On February 12, 2009, I joined the ranks at CSI and my then home Chapter of Allentown, Pennsylvania (now named Greater Lehigh Valley). I had been invited to attend my first meeting in Pittsburgh the previous month by a spec writer for a prominent school design firm after I had been introduced to CSI by a design library coordinator at a firm in Pittsburgh. Having been involved in construction off and on since 1998, I hadn’t been directly introduced to CSI until this gentlemen informed me that in his opinion the acronym CSI on my business card would pull more weight with him had he seen it on my card. A bit of research and a Chapter meeting later, I joined and got involved.
I have recollected many times over the years since I joined CSI that had I not sat down and struck up a conversation with the gent next to me in Allentown, who happened to be the Chapter President, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today in CSI. For me at the time, having met a Board Member was a very important thing and the fact that he chose to talk to me meant that as a member, I was important in his eyes. A very intelligent man, and one of my CDT instructors, Mitch Miller, has said that ‘membership retention starts on day one’ and I couldn’t agree more. However, in order to retain a member, a member has to be involved with the Chapter and attend a meeting. In order to attend a meeting, a meeting of value to the member needs to be booked and promoted.
That brings me all back around to the ‘moral’ of this post. What makes an in person meeting of value to you, whether CSI or otherwise? Are you in it for the credits? The networking? The camaraderie? The education? For many years, education was a focal point of a CSI meeting. CSI meetings have traditionally offered top notch education, but no longer can education be relied on as the core value. In person presentations that offer HSW credits are a dime a dozen if you work in a design firm of note. Credits can also be easily attained via the web, so there is no shortage of delivered credits.
So, let me ask you, what gets YOU to a CSI Chapter meeting? Or is a Chapter meeting even relevant as part of your membership? As we evaluate our Vermont Chapter programming for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017, I would like to hear from you, our membership.
Being a relatively “new” Vermont Chapter member who has yet to meet many of you, I am curious. Are CSI programs and meetings relevant to you and your needs? Whether here in Vermont or otherwise, I would like to hear from you! Please reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to call me at 802-922-8407 and tell me what 2016 means to you.
Meanwhile, here in Vermont we plan on meeting as a Board, which as a CSI member you are ALWAYS welcome to attend, on the second Tuesday of every month in the downtown Burlington area. Please contact me at the info above and I will let you know when our next meeting is.
With our new leadership at the Institute level, I’m excited for where CSI is going and I’m glad to have you on board. Please let me know how we can serve you on a Chapter level.