President’s Column: Three ‘Rs’ for Reinvigorating Our Chapter Membership Mission

An avid boater, I’m not a fan of the months of January and February. The gray, cold days seem to limp like a damaged yacht heading back to port. You can see hope on the horizon but then the wind snaps you back to reality. But if there is a silver lining, it’s a good time to make plans as you creep out of hibernation.

So, I recently tasked your officers and board members to use the creativity that we learned with our Legos to find ways to boost membership.  There’s no magic wand or elixir to bring younger members into the fold. I was impressed with the fresh ideas that we plan to put into action. I’m asking you to take a few minutes and read what we hope will be a blueprint for our membership mission:

  • Reinvigorate – Be welcoming
  • Recharge – Be excited for possibilities
  • Reinvent – Be creative

To reinvigorate former members, we plan to send a personalized Constant Contact that we’re ‘getting the band back together’. Yes, we’ll pitch some headliners about the benefits of networking, keeping up with the latest trends, and having fun with a great bunch of professionals. This is a unique approach to emphasize the message that you don’t want to miss out on the exciting programs for the rest of the year, which includes a Google rep detailing Artificial Intelligence!

To recharge our current members for spring, we’ll send a different Constant Contact to update our free mini webinars and social mixers. Personally, I look forward to the networking portion of the meeting prior to dinner when different subjects crop up, like discussing the STC salary database. This is one excellent tool to have in your pocket when chatting with the boss about this competitive industry and ones future paycheck.

Last, but not least, we need to reinvent ways for mentoring younger members. Our chapter has incredible knowledge and talent. We need to harness this knowledgebase and create a new chapter brochure, or YouTube videos. We’ve already introduced Slack and mini webinars. Let’s find other ways to express our creative selves.

To accomplish the three ‘Rs’, we need your help. Don’t worry, these tasks do not take much time from your active schedules. For example, become a greeter at the door to welcome members and guests. A smile goes a long way when someone is new and walking into a room of strangers. Or, someone to help coordinate our presenters for the mini webinars. These 30-minute discussions are quickly catching on, and, again, does not require you leaving home to help organize events.

These are exciting times for our profession as expanding technology opens new doors.  Be part of the renaissance by bringing a friend or coworker to a meeting. The chapter will pay for the newcomer’s meal, just let us know they are coming so we can plan accordingly. Think spring!

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One cannot discuss the Indians’ history without mentioning the ‘Rock’ and ‘Trader Lane’. The Rock is Rocky Colavito, who was part of a heart-wrenching trade in 1960 by then General Manager Frank Lane. The fans were furious at ‘Trader Lane’, whose wacky trades besides Colvito included Billy Martin, Minnie Minoso, Norm Cash, and Herb Score to name a few. But it was the trade of fan-favorite Colavito that spawned the ‘curse of Rocky Colavito’.

Rocco Domenico Colavito was a pure slugger with a cannon arm in the outfield. (He once threw a baseball over the centerfield fence … from home plate.) In 1958, Colavito batted .303 with 41 homers (one behind Mickey Mantle’s league lead) and drove in 113 runs. His AL-leading .620 average was the highest all-time by a right-handed Tribe hitter until Albert Belle in 1994. The next season Colavito became the first Tribesman to have two 40-homer seasons. His prowess at the plate included four homers in consecutive at-bats in a single game. The feat was only the third time in history, the last in 1932 by the immortal Lou Gehrig.

When Colavito was traded to Detroit for Harvey Kuenn, the backlash was seen as a curse on the Tribe. Whether true or false, an injury-riddled Kuenn was traded after the following season and the Indians started their downward spiral in the standings. Colavito was brought back to the wigwam in 1965 but at a step price in a three-team trade. The Indians parted with catcher Johnny Romano, pitcher Tommy John, and outfielder Tommy Agee. Colavito retired in 1968 with 374 career home runs.

As for the ‘curse’, during my days as bat boy, I had the rare privilege to be around Colavito when he was hired in 1973 as first base coach. He never spoke ill of the Tribe and was a true professional in and out of the dugout. But, there are two World Series losses that haunt: two outs shy in Game 7 (1997) and three games to one lead (2016) that was to be for naught.

By Bob Young