This year the 2009 Volunteer Summit: Racing to Win started well before the pace car took to the track. With an early start, exciting and thunder-packed meetings and opportunities for volunteers representing Young Alumni Board, chapters, societies, Student Alumni Board and the national board of directors from all around the United States, it was truly a sight to see.
Beginning early with our 2009 Fall board committee meetings and the program break-out for volunteers, we really did start out full speed ahead. Volunteers and board members all learned about many different things including the upcoming lottery in Arkansas and its scholarship impact, how to earn funding for the respective alumni groups to membership ideas and best practices.
Then it was time for our first pit stop of the day to fill up the tanks. Most of the attendees went to lunch at Brough Commons here on campus, but “it’s not the Brough they remember” from their days on campus. The opportunity to mingle with each other and students was a great opportunity along with the option to see how the campus has changed for the current students.
The time had come to start the race as Gerald Jordan & Mike Macechko took the stage for our keynote presentation (the pace car was on the track). However, the yellow flag was quick to follow as there was caution on the tracks before the cars even got underway. This year the Volunteer Summit was going to cover the Alumni Attitude Study, Mike informed the crowd. We looked at the different parts in the concurrent sessions to seek input for interpretation and possible ways to solve the issues that were brought up by the study. After a review and a few questions and answers on the Alumni Attitude Study, the pole setter was off and the race was underway.
With a split in the track we turned to our very own alumni student scholars and Student Alumni Board members to assists with introductions (and flag control) during the concurrent sessions. They also managed to bring an interesting and useful viewpoint from the students into each of the discussions. Thus, making sure our tiers were very well rounded and prepared to weather well for the years to come.
As racers went around for their first lap they learned about:
- Planning Talladega (Event Planning & Execution)
- Building Your Pit Crew (Planning & Volunteer Recruitment)
- Online Resources & Social Media 1 (for Beginners)
Then it was time for refreshments at the pit stop and back for our second lap:
- Flat Tires & How to Repair Them (Challenges Groups Face)
- Membership Recruitment Tactics
- Online Resources & Social Media 2 (Novice Users)
Last chance to stop and test your skills in the Fantasy Racing Game at the pit stop included:
- Leadership 101 for your Crew
- Membership Strategies
- Online Resources & Social Media 3 (Applications with Alumni Groups)
As the racers came speeding around the last corner it was four-way challenge between the leaders and Rob Casey took the checkered flag and won the Fantasy Racing Game along with this year’s Morris Fair Heart Award for volunteer service. However, the trophies didn’t stop there as the Maryland Chapter received the 2008 Board Cup for Chapter Excellence along with the San Francisco Chapter and SAB receiving the Mace Award for outstanding events during the Victory Lane reception; wow, we really do have a lot of amazing volunteers. This next year is going to be exciting.
As the cars headed back to the garage and the 2009 Volunteer Summit Race to Win came to an exciting finish, it was by far nowhere near over as the Association prepared for the 2009 Georgia vs. Arkansas Pre-Game Rally and 2009 Fall Board Meeting. The race might be done, but things are not slowing down for the Arkansas Alumni Association. We are shifting into high gear to tackle the Alumni Attitude Study and fix what many have said needs improvement. Make sure to get your seat as this is going to be an exciting time to be a member of the Arkansas Alumni Association.