One of this year's "themes" for the AHA Governing Committee annual meeting agenda was how to identify and solicit some of its memberships passion and skill sets to help the organization be stronger, more member orientated and to help spread some of the good ideas we have heard from members.
We discussed and agreed that we will try very specific and targeted "asks" of the membership. Two areas that were initially discussed were club insurance and some sort of national homebrew experiement.
I am happy to say that during the AHA member meeting on Friday that one individual from the Beer Barons of Milwalkee (name withheld until something materializes) indicated that their club currently does have liability insurance, is set up as a not for profit, and he has volunteered to share their policy with me. I have 20 years of Insurance experience, so I will be able to disect the policy and perhaps something nationally could become available. Or it may end up being a state specific policy only - we will see.
Another member approached fellow AHA GC member Fred Bonjour and indicated that he had a legal background, and could potentially provide some state reviews of their shipping laws. Here at Ford, a 50 state review is a very expensive and time consuming task. It would be wonderful if we could get more members to share their skill sets and provide the,m with some recognition and appreciation for their efforts.
The biggest concern is having people raise their hands to help out and then not following through. This is why we will focus on specific and targeted "asks" of our membership. Are you a biologist, a chemist, social media guru or have some other talent that you want to help out on? Watch for these asks on the Forum as Gary, his staff (Janis & Kate), the GC and the AHA members respond.
In the end, I have to say after six years on the AHA Governing Committee, the AHA does a bang up job with their limited resources. Could they do more? I believe that they could, but only by reducing their focus on what they are currently doing an excellent job on.
Since I have become chairperson of this august group, I have urged the AHA GC to do more. As you look at who is on the GC, they all do a terrific job of promoting the hobby in their own ways. So perhaps the biggest bang we can get for our hobby is to seek out, identify, encourage and help our members become more involved. Even if we gain only 1/10th of 1% of our members to chip in, that would be an additional 20 subject matter experts. And like Justin, one of our newest GC members has done, we can ally our members to be another "Army" of passionate, involved volunteers. These are indeed exciting times for the GC, the AHA and the hobby.