Fourteen years ago when we joined this association, Paul and I had no idea what to expect. We just knew that we needed help with different areas of our business, and didn’t know where to go for help. We received letters from two different members. The first one got thrown in the garbage and the second one hit during one of our “debates” about what we should be doing and how to do it. We didn’t figure we were out much and it was cheaper than marriage counseling, so we thought we’d give it a try.
The first year we came to convention there was a sea of green coats roaming around, the friendliest fellows you ever did meet. Even with the warm welcome, Paul and I spent the first two years of convention ordering pizza and keeping to ourselves in our room. It wasn’t until we started talking to the members that we were able to discover the richness of what we had become a part of.
This association is like no other in the fact that it isn’t as much about the tangible benefits as it is the intangible ones. It is about being a competitor with everyone in the room and still being able to share how you accomplished some of the most difficult jobs. It is about knowing what others do and the connections they share that inspires you to complete that project that has been sitting in the weeds for years because you weren’t quite sure how to finish it. It is about like minded individuals that care about our environment and know there is a way to balance conservation with production without regulation.
Earlier this week I was talking to a potential member and he said, “I thought I was alone. I didn’t think there were others out there that thought like this.” As an association we are stronger, we are better when we work together.
These are some of the most powerful benefits Iowa LICA can be proud of. They do however come at a cost, your involvement. Sitting in your room without interaction will not help you reap these rewards. If you don’t attend workshops or events you will not develop these relationships. You must become involved in order to gain these things. It isn’t just about paying your membership dues, it’s about being an active participant in this association and industry.
This year we will be focusing on you, the members, and why you joined Iowa LICA. What do you love most about this association? Why did you join? What have you gotten from your membership? It isn’t about selling this association to others, it is about sharing it with those who already belong.
You may be called to share your story, please think about everything you’ve gained from Iowa LICA and let others know. It may be the inspiration someone needs to become more involved. Involvement which is the key to our association.
Stay tuned for more developments on member engagement this year and get ready to share your story.