President’s Message- July 2019

Blog President Emilie Installation Speech

Dear Quota Members,

We loved hearing from those of you who shared your thoughts on Quota’s future via feedback from Regional Meeting small group discussions. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and suggestions. Your Board of Directors will reflect on the full feedback report at our December Board Meeting.

For now, what I can share with you from the feedback report is the depth of caring that came through for your local Quota club and the members with whom you serve. Also clear from the report is that the personal benefits you gain by belonging to your club are almost as important to you as the service you provide in your communities – friendship, fellowship, serving with like-minded members, the support you receive, and the good feelings you get from making a difference in your home town.

You also conveyed your concern about Quota’s future as an international organization, and your concern is well-founded. With the continuing loss of members the question becomes, “At what membership number is Quota International no longer a viable organization?” We will be reflecting upon this question and others at our December Board Meeting, as well as reviewing the strategic research now being conducted. We appreciate the many ideas and suggestions you made regarding Quota’s future direction, and it is clear that you are aware of the increasing financial restrictions facing our organization due to our membership losses. Some members even suggested creating separate Quota countries (in place of Quota International) in order to reduce the cost of Quota participation. You can trust that your Board of Directors takes seriously its mandate to study all issues and ideas surrounding Quota’s future structure.

Meanwhile, I’d like to respond to a few Regional Meeting feedback questions and suggestions that we can answer now.

Finances

  • Why do we have a convention fee? The Advance Convention Fee helps offset the cost of Quota’s governance activities not only held at convention, but before and after related to the collection of proposed bylaws, implementing changes, and reporting changes to the membership. From time to time legal assistance is required related to the research of a potential bylaw change. The primary purpose of the biennial convention is governance and therefore Advance Convention Fees also help offset the cost of planning and implementing the meeting. Finally, the Advance Convention Fee funds a portion of the club voting delegate’s registration fee.
  • Why don’t clubs pay a sliding scale amount for their Advance Convention Fee based on the number of members in a club? The reason is because every club in Quota holds one equal vote, so small clubs have a vote that is equal to large clubs.

Membership

  • Please bring back the Sister Club Program. For those of you who may not know, the Sister Club program was an initiative that matched two clubs from different geographical regions together – to share communications and ideas and to perhaps even meet in person at a meeting or convention. The program promoted connection and friendship between and among clubs around the world. We would be happy to bring this program back and any clubs that which wish to participate should please let us know by sending an e-mail to staff@quota.org and we will make matches. We will send out future communications soliciting potential interest in this program, too.
  • How can we attract younger people to our club? First your club needs to ensure that it would offer a welcoming culture to younger members. Sometimes clubs do better with attracting new members who seek the experience that a particular club offers to its existing members. However, the JQ Program can be an excellent way to start grooming both young people and your club members for a multi-generational experience. QI of Beenleigh in Australia has been particularly successful in enjoying the full membership of younger members who started as JQs. The JQ program is both a service initiative and a membership recruitment tool!

Hand-in-Hand World Service

  • Why did we not reduce the number of approved Hand-in-Hand projects this fiscal year since this has been a fiscally challenging year for Quota? The reason is because Quota International and the We Share Foundation will not be subsidizing any donations to any Hand-in-Hand projects this year. Projects will only receive donations that come in from our members, clubs, and others who wish to support the program.  We are expecting donations that have already come and as well as those that will come in later this year to exceed the $2,000 we set as a donation goal for each project. This program will be reviewed on a yearly basis for changes, improvements, or even its continuation.
  • Please put updated Hand-in-Hand information online. Updated information on Quota’s Hand-in-Hand program is already available on our Quota Web site. Information includes the most recent projects approved for participation this year. And we make it possible for those of you who wish to donate to do so online.

Communications

  • Not all Quota members have Internet, but they want to hear from their organization. While we know there are still a limited number of members who do not regularly use Internet, Quota International is a volunteer organization. We know that you, our wonderful members, can be counted on to print and share important communications with those who are not Web connected. Technology is not the future of organizations…. It’s the present. The cost to print and mail communications to members around the world, even one per year, is prohibitive.
  • Our Web site is difficult to use. We want a better user-friendly site. You’re in luck. Work is almost complete on a brand new Web site that will not only save Quota money but will be easy to navigate and use.
  • Please bring back an online Quota store. Done! Our new Web site will contain an online store where you can order jewelry and club supplies. As soon as our new site goes live, you no longer need to e-mail your orders to us.
 
  • Please publish board meeting minutes. The President provides an in-depth written report in the first President’s Message following major board meetings. Here is the report published following the December 2018 Board Meeting: December 2018 President’s Message
  • Please improve communications overall. After the staff management change occurred in September 2018, Quota has made a consistent effort in returning to a regular communications schedule. We now provide monthly President’s Messages, Quota Quick Updates, and Leadership e-Alerts (which go to club and regional leaders), and we strive for weekly postings on our Team Quota blog. In addition we are about to launch a new Web site which will contain the Quota Express – one-stop shopping for all Quota communications. In addition, Quota International communicates almost daily on our Quota International Facebook page and on Instagram.
  • I’m not getting Quota’s e-communications. Help! All you need to do is send staff@quota.org your e-mail address and you will receive our member e-communications. If you think you already signed up, check your spam folder. Note that our new Web site will contain an archive of all Quota Quick Updates and President’s Messages. You don’t have to miss an issue.
  • Please bring back Quota Leadership Calls. You will be happy to know that Leadership calls were resumed earlier this year and our next set of calls will be held in September. Leaders will receive details in the next Leadership e-Alert. 

Promotion

  • Please make Quota known better. We would love to, but we need your help. Quota International is a grassroots membership organization. Members join at the local level. The more promotion you get in your community and the surrounding areas, the better known Quota will become known in your geographical area. When that happens, that will interest potential new members in your Quota club or a new club you may choose to organize in a different town or community. Technology is everyone’s friend because now local club news becomes international when news articles are published in your local community. Most news outlets now publish on the Internet. Google Alerts will bring your news to the computers of members in other regions and countries. But we’re doing our part, too! We’re using free social media tools to promote and share local and international news including Instagram and Facebook. And we are almost ready to launch our new Web site, which will convey a fresh, new, and vital image of Quota service in action.
  • We need a Quota International tag line. We have one:  We Change Lives. You will see this tag line prominently displayed on our new Web site and we plan to use it more and more in our communications and materials.
  • Quota’s logo changes too often. Quota’s last logo change occurred in 2011. There have been no changes since then.

In closing, what is most clear from the results of your Regional Meeting feedback is that you experience Quota primarily on the local level. Your Board of Directors is committed to protecting that experience to the best of our ability. Thank you for the many ways you make a difference in the lives of those you serve and those with whom you serve.

Sincerely,

Emilie Simon

2018-2020 President

 

President’s Message- June 2019

Blog President Emilie Installation Speech

Dear Quota Members,

We Quotarians are a diverse group. We live in different countries, we sometimes eat very different foods, and our clothing and traditions vary widely from country to country. When President-elect/Treasurer Carol Patin, an obstetrician-gynecologist, leaves her Louisiana home in the United States early in the morning to deliver a baby, I am planning my evening dinner in Manila, Philippines. How can 4,100 Quotarians who live different lives, on different schedules, in different locations, choose to serve one organization – namely, Quota International? The answer lies in the word, SERVE. Our commitment to serving our communities in Quota’s name unites us all, no matter which time zone guides our comings and goings.

Because service is the heart of Quota International, I am beginning this message – a status report on QI’s programs and communications – by sharing the latest news on two international service initiatives that will change lives in the coming year.

Quota International Programs

  • United in Service

In January I announced the launching of Quota’s new volunteer-led United in Service (UIS) global initiative to celebrate Quota’s second century of service. Its purpose is to resurrect our organization-wide conversation on the many ways we change and save lives, and to promote new service ideas for clubs. I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has enthusiastically approved the United in Service Committee’s recommendations for two new Quota International signature service club projects:

Speech and Hearing – Sound Amplification Systems

Disadvantaged Women and Children – Assistance to Women and Children Abused by Domestic Violence

Your Board of Directors challenges every club in Quota to adopt one or both of these projects in the coming year and to report your accomplishments back to QI prior to Convention 2020 where we will celebrate your participation in these special initiatives. Our goal is to unite all clubs worldwide through 100% participation in one or both projects. The UIS Committee is working on guidelines that clubs can use to implement these projects in their Quota community. We will announce their publication on Quota’s Web site via Quota Quick Update. We are not asking you to replace your current service projects, but to add one or both initiatives to the array of service offerings you are planning in the next 12 months. Many thanks go to Committee Chair Mary Pribich, Past Central Area Director and Member of QI of Massillon in Ohio, U.S., and her hard-working committee members who represent seven different Quota countries: Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Suriname, and the United States.

  • Hand-in-Hand World Service

Additionally, your Board of Directors has just approved Hand-in-Hand World Service projects for operation in 2019 to 2020. I am very pleased to announce that 20 projects, located in five countries (Fiji, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Suriname) have been selected. Funded 100% by your donations – no Quota International or We Share Foundation monies will be used – these Hand-in-Hand projects are managed by Quota members in local communities who understand the needs therein. The first World Service Hand-in-Hand project was launched in 1983 when a need to help women in India was supported by Quotarians from around the world. Tens of thousands of lives have been touched since then in multiple developing countries as the result of annual Hand-in-Hand financial gifts donated by Quota members and clubs worldwide.

Quota International Communications

  • New Quota International Web Site

We are finishing up work on a new Web site that we are creating in-house to replace our current Web site. We expect it to be complete within the next month or two. It’s a beautiful site and you will love it – especially since it will save U.S.$6,930 a year going forward because we will not be using our current costly platform that houses both our database and Web site. (Our database was replaced earlier this year – also an in-house project.)

Our new site will be easy to navigate. A new online Member Center will contain specific sections just for members, just for clubs and club presidents, and just for regions and regional directors. We are bringing back the Quota Express, too, our online e-publication which will contain links for all of our communications in one location: President’s Message, Team Quota Blog, Centennial Article Series, QI Facebook Page, In Memoriam, and our Quota Calendar. Our donors will appreciate our new donations page which will explain all Quota International and We Share Foundation gifting programs. Finally, our new Quota Store will offer one-stop shopping for all QI club supplies, jewelry, and specialty items. Our new site will be a wonderful resource for years to come.

  • Member and Leader Communications

We continue to offer multiple member and leader communications on a monthly basis – President’s Message, Quota Quick Update, and Leadership e-Alert. In addition, we aim for weekly updates on our Quota Team Blog and almost daily postings on our Quota International Facebook Page. We are also active on Instagram, for those of you who have an account. And, we all have been enjoying the monthly Centennial Article Series, which is continuing through this year.

  • Board/Club President/Regional Director Leadership Calls

In March we reinstituted our popular Leadership Calls with a twist. We now plan calls that include both Club Presidents and Regional Directors on all calls. Calls are offered multiple days and time periods so that there is a convenient call-in time no matter where you live in Quota’s world. All discussion points and ideas shared in calls are written and shared.

Convention 2020 Update

Executive Director Nancy Fitzpatrick completed a site visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan, earlier this month to kick off the start of our planning for next year’s international gathering of members in that city. Opening Ceremonies will open our Convention in the afternoon of Thursday, July 9. Our closing banquet will end our Convention on Saturday, July 11. The beautiful Amway Grand Plaza Hotel will be our host and home, and you will enjoy the myriad of shops, restaurants, and evening entertainment venues within walking distance.

Come early to enjoy some spectacular pre-convention tours. On Wednesday, July 8, enjoy a full day’s trip to Saugatuck, Michigan, noted as one of Conde Nast’s top 25 beaches in the world and is filled with wonderful shops, restaurants, and fun things to do. On Thursday, July 9, choose from two morning tours to sites you won’t want to miss in the Grand Rapids area. (Did someone say shopping will be involved?)

Convention registration rates will be set later in the year. Costs in Grand Rapids will be much less than what you found in Washington, D.C., at Convention 2018. Not only is the room rate about half of our 2018 rate (U.S.$139 plus taxes for a single, double, triple, or quad), but you will find beverages and meals to be less expensive as well.

After a rough financial start to our fiscal year, we are now in calmer waters. The Board of Directors and I wish to thank our hard-working staff and those caring volunteers who are assisting us with special projects. Finally, my thanks go to you, Quota’s members, for your generosity and support during this special year.

Sincerely,

Emilie

Emilie Simon

2018-2020 President