December President’s Message

Blog President Emilie Installation Speech

Dear Quota Members,

I am now home in the Philippines after meeting in person with your Board of Directors in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. I wish to salute my fellow 2018-2020 Board Members for their deep commitment to defining a viable future for our beloved organization:  President-elect/Treasurer Carol Patin, Vice President Brenda Cherry, Vice President Luz Marina Gonzalez, and Vice President Jan Rhodes. We were joined by Interim Executive Director Nancy Fitzpatrick, as well as Parliamentarian Carolyn Stubbs, South Pacific Area Liaison Beris Pritchard, and Quota Volunteer Consultant (and former Executive Director) Kathleen Treiber, all three of whom traveled to Washington, D.C., at their own expense. The nine of us brought an amazing breadth of knowledge about Quota to this critical meeting, and we were fortunate to be able to discuss Quota’s future in context with knowledge of our organization’s history and worldwide traditions.

Here is a report of our Board Meeting actions:

AUDIT REPORT:  Your Board of Directors reviewed a draft of the May 1 – September 30, 2018 Audit Report, Quota’s short fiscal year, and since then, the report has been finalized and is now published online. Note that there was a change in staff management on September 7, 2018, and so this report primarily covers the period of time prior to this change. Questions regarding this report can be sent to financialquestions@quota.org.

MEMBERSHIP:  With all but 14 dues statements processed, Quota International is reporting 3,915 members thus far for our first annual October dues collection period. We expect this number to go up as final dues statements arrive. Last year, as of October 2017, Quota had 4,302 members. With regret, the Board approved the dissolution requests from two clubs:  QI of Mariposa Silver Q, Canada (Region 1) and QI of Bateman’s Bay, Australia (Region 14). In addition, three clubs requesting dissolution were approved with regret pending the receipt of their paperwork: QI of Ozarks, U.S. (Region 9), QI of Preston County, U.S. (Region 5), and QI of Amsterdam (Region 10).

FINANCES:  Your Board of Directors reviewed Quota International’s cash flow and approved Projected 2018-2019 Income and Expense Budgets. Our anticipated shortfall this fiscal year is U.S.$151,343. Read more and view our budgets here. While no Quota office suites have yet been sold, our space has had two showings. View our Quota office sales listing

DONATIONS:  All Board Members expressed appreciation for Wanda Frey Joiner Fund donations made in response to the Century Program emergency appeal. (View donations here.) As of November 30, 2018, those specific donations totaled $12,438. The Century Program donations are requested to be sent now through February 6, 2018, in honor of Quota’s 100th Birthday. Donations will be used to make up for the U.S.$151,343 shortfall in finances this fiscal year while we wait for Quota’s office space to sell.

CUTTING COSTS:  Cost-cutting actions previously taken were summarized (reducing staff costs, reducing travel costs, cutting costs in operations where possible). In new actions, your Board of Directors approved dissolving the employee 401K program (it will be replaced with a less costly retirement benefit) and the ending of the We Share Foundation’s program allowing U.S.-based clubs to set up charitable trusts under the Foundation’s 501c3 group exemption. Clubs currently participating in this program will be allowed to continue their trust; however, Quota is no longer staffed to provide the level of assistance that is needed to set up new club trusts. All clubs in the United States have the ability to set up a charitable trust on their own by contacting the U.S. Internal Revenue service, and/or their club’s financial advisor.

INFRASTRUCTURE:  Your Board of Directors approved two actions to take this fiscal year in order to plan for and operate a more cost-effective Quota organization in future years. Both items will be created using the expertise of Quota’s part-time Web and Database Contractor.

First, we plan to revise our Web site in order to make it more interactive and easier to use so that members and leaders can upload information without staff intervention. In addition, we plan to reconfigure and improve an online Quota resource center for clubs.

Second, Quota will create a simplified database that we will use to record only club and leader information. We will no longer input individual member information. Instead, we will collect and file it for reference purposes. We will include a place on Quota’s newly revised Web site where members can input, update, or delete their e-mail addresses so that members wishing to continue to receive Quota’s e-communications will have the ability to do so.

Creating these two items will actually save Quota International money in the long term because Quota does not own its own database. The company that provides database service also “houses” Quota’s Web site, and the annual contract for both services is very costly. Going forward, Quota will “own” both items and will not have to pay expensive annual contract renewals and increases.

DEFINING QUOTA’S FUTURE STRUCTURE:  Your Board of Directors approved a new strategic initiative, Beginning Quota’s Second Century of Service, a process which will define Quota International’s evolution as an organization going forward:

Step One:  Cutting costs where possible and planning the relocation of our operations in a reduced-sized and reduced-cost office, our first step, is now underway. We are dependent on the sale of our Quota office space to complete this step.

Step Two:  At 2019 Regional Conferences, your Board of Directors will collect feedback and suggestions for Quota’s future from members during Leaders as Listeners small group discussions.  (The Leaders as Listeners program was created in 1996 by Nancy Fitzpatrick, now Quota’s Interim Executive Director, as a way to involve members in defining future directions for the organization. It was used at key moments in the organization’s past so that member feedback could be more effectively considered in major decisions.)

Step Three:  After Regional Meetings end, feedback will be consolidated into a report for your Board of Directors to use in crafting its vision for Quota’s future. We will work in collaboration with staff in conducting research, engaging in strategic discussions, and further defining a future structure that will best meet the needs and wishes of members.

Step Four: Your Board of Directors will announce its proposal for Quota’s future structure and operations after finalizing it at the December 2019 Board Meeting. Members will be given opportunities to discuss it at 2020 Regional Meetings and Convention 2020. Any required bylaw changes or revisions needed to simplify bylaws, if any, will be planned in coordination with the Bylaws Committee and then discussed and voted on at Convention 2020.

PROGRAMS:  We discussed the future of two Quota programs:  Hand-in-Hand World Service and Quota Rewards. Both programs will continue in the year ahead while Quota’s future structure and operations are further defined. 2018 Hand-in-Hand donations were distributed between March and May 2018. Donations now being collected will be distributed in the March to May 2019 time period.

REGIONAL MEETINGS:  As announced the day your Board gathered in Washington, D.C., for our meeting, all Board Members and four Past International PIPs have volunteered to pay for their own travel to and from Regional Meetings. I wish to thank your Board as well as Past International President Mary Cotter, Past International President Daryl Perrine, Past International President Beris Pritchard, and Past International President Carolyn Stubbs for their most generous donation of both their time and their finances. An updated Regional Meeting Schedule is now available.

I am very proud of your Board of Directors for their hard work these past months on “righting Quota’s ship” at this difficult time. Your Board is committed to speaking only the truth about Quota’s situation and making decisions in context of what is really possible. We, as an organization have been dealt some difficult realities. However, your Board truly does see a future going forward for all Quota clubs around the world. We look forward to further developing our vision in partnership with you.

Meanwhile, I wish all Quota members a very happy holiday season. You are Quota’s greatest blessing, and I am grateful for the many ways you contribute in Quota’s name.  Together, We Change Lives.

Sincerely,

Emilie Simon

2018-2020 President

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