There is a lot of fun and stimulus and interest in meeting the diverse group of people in the ASV – people you would probably never otherwise meet. There is really a great deal of work to be done.
A member could imagine the responsibility if she or he faced having to provide a meal for a number of up to 50m people. The ASV does something like this in each of 4 exhibitions per annum, and has in the past in addition carried out regular monthly education meetings, newsletters, a website, and association accounts and formalities.
Several levels of involvement are advocated:
1. New member: attend activities where possible, and enter exhibitions.
2. General members: attend activities, enter exhibitions, and help organise events.
3. Coordinators: attend activities, enter exhibitions, and lead & manage events/facilities.
4. Committee: plan events/facilities, appoint & help coordinators, control performance.
All ASV members are asked to take pro-active role. Please contact a Committee member or Coordinator on issues that you feel strongly about.
Constructive suggestions in time for action, not destructive suggestions after the fact, are really vital. We are not perfect. People come and go. We are all voluntary part-time. There is always plenty of ammunition for criticism.
In work for commercial organisations, I find invariably that a list of negative comments and historical failures, on its own, does not get a very positive response from commercial management. Management are busy with their own priorities, and to have to get acquainted with an array of new problems, and to try and develop countermeasures, often results in management setting up a study group, and usually postponing action. Sometimes a popular alternative is to just “shoot the messenger”. On the other hand if one notices a problem, tries to think through some corrective action, and suggests action to meet the identified problem, in time for management to do something, then positive action is much more likely to follow. This is probably particularly true of an association run by volunteers, where a cooperative effort is particularly appropriate.
So members are asked to contribute suggestions about ASV activities in a positive way.
An alternative to volunteer work may be to get independent paid professional services. If significant growth is envisaged for the ASV in the future, the use of paid professionals is worth members’ consideration. They have a cost.
My personal view is that it is now up to general members to either put up more constructive help, or to pay up for professional service providers, so the Coordinators and Committee can concentrate on priorities and development.
Unfortunately Denise has had to resign from the Committee, due to private commitments. We have been saved by Michael Meszaros agreeing to be an ordinary Member on the Committee in her place – thanks Michael.
Geoff Williams, Acting President