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Chief's Message

Frank A. Dvorak, SN
Chief Commander

First let me thank you for electing me to the office of chief commander. I appreciate the confidence you have shown in me. For the past few months, I have spent many a sleepless night wondering what we can do to stop our continuing membership decline. And at the Annual Meeting in Orlando, we took two major steps to help us reverse this downward spiral.

First, we held a leadership training class for squadron and district administrative officers. The 81 members who attended gave the class excellent reviews.

If you have the opportunity, please take advantage of Anita Walker’s professional presentation this spring when this class comes to a city near you. If you miss it, you’ll get another opportunity in September during the Bellevue, Wash., Governing Board meeting—just one more reason to attend that event.

Looking ahead, additional classes for executive officers and commanders are under development and will be introduced at the next two annual meetings.

The second, perhaps historic, change we made was to allow squadrons to teach advanced grade and elective courses to the public. To take advantage of this opportunity, squadrons should charge the public enough to make the members’ educational discount a great incentive for joining our organization. We know this approach works, because some squadrons are already using it to grow their membership. Interestingly, by teaching our member courses to the public, we are enhancing our status as an educational nonprofit organization.

At the national level, we have initiated online membership and made it easier to join USPS, but we can only do so much. The rest is up to our squadrons. You, and only you, can stem the tide of membership decline.

The new Coming About membership initiative has a goal of adding 6,000 new members in 2010. That’s about 14 members per squadron. The Board of Directors and all national officers challenge squadrons to grow by at least that many members. The squadron with the most growth from 1 Jan. 2010 to 1 Jan. 2011 will receive six round trip airline tickets to send its bridge to the 2011 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Everyone can help by inviting a friend to join USPS. I know we can do this. There’s no limit to what USPS members can do when they put their minds to it.

I would like to wish each and every one of you a great spring and summer of boating. Remember, boating is fun. We’ll show you how.

Boating is fun ... we’ll show you how!
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