Mid-Year Chapter Leadership Conference Connects Volunteers
Learning, developing, networking, and collaborating—all occurred at the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA)Mid-Year Chapter Leadership Conference. This year’s two-day virtual event occurred May 5-6 and brought new and veteran chapter leaders together to gain resources to implement in the operation of their chapters.
The conference was a great success and an opportunity for AFSA chapter leaders and staff to interact on a wide variety of topics, including chapter management, social media, and leadership strategies. Each day included two one-hour Zoom sessions and included: Being a Successful AFSA Leader, Tips and Tricks on Operating a Chapter, The Ins and Out of Social Media, and AFSA Case Studies. Sessions incorporated panel, instructor-led, and virtual roundtable formats.
“Tips and Tricks” was a panel discussion where participants learned about different resources available from AFSA for use in managing their chapters. Ideas that have been utilized that worked and didn’t worked were also shared. The “Ins and Outs of Social Media,” presented by AFSA Communications Specialist Rebecca Herring reviewed the various types of platforms, from the best to the least desirable. She also provided tools on how to utilize social media to promote chapters. The “Being a Successful AFSA Leader” session helped participants define what leadership means and what are the various leadership styles. The most requested learning style is a roundtable discussion, which allows participants to break away into small groups to discuss diverse topics. AFSA brought the roundtable concept to a virtual format in the fourth and final session. “AFSA Case Studies” separated participants into groups and placed them in virtual breakout rooms, where they were presented with a case study and had to determine the best approach to solve the problem. Then participants were brought back together to present the case as well as the outcome.
“In spite of the online format, most of the class sessions allowed for involvement and interaction by the participants and instructors,” comments AFSA Senior Director of Membership Services and Chapter Support Bruce Lecair. “Everyone learned a lot and had some fun!”
Attending this conference exposes chapters leaders to best practices, teamwork, communication, leadership, problem-solving, and different perspectives. It’s encouraged that all chapter leaders make efforts to attend either the Mid-Year or the Convention Leadership Conference. Engaging with other chapter leaders helps to strengthen AFSA and the chapters. To get more involved locally or to find your chapter, visit firesprinkler.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Meda Merritt is AFSA’s manager of membership & chapter relations. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (214) 349-5965 ext. 133.