Last September I had the honor of representing the Midwest Chapter at the fall leadership retreat. Meeting with other incoming chapter presidents was a great opportunity to share ideas and recharge the LMA batteries. At the start of our retreat we each introduced our self and talked a little about how we got involved with LMA. In every instance our involvement started with one person — someone reaching out, encouraging someone to join, get involved, chair a committee or run for the Board.
We are an organization of volunteers. But in so many of our stories, the people we meet during our volunteer activities become friends; we become one big extended LMA family. We cheer each other on when we get promoted, get a new job, get married or have a baby, and we come together to mourn our losses and disappointments. We are an amazing organization of people supporting each other.
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You’ve heard me say it before, and it’s a running theme for this year: volunteer. Get involved. You’re not getting everything out of your LMA membership without getting to know the community around you. You get so much more out of LMA than you will ever give.
As a Board, we feel that involvement is a critical part of what LMA has to offer. Because we feel so strongly about this, we’ve created our Volunteer Incentive Program (V.I.P.). It’s a way to recognize the hard work our volunteers put into the organization and encourage new members to join us and get involved.
You can read more about our VIP Initiative here. In a nutshell, for each thing you do for the chapter, you’ll collect points. At the end of the year, those points translate into chances to win a trip to the 2014 Annual Conference. This is a wonderful opportunity for those members whose firms don’t otherwise send to the annual conference.
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2013 promises to be an exciting year for our Chapter. We have our most geographically diverse Board of Directors with three members from outside of Chicago. Our President-Elect, Rich Marsolais, is from the Detroit City Group. This is a testament to the success of our City Group structure and the hard work of our city group volunteers. With each passing year we grow more into our Midwest name.
Because we’ve had such success with the city group model, this year we will be creating a city group steering committee for our Chicago members. This will provide additional leadership opportunities for our members as well as enabling the Board of Directors to maintain a more strategic position within the chapter. I encourage our Chicago members to step up and join our city group steering committee.
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The LMA Midwest family recently lost two members at too young of an age. Lynn Sutton was the Creative Manager at Barnes & Thornburg and helped the chapter redesign In the Loop when we transitioned to an electronic format. Judi Weingarz was Director of Marketing at The Interlex Group. She served LMA at both the chapter and international level, most recently as a member of the international Board of Directors. Please join me in extending our sympathies to their families and friends. Both are missed by many in our LMA community.
A few of Judy’s close friends have pulled together a fundraiser for Judi's four children. An account for the Weingarz Children has been established at: BMO Harris Bank, 2975 Cedar Glade Dr., Naperville, IL 60564. Please make checks payable to: “Weingarz Children Education and Scholarship Fund.”
In lieu of flowers for Lynn, donations can be made to the National Brain Tumor Society www.braintumor.org or the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence www.ncadv.org.