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Houston Chapter Launches Past President Club
2004, Q3 (June 12, 2008)
By Deborah M. Long, Immediate Past President, Houston Chapter

Editor’s Note: The following article appeared in the May/June 2003 issue of Tieline, which is published for STC leaders. The purpose of Tieline is to serve as a link between chapters, volunteer leaders, and the Society office. Before that, this article appeared in the February 2003 issue of Dateline Houston, the newsletter of the Houston Chapter STC.

At its December 2002 meeting, the administrative council of the Houston Chapter STC approved a proposal for initiating a past presidents club. This concept was first proposed a few years ago, when the chapter was considering how to keep former presidents involved in chapter activities. Former presidents might no longer wish to be heavily involved in chapter affairs, but after their three-year commitment to chapter management, going to club events can help “keep the juices flowing.”

Former presidents have much combined wisdom to offer current administrations and can draw from their historical perspective when the chapter is faced with difficult situations. Their experiences, observations, and advice can be an invaluable resource for the chapter.

Like Minds

The rules of the club are simple. Houston chapter members who have served as chapter president (in Houston or any other chapter) are automatically members of the club. The only exception is that former presidents serving on the administrative council cannot participate until after their council commitment ends. The primary purpose of the club is social, with occasional opportunities provided for “like minds” to share memories and ideas and to stay in touch. The immediate past president acts as chapter liaison for these members, carrying suggestions and information between the former presidents and the current president.

Obviously, confidentiality must be a key aspect of the club. The job of chapter president can be a lonely and demanding role, with various competing interests tugging at your sleeve. But the current president can rest assured that any concerns will remain in strict confidence with members of the club.

The Motivational Factor

A major anticipated benefit of the past presidents club is the motivational factor for other members. By their willingness to play an important role in chapter affairs after their terms in office have ended, the past presidents may inspire more Houston chapter members to run for office and gain the experience required to become a future chapter president.

For more information on the Houston chapter’s past president’s club, contact me.

Deborah Long is president and owner of Long Communications, a technical writing and editing consulting business in Houston, Texas. She has been active in the technical communication field for the past twenty-two years. She can be reached at dlong at bigcity dot net. End of article.

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