th, the Budget and Planning Committee will meet at IIMC Headquarters for a day-long in-depth review and discussion of the Organization’s finances. The agenda includes a review of the 2018-2019 committee goals and objectives, as well as a review of current policies related to revenues and finances to ensure compliance. The Committee will also review new draft policies intended to improve and strengthen IIMC’s current practices with the hope of recommending them to the IIMC Board for their approval. The new draft policies are: Annual Audit; Conflict of Interest; Operating Reserves; and Liquidity and Availability. I’ll talk more about the upcoming Midyear meeting next month.

One cannot forget that IIMC is a membership-driven Organization. What we do is not about one individual or one group, but it is about the 14,000 plus members worldwide. The challenge in that is in attempting to make decisions that make the Organization standout: to add value for the members by promoting and ensuring the IIMC Mission remains front and center. One way  to help gauge our direction and course is to seek input and feedback from the membership. Knowing that everyone’s time is precious, the Board of Directors and I are appreciative to all the members who recently participated in the membership survey. Your feedback will not fall into an empty well but will be carefully considered as we work to create the next three-year strategic plan during the Midyear Meeting. This strategic plan will be used to help the Board set priorities, strengthen current operations and focus resources that ensures everyone - staff, Board and members – is working toward common goals, using an agreed upon plan on how we will achieve them.

Our Mission: IIMC is a professional, nonprofit association that promotes continuing education and certification through university and college-based institutes and provides networking solutions, services and benefits to its members worldwide.
Aug 08

President Kelly's Message - August 2018

Posted on August 8, 2018 at 10:17 AM 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 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 Webster’s Dictionary, 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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