A New Day for SMCHI

Happy New Year! Fresh starts abound and no where is this more true than at SMCHI where we’re preparing to have the Professional members vote on our 2013 nominee class. As an eventful SMCHI 2012 comes to an end, I thought it appropriate to share with our members some this year’s highlights.  

SMCHI Leadership 2012 Retrospective

We’re still a young organization in a young industry and yet, it’s incredible to look back and see how far we’ve really come. To think, our chapter was founded in 2008 by a single person and only 4 years later, our 2013 Board of Directors (BOD) nominee class will have 15 volunteers sitting or chairing committees. We now have 55 56 Professional Members committed to social media, digital and business best practices and ongoing education (one of the largest in the United States). We take very seriously our role as social media practitioners and leaders, as such will continue to seek solutions, ideas and partnerships in our ever-changing industry. There it is: ever-changing.

Disruption, Sustainability and Inclusion

Change is hard, but social media is a dynamic, changing culture that requires flexibility. If there is to be one constant in the upcoming decades, it will be change. The sooner we embrace change as the new reality, the more prepared we will be for what the future holds. 

Your 2012 BOD was very busy this year, including laying the groundwork for SMCHI to thrive as it serves its members and community.

Two of our primary “social business” considerations this year were community and sustainability.  You, our community, also provided us with great feedback this year. Both in the form of our surveys as well as in-person.  We asked for your input several times and you inspired us with ideas and your thoughts. Some of you gave us pats on the back, and some of you had constructive criticism. We heard you. In fact, several of our events were in direct response to your feedback.  We appreciate and welcome your continued input as SMCHI continues to evolve as an organization.  We also asked you if you wanted to contribute to SMCHI. The response was very positive and we’re honored to have had such a great response.

Community is a key element for a sustainable SMCHI. We knew that in order to grow SMCHI and provide the community with quality educational and professional opportunities, the organization needed depth and independence that it previously lacked. We wouldn’t be where were are today if it weren’t for past leadership, on the other hand, we can’t grow as an organization if the leadership stays the same.  The social media revolution includes a culture which is inclusive, dynamic, community oriented and transparent. Change is natural, especially in our social media space.

In that vein, for the most part, our BOD embraced change and made decisions we felt would best support SMCHI in the foreseeable future (subject to evolve, of course):

  • One of the first motions the BOD took this year was to make board terms from February-February. We felt that voting during the holidays didn’t allow for a majority members to participate and that leadership change during the holidays didn’t benefit SMCHI as an organization. You’ll be able to vote on the 2013 BOD class at the end of January, but the BOD is already preparing for new members so the transition is seamless.
  • In 2012, the SMCHI BOD voted to begin charging for our professional training events. Read More Here. Our community and sponsors have remained very supportive of this change.
  • We also pursued a Sponsorship with HTDC for live-stream equipment. Our sponsorship was accepted and beginning in 2013, SMCHI will be able to have high-quality live-streamed events. We will also be live-streaming a number of other tech related events in Hawaii as part of our sponsorship. Stay tuned for more information!

We also made two significant structural changes to the BOD, which we felt better reflected our egalitarian and dynamic industry and our ever growing membership. Since SMCHI is one of the largest and fastest growing professional SMC chapters, it makes sense that we lead the way with structural changes.

  • We chose to allow new professional members to sit on committees. In the past, professional members had to be active with SMCHI for at least 6 months in order to sit on the BOD. We felt that new members who wanted to contribute should have a way to do so; and that by allowing this change, we could better serve our membership. Board Chairs are still required to have been active, contributing members of SMCHI.
  • We also expanded the 2013 BOD nomination committee to include all returning BOD, as opposed to one or two people. We felt that since returning BOD members were the most impacted by new nominees, that each member should have a say in the process. These two changes have resulted in our largest nomination class ever, which we feel will better serve the social media, digital and business communities better than ever before.

These two changes were not unanimous, but a quorum was reached by returning BOD members and your 2013 BOD looks forward to serving the business, digital and social media communities better than ever before.

SMCHI: Evolution

The SMCHI of today, is very different than the SMCHI of yesterday. We have more members, more benefits, more ways to communicate, deeper and more strategic training, more sponsors, and more community feedback than we ever did before. More than ever, its time to be intelligently flexible and responsive.  The organization is its own growing, living organism. I’m extremely proud to have been part of that evolution. I look forward to contributing to its evolution in new ways.

Speaking of a sustainable and blooming SMCHI: we have a very exciting slate of nominees to submit to our membership for voting. I’ll write more on that as we get closer to voting in January. However, I’m extremely proud to continue to serve on the SMCHI, while at the same time supporting the nomination of Gwen Woltz as 2013 SMCHI President. After serving for the years of 2011 and 2012 as SMCHI President, I felt that it was time for some fresh ideas and leadership for SMCHI, so I decided not to run again. I’m extremely enthusiastic about Gwen’s ability to take SMCHI into the next phase of its growth. She’s got some great ideas and her creative, enthusiastic leadership will surely be felt by all SMCHI members. New ideas. New Committee Members. New Professional Members. A New Day…for Social Media Club of Hawaii.

Again, thank you to our community for helping SMCHI grow and thrive. Many good things are happening at SMCHI and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2013!

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