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Improved communications w/BOD & members

Crazy week and the emails have piled up.   In playing catch-up, I'm struck by 
how this important topic seems to have been hashed over but some great 
suggestions for resolution haven't gone anywhere.   

To recap, Jim Holland requested some improved connection with the BOD at the 
convention.   There was some good feedback about why some forms of this 
weren't practical, but I saw only one reply that it wasn't a good concept in 
general.  (Kat posted that the convention was a poor choice for how & where 
to get this done.   I myself disagree - unlike Kat, I don't know any 
directors personally, and I feel intimidated to just go charging up to people 
at the convention.)    In any case, what's not to like about Jim's suggestion 
that there be a brief reception for folks to meet the BOD and nat'l staff?   
After a meeting when they are all in one place would be fine, or maybe at the 
trade show - a meet-the-managment booth, only open for an hour or so, with 
info in the packet?

Secondly, and I think even more importantly, I'm concerned about the 
discrepancy between all the input and feedback on a variety of topics on RC, 
and the misunderstanding many members seem to have about the extent to which 
that feedback is/is not getting to the appropriate folks - committee members, 
BOD, nat'l staff, etc.   (for those of you who hung in for THAT run-on 
sentence, congratulations <bg>)     In short, we are "talking to ourselves" 
in many instances.  One tremendous recent example of this was having folks 
post their thoughts about topics on the BOD meeting agenda here on RC.   I 
enjoyed reading them, and they are nice to stimulate discussion, but I sure 
hope those who posted weren't under the mis-impression that they were sending 
those thoughts where they most needed to go.   

There were a couple of great ideas that flew by that would really help with 

Jim H. suggested a "formal way through the web site" that directors could 
communicate w/their constituents.  Similarly, Linda Merims suggested an AERC  
member feed back list.    Can't recall who the other person was with a 
similar concept...  sorry.   Also, Kat very appropriately notes that 
providing input at the time of meeting & vote is not real helpful - the 
appropriate individuals need to get the info and have time to think, process, 
question, etc. 

In any case, could there be a mechanism for topics to be posted for the 
membership to comment, or for a round-table type discussion MONITORED by the 
directors?  I know this furthers the problem for folks who aren't on-line, 
but at least it's a start.   Mike, if this is possible, is there anything I 
could do to help?

pat farmer

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