As we begin a new year, PDCA has taken the steps to aggressively pursue an ongoing and important priority: membership development. This has traditionally been a function of the PDCA national office, often supplemented by existing members. However, the efforts put forth by members and staff have previously been described as "passive" in nature, and many believe we can do even better. Some of the methods for membership development that we have employed to date include advertising through PileDriver magazine and other publications; pitching audiences at PDCA events; circulating membership applications at industry functions; and promoting our newly redesigned web-based application system, which is now a very quick and user-friendly tool for interested parties to submit dues and enroll in the association. Collectively, all of this has grown membership. However, our leadership has determined that an additional PDCA staff position dedicated to identifying and enrolling new members will lead to further and faster association growth. Effective in January, the PDCA Board of Directors created a new position in the national office entitled director of member services, which has a defined scope of membership retention and development while also providing support to local PDCA chapters. After a thorough interviewing process with PDCA's incoming and outgoing executive directors, I am pleased to announce that I have committed to expand the membership, become a greater resource to our chapters and assist the organization as needed to support, strengthen and grow PDCA. I offer many thanks to the board for making this important position available, to the staff for welcoming me into the office and to the entire membership for recognizing that the pile driving industry can improve and flourish when we all band together behind our common interests and mission to "effectively communicate the benefits of the driven pile through education and continuous improvement of methods, material and equipment to the industry." A little bit about me I come to PDCA with an expansive and diverse background in the association and non-profit sector. Some of the associations for which I have worked include the National Federation of Independent Business, the Florida Public Defender Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, the Merchant's Payments Coalition and the Dirksen Congressional Center. Functions I have performed in some or all these associations include new membership development, member retention, communications, marketing, legislative advocacy, member education and coalition building. Outside of the non-profit sector, I have also worked as a broadcaster, a congressional communications director, a public information officer and as a political/marketing consultant with an agency. My career to date has been split between Illinois and Florida. Away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my family, which includes plenty of time on the sidelines of youth sporting events and taking in all the adventures we can find in the great outdoors. And while I presently live in North Florida, the convergence of SEC and ACC country, I remain loyal to the wonderful University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where I earned a B.A. in history. Through all my experiences, I have learned that non-prejudicial networking and strong relationship building are critical components of a healthy growth strategy for any coalition. I very enthusiastically bring this philosophy to PDCA. My first months on staff have been anything but dull. Through the training and work completed so far, I have solidified my belief that I can be successful in delivering upon the expectations of my new position. It has quickly become apparent that this is an opportunity to continuously learn and understand a fascinating, competitive and traditional but constantly evolving industry all while doing what I believe I can do well build a deep and strong foundation of support that will enable ongoing growth of PDCA membership and ultimately succeed in promoting a healthy and sustainable pile driving industry. It is very important that I include this invitation to all readers of PileDriver magazine I want your input and guidance when you believe it is advantageous and appropriate for the association to pursue new members of PDCA. And to those who participate in local chapters, I want your ideas and desires for achieving a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship with the PDCA national office. Communication is a critical piece of success in the growth of PDCA and I am very eager to collect thoughts and suggestions from all industry practitioners and strategically adopting those to the organization's advantage. In my role as director of member services, I am eager to work with PDCA's Communications Committee as their staff liaison. A major function of this member committee is the development of content for PileDriver magazine. The committee is always actively searching for industry news and events to help our membership stay current. I will try to bring to this committee more legal or regulatory changes in your specific markets but am looking for member input to accomplish this successfully. The committee is open to all members who would like to participate and welcomes all pile driving job stories. The committee's main goal has always been and will continue to be to promote the driven pile industry and our members. I am eager for this experience as the active involvement of our members has proven very successful and I am offering to be a resource to this type of energy. The PDCA national office would like you to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your company's public relations department contacts and email distribution list. This will enable our PDCA national office to better support you, our members, in your exciting endeavors. The idea is that PDCA will collect and republish news and happenings on your company as a member benefit within our member email blasts and publication options. Again, I am eager to work with PDCA members and their regional chapters while engaging new members to join us in promoting the driven pile industry.
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