During the January 2021 chapter board meeting the IABC DC Metro leadership team decided that the chapter needed a heavy dose of spring cleaning. Chapter documents, resources, and tools were outdated or didn’t exist.

We discussed how we’ve all walked into jobs that lacked organization or clear guidance, and how time consuming and frustrating that is. We asked ourselves, “What would the next round of chapter leaders want to take over?” Our goal for 2021 was to do everything we could to ensure a smooth transition and positive volunteer experience for future chapter leaders.

Nearly a week after that was decided, the chapter website crashed. HARD. This followed years of multiple users doing their level best to “patch” or work around issues until it imploded overnight. We looked for a less costly solution to repair it, only to learn that resuscitation was not an option. Queue the bagpipers.

That’s when our list of chapter improvements became longer. And urgent. The board agreed the right thing to do was to approach this as an opportunity to refresh our branding and build a new website that would better serve our members and future chapter leaders.

This perspective sparked many improvements and chapter “wins” throughout the year. We wanted to share this list so you can have peace of mind that your chapter is significantly stronger and better positioned to serve and grow our members in 2022 and beyond.

In addition to launching the new website (iabcdc.org), the chapter achieved the following:

  • Created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion position.
  • Developed a library of standard operating procedures.
  • Rebranded with a bold new color palette.
  • Ensured financial records are current, secure, and accurate.
  • Created a new blog platform to share information and publish members’ work.
  • Updated chapter bylaws.
  • Scrubbed email distribution lists.
  • Refreshed The Capital Message (the chapter newsletter).
  • Streamlined and revived our social media presence.
  • Updated board member job descriptions.
  • Hosted numerous virtual professional development events.
  • Drafted a 2022 strategic plan.

The chapter was also recognized at the international level as one of the medium-sized chapters with the highest member retention rates. We celebrated Farah Simonett, an IABC DC Metro member who received the IABC Heritage Region Silver Quill Award, and several members who achieved GCCC certification in 2021.

Many of these achievements were due to the volunteer efforts of chapter board members. The chapter was easily able to cover the costs of a new website because there were no expenses for onsite events in 2021. Funds typically used for those events were repurposed to rebuild the website and refresh chapter branding.

The IABC DC Metro chapter board is always open for member questions and suggestions. What would you like to see in 2022? Would you like to get involved as a board member or volunteer? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at info@iabcdcmetro.org.