Last month I promised to report back on JNET’s success in achieving our goals for 2014 and challenges we are continuing to address in 2015. The three most important objectives the Board of Directors wanted to tackle last year were:
- To make JNET as welcoming and supportive to our membership as possible
- To provide fun and innovative opportunities for meetings and mixers
- To enhance our professional image and gain more exposure to further opportunities for members
In 2014 every new JNET member received a personal welcome letter from the Board’s Membership Committee with some tips on how to make their JNET experience beneficial and rewarding. Each chapter worked harder to greet visitors to our meetings and to acknowledge them, encouraging them to join. Several members took on leadership roles in each chapter, making those chapters stronger and providing higher visibility for those willing to step up and contribute.
We had several larger meetings with guest speakers as well as combined meetings with two or more chapters to allow people to mingle with those they may not have met before. We upgraded our all-member mixers from casual potlucks to professionally catered buffets. At our Summer Party, we enjoyed a barbeque dinner provided by OutBack Catering and danced to the retro band The Peculiars. Our Holiday Party, catered by Alligator Pear, was a fun night of entertainment by talented JNET members that ended in a very successful raffle.
The media coverage and opportunities to showcase JNET members and our meetings has never been more professionally orchestrated. New leadership on the JNET board and incoming chapter leaders were highlighted with press releases, and so were chapter special events with keynote speakers like Dr. Ari Babaknia and Jake Steinfeld. In addition, we launched a small ad campaign that was successful in attracting many newcomers to our meetings.
Striving to grow stronger and become a better organization and finding ways to offer more to our members will always be a work in progress, but we are proud of our accomplishments and still have many challenges that we will tackle in 2015.
Some of the goals for the coming year are:
- Hold meetings with each chapter’s leadership team to provide support, streamline processes, and exchange information
- Meet with the rabbis and leadership of our host Temples to exchange ideas and find ways to create a closer community
- Formalize a process to encourage new leadership on the JNET Board of Directors and the chapter leadership teams
- Add new chapters in areas that are not served by existing meetings
- Continue to better utilize our website capabilities and provide more tools to our members
As always, your feedback is always welcome and is how we continue to grow and keep our finger on the pulse of what our members want and need. Feel free to contact me with your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.