t’s hard to believe that my term as chapter president is coming to a close already. It has been an amazing and rewarding year. When I stepped into this role a year ago, I had 3 overall goals for the year: 1) enhance member value, 2) increase chapter visibility, and 3) continue to improve our operational efficiency.

The list of the year’s accomplishments is too long for this post (as is the list of the challenges). I want to recognize just a few of this year’s accomplishments. To improve membership value, we conducted research on what members value, reduced the cost of events for members by 50%, re-instituted monthly meetings, and added bi-monthly webcast events. We also added the member rewards program and launched the career center.

We increased chapter visibility through our networking events, by re-establishing connections with local media outlets, and by launching an awareness campaign on college campuses.

From an administrative efficiency perspective, we terminated our relationship with our back-office provider and found new ways to handle those tasks. As a result, we are saving a notable amount each month, and we now have an official IABC MN office in Golden Valley that serves as place to store records, hold meetings, and that provides our chapter with its own permanent address.

All of these were accomplished thanks the efforts of our volunteers. I take my hat off to all of those who dedicated so much of their time and talent to the chapter this year.  A special shout out to our board members: Mark Kretschmar, Jen Doll, Sue Otten, Paul Omodt, Rachel St. Moritz, Sara Kowski, Sarah Davy, Tammy Nienaber, Leonard Pesheck, Diana Dukich, Amelia Reigstad, and Tim Connelly. Thank you for dedication and hard work. It has truly been an honor to serve on the board with you. I have learned so much and made several, wonderful friends in the process.

There’s a lot more in store. As of June 1, IABC has a new brand. You’ll see this rolled out over the next several months. International has also launched a brand new web site and the first of the new certifications with more to follow.

At the chapter level, we have more great monthly programming, webinars, and connections events on the way. We’ve also begun planning for a Spring 2016 conference in collaboration with the University of MN. On July 1, Mark Kretschmar will be stepping into the role of chapter president, and we’ll be welcoming some new board members.The leadership of the chapter will continue to be in great hands. I will continue to be an active part of the board serving as past president. I look forward to continuing to interact with all of you and to continuing to enhance the value of your IABC membership.

Thank you all for your support this year! It’s been an incredible experience!

-Tami Wendt, Chapter President 2014-15