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Region 2 Realigns; Welcome Europe!
2002, Q1 (March 03, 2007)
B Chris Benz, Region 2 Director-Sponsor

As some of you are aware, effective January 1, 2002, STC realigned its eight regions to enable the eight regional Director-Sponsors (D-Ss) to help chapters more efficiently. Overall, 14 chapters were directly affected.

As a result of this realignment, the seven STC chapters in Europe all became part of Region 2. Prior to this, these chapters had been spread across four regions:
  • France, Sweden (now Nordic), and the United Kingdom had been in Region 1.
  • Belgium and Israel had been in Region 2.
  • Transalpine (covering Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland) had been in Region 3.
  • The Netherlands had been in Region 4.

In turn, three chapters that had been in Region 2 moved to other regions:
  • New Jersey and Philadelphia Metro joined Region 1.
  • Pittsburgh joined Region 4.

To those of you joining Region 2: Bienvenue! Willkommen! Benvenuto! Welkom! Dobrodosli! Vlkommen! Welcome! (My apologies if I mangled any of these.)

To those of you leaving the region: Goodbye, friends. We wish you well in your new homes.

Why is this a good thing?

As Region 2's D-S, I am very excited to have all of Europe within one STC region, while still retaining most of the region's U.S.-based chapters. Europe is operating more and more as a single economic and geographic force — interestingly, January 2002 was also the official introduction of the Euro as hard currency — and with all the European chapters working together, the opportunities are ours to create. Add into that mix many of STC's oldest, largest, and most successful, dynamic, and innovative U.S.-based chapters, and we have a great recipe for success, bolstering my longstanding opinion that "Region 2 is #1!"

The realities of a global economy affect each of us more and more every day. By joining hands with our friends and colleagues around the world, we each gain more knowledge, strength, and wisdom than we could ever have realized on our own.

Why this change? Why now?

A major responsibility of STC's Second Vice President (Thea Teich has the honor this year) is to review how STC's regions are organized, and to realign as necessary so that D-Ss can serve the chapters better. Officially, this review can happen at any time. In reality, however, it has happened only periodically, and there was a fairly long gap since the last time the regions were reviewed. During that gap, a significant number of chapters had formed, including several in Europe. Thus, Thea had a fairly large task, not only for Europe, but for the western US and Pacific Rim as well.

As I touched upon earlier, the primary purpose of these realignments is to improve D-S efficiency. The realignments strive to balance the workload equitably among D-Ss, and to improve communications between each region's chapters and their D-Ss, as well as among a region's chapters. Maybe a little travel money gets saved along the way, but the primary purpose is to have each chapter receive more assistance and attention from its D-S while avoiding overworking any one D-S. Also, chapters within a specific geographic area tend to share certain common concerns, and each DS can better specialize in addressing those regional concerns. For example, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area is the gateway to the Ohio River Valley, so there is a logic in having Pittsburgh in Region 4, which includes several other Ohio River Valley chapters.

What does this change mean to you?

In the short term, this change will not mean much. I have been working with your chapter's leaders, my fellow D-Ss, and other regional resources for several months to make sure the transition is a smooth one, and efforts in that area have gone well.

In the medium term, you will see changes to the European (stc-europe.org) and Region 2 (stcregion.org/region2) Web sites. For those of you in the chapters joining Region 2, you will start seeing more newsletter and Web articles by me instead of your former D-S. (Because D-Ss exchange newsletter articles and pass them along to chapter newsletter editors and Webmasters, you will still likely see articles from other D-Ss from time to time.) I will also replace your former D-S as your official advocate on the STC Board of Directors. In the longer term, expect to see closer cooperation among STC's European chapters, and between European and U.S. chapters.

Don't forget to write!

If you have any questions about this realignment — or anything else having to do with STC, for that matter — please let me or one of your chapter leaders know. Plus, if your chapter has had some successful programs that you feel other chapters might be interested in trying, please let me know. Let's all keep on helping each other.

Have a great 2002!

For previous Director-Sponsor articles by Chris, please visit http://www.stcregion.org/region2/chair.shtml. You can reach Chris by e-mail at cjbenz at unforgettable dot com. End of article.

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