2013 input from Chapters

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ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
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Racine, WI, USA.
Chapter "key personnel", we are looking for your input!!!

Please tell us (the seven man team who hopes to help make the chapters more effective) what YOU see as the role of the "national" IAP.

thanks,
the chapter coordination steering team
 
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firewhatfire

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Columbiana, Alabama
Being one of the newest in charge, 1st meeting done. I would have liked a 1 page printout of keys to a great 1st meeting. Basic by-laws and expectations of the group maybe the iAP mission statement.

Phil
 

BRobbins629

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Richmond, VA, USA.
The Richmond Penturners group has been active for several years. We meet every other month on the second thursday from about 7 - 9 at our local Woodcraft any typically get 10-15 in attendance. Our biggest challenges are getting more members - its hard to find out we exist - and finding demo topics.

With that in mind, the IAP national could better advertize the groups that do have formal and scheduled meetings and get contact info for the less formal ones. Make them more visible. If a newcomer introduces themselves, someone from the committee could point them to the nearest club. Perhaps a link on the front page to a website that identifies all clubs, their meeting times, and contact info. If there is a scheduled demo, that too should be visible. Some will travel pretty far if the demo is attractive.

A list of good demos for groups that struggle in this area would also be nice. We've done finishing, casting, closed end pens, calligraphy pens, reverse painting, kitless, and have antler and celtic knots in the cue but still struggle for ideas.

If there are members who like to demo and are availabe to travel that to would be good to know. Maybe indicate their topics and if they need reimbursement for travel, etc.

Info on how to start a new chapter.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
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Thank you Phil and Bruce!!!

This is exactly the type of information that we would like to receive. So, if you have been to a chapter meeting, or if you are the "honcho" for your chapter, please give us feedback of what you would like to give or take away from the "national" chapter coordinators!!

THANKS!!!!
Ed
 

Sylvanite

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Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA.
I like Bruce's idea of the IAP advertising the local chapters more. Perhaps the IAP could host a calendar of events that included the local chapter meetings (and maybe even their major topic or demo). I think that the IAP could also serve as a clearinghouse of ideas and information for local chapters. It would be useful for one chapter to share how they structure their meetings, and what sort of activities draw and retain attendees. For example, I dropped in on a Michigan chapter meeting once, and they had a very interesting raffle set up. If the local chapter section had a "share your ideas" forum, then someone from MI could explain how their raffle works, and why it serves them well. Each chapter has its own style, but there's no reason we couldn't share notes on chapter structure, demo topics, funding methods, etc.

Regards,
Eric
 

Smitty37

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Are current local chapters chartered by IAP or simply ad hoc groups who have permission to use the IAP name and logo? If they are chartered then the IAP should develop a complete package defining all the hoops a group has to jump through to obtain a charter and set standards for retaining the charter.
 

ssajn

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Milwaukee, Wi, USA.
As one of the seven team members I'm like to thank everyone for their input.
The more info you give us the better job we can do to help you. Let's hear from some more of the chapter leaders.
 

walshjp17

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I second Dave's comment above. I, too, am "one of the seven" and am looking forward to hearing from everyone so we can make the local chapter program viable and responsive to members' needs.
 

BRobbins629

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Are current local chapters chartered by IAP or simply ad hoc groups who have permission to use the IAP name and logo? If they are chartered then the IAP should develop a complete package defining all the hoops a group has to jump through to obtain a charter and set standards for retaining the charter.
Smitty - I think you will find that most groups are small, have no charter, and no other formal organization other than perhaps regular meeting times. As for using the logo, if we did, it would follow the IAP guidelines for logo use. Although we try, not all members of our penturners group are IAP members and we also have a dotted line to our local AAW chapter, but again not all members belong to that either. We are really just a small group that likes to make pens and talk about them every once in a while. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
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Phil,
In my very humble opinion, I think when the local chapters first started, not only was there little knowledge of how it would go over, there was little interest in limiting it's possibilities. Not knowing what kind of life it would take on, there was no need to corral the members who could make their chapter what they wanted. So, even now, why put limits on inspired minds with bylaws and mandates, unless they negatively reflect on the IAP? A few "rules of thumb" of running a good meeting may be most helpful, and I expect you will see that happen very soon, stay tuned.



Being one of the newest in charge, 1st meeting done. I would have liked a 1 page printout of keys to a great 1st meeting. Basic by-laws and expectations of the group maybe the iAP mission statement.

Phil
 
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Brooks803

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Aiken, South Carolina
Our SC meeting has on avg 10-15 each month. We've done just about every demo one can think of and there aren't many that draw in more than others. Some people show up just to say hi and talk shop while others come to really learn and try and improve in areas they feel they lack.

I myself have driven to several different meetings. I frequent the Atl meetings (They're well organized and ALOT of fun) and have made several of the early NC meetings when they first started. I've been known to fly to IL for the MPG and drive up to VA for a meeting there (Bruce showing kitless techniques) and will be doing a demo at the MAPG.

I'd definitely try to make any national IAP event! Plus I'd be happy to do a demo if needed (hint hint)!
 

Smitty37

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Are current local chapters chartered by IAP or simply ad hoc groups who have permission to use the IAP name and logo? If they are chartered then the IAP should develop a complete package defining all the hoops a group has to jump through to obtain a charter and set standards for retaining the charter.
Smitty - I think you will find that most groups are small, have no charter, and no other formal organization other than perhaps regular meeting times. As for using the logo, if we did, it would follow the IAP guidelines for logo use. Although we try, not all members of our penturners group are IAP members and we also have a dotted line to our local AAW chapter, but again not all members belong to that either. We are really just a small group that likes to make pens and talk about them every once in a while. Nothing more, nothing less.
That pretty much answers my question, you're saying there isn't much need for a very formal structure.
I sort of thought that but wanted to know.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
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Racine, WI, USA.
There has been no real formal structure and things have gone fine. It is not our intention to DIRECT the chapters. We hope to ASSIST the chapters when they have questions. Chapter leaders are running "by the seat of their pants". We hope to give them SUGGESTIONS for programs (demos) or other events that have been successful in other "chapters".

Let no one be concerned that Jeff has in mind to TELL chapters how to run. Instead he has asked us to ascertain how we can best assist in their growth and maintain whatever level of diversified "governance" they feel works for them. With the input of the chapter leaders both present and past, we hope to create a "reference book", which they can look to for some "path" that has worked before.
 

Tom T

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Sanford Florida
I was not aware there is a international annual meeting or event I would like to go. When and where. Perhaps we could have it, well anywhere would work. Canada is nice in the summer. It's really cool in the winter.

I am driving to Richmond to meet some great turners and learn some stuff.

I am from the Orlando, Florida area and the nearest club I can find is in Jacksonville. I have talked to our local WC here and he has said we could have a meeting there. Several other wood working clubs meet there. There is a general turning club that meets there, and they do some pens. So how do we see who is interested in an Orlando location?
 

edman2

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Greenbrier, AR. USA.
By far the hardest task is providing demo content. The first few meetings were relatively easy but it gets difficult to come up with different topics. If demos at the big regional meetings (MPG type) could be video taped and made available to local chapters it would be a big help. Could the IAP produce 20-30 minute video demos? We can always go to YouTube but those are generally too short to fill a program. Just thinking out loud.
 

Smitty37

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By far the hardest task is providing demo content. The first few meetings were relatively easy but it gets difficult to come up with different topics. If demos at the big regional meetings (MPG type) could be video taped and made available to local chapters it would be a big help. Could the IAP produce 20-30 minute video demos? We can always go to YouTube but those are generally too short to fill a program. Just thinking out loud.
I used to collect coins and when we had meetings of our coin club, much of the meeting was spent swapping (coins, lies, etc.) and we also always had a "bourse" table where items for sale could be put up. Worked well there and I wonder if it might not help at local pen club meetings as well.
 

plano_harry

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Plano, TX 75093
We are lucky we have a president! Organization seems like a distant goal. We like to get together to remind ourselves that we are not alone - other people have this addiction and can offer hope. Demos as mentioned earlier are a challenge.

I think a national IAP meeting would be really cool! Especially if it were in Texas!!

Harry
 

OOPS

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Spokane, WA
As long as you are seeking suggestions, I have a few. First, our group had quite a turnover in officers. As a result, I sent two emails to someone who was supposed to be an IAP chapter coordinator, to find out if we were officially recognized, and if not, how we could become so. I never received a reply to either email.

2. A way of passing around info between groups would be great. The idea expressed above for videos of demonstrations would be an excellent tool for helping us educate our members. We do have quite a few people on this site who have taken the initiative and made their own videos to aid fellow pen turners. I have found, suprisingly, that not all have access to high speed internet.

3. A list of clubs should be given to our faithful sponsors. A lot of new products become available and I know we have discussed them at club meetings. However, due to the fact that there are SO MANY different things to buy, we rarely see the latest "Lava Explosion" blank or "Stardust" blank, or if we do, its a long time after they come to market. Some sponsors might wish to send out a sample or two so the whole group could see the product, then see the results at the next meeting when a club members turns it. Combining a product sample with a short video, such as explaining the differences between Rhino plastic and Inlace Acrylester or Italian Lucite. I know that some of them turn different, but how are they different? Why and when would you use one type over another.....or is it merely customer preference? I think these types of informative videos would help people improve their product knowledge.

4. An information exchange between clubs as to meeting content would be helpful. We might be doing something novel at our meetings that others could benefit from. Then again, it could be that we could improve our meetings substantially by learning from others. Exchanging demo ideas would help the meeting content of all involved.

I hope this helps.

Bill
Secretary
Inland Northwest Pen Turners Association
www.inwpta.info
 
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rej19

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Indianapolis, IN
As a former leader in the Indy Chapter I would like to offer a few observations about our chapter and it's growth. Our group started with less than a dozen. We were fortunate to have "woodbutcher" Bill Bettag as one of our original members. He was doing and still does pen turning demo's at Rocklers and therefore had a steady stream of eager new turners. He kept an active email list of these people and along with the notices made here on the IAP our meetings easily average over 50 in attendance. We also have a member that was able to get us a meeting place for a group that size at his church. That has been a key in the success. We are also fortunate to have several great Vendors that are local and are very supportive of the group and meetings. They attend the meetings and bring their wares which is a great draw to the meetings. We have tried to keep the meetings very informative with demo's and talks along with door prizes, pen swaps, show & tell tables, free tables to sell your extras, etc. We have found that having to many meetings in a year is very taxing on those in charge and also difficult to keep the agenda fresh and exciting. We were trying quarterly meetings but may be cutting back from that. We recently selected new leadership and the excitement level is still there. Without a good group of volunteers any group will fizzle rapidly. We have those volunteers who have stepped up and I am looking forward to future meetings. The key is keeping a good contact list and using email to inform the group of meetings in a timely fashion and having an agenda that is worth giving up a Saturday morning to attend. For what that's worth.....
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
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Racine, WI, USA.
THANK YOU, Ron!!

The "steering committee" has been busy this week. We have delegated the chapters to the members of the committee and we are working on developing a questionnaire to gain information from the chapter leaders. We expect this will be complete by the end of the month and we should be starting to write our "manual" within 45 days.

So ALL information from local members or leaders is useful!!!

PLEASE keep it coming!!
Thanks!!

Ed
Temporary chapter steering team coordinator
 

OLDMAN5050

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Unionville, tn, USA.
I would like to see some of the casters or even Semus come to our local and give a demo. long ways to drive but the info and direction would be very educational. More need to get involved with the local chapter meetings. A lot of turners that are close by never know we are having a meeting. a zip code list of our area would be ever so helpful
 

j_b_fischer

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Belleville, MI, 48111 USA.
My Thoughts about My Local Chater ...

Let me throw in a few comments about the history and operation of the Michigan Chapter …
I joined IAP 5 years ago (this month), right about the time Jeff and team were pushing the ‘new’ idea of local meetings. I raised my hand, became the chair of the local group, and set out to find local members. We’ve been meeting every three months (about) ever since.

The win for me personally, it was my local meetings that taught me about pen making (I was new to IAP AND new to pen turning). This same group taught about bowl making as well!

The largest group we ever had was 26 people. If everyone showed up all at the same meeting, we would have close to 40, but generally, our attendance is about 16, with 10 of these being what I would call the ‘core team’.

Early on, at each meeting we would decide on the date for the next. For a while, in an attempt to accommodate various people’s schedules (including my own), we would adjust dates, sometimes with as little as 2 weeks’ notice. This was bad because it confused people. In the summer of 2011, we change our approach; at the start of the year, we now layout 5 meetings (4 meetings for the current year, and the 1st meeting of the next year). We pick the dates, and then hold the schedule firm. If someone can’t make it … well, we get over it. By having the meetings scheduled for the year people are able to schedule craft shows (or vacations) accordingly. A consistent, published, and reliable schedule is, I think, a key element to having sustained attendance.

We have a couple of wood turner clubs (AAW, etc.) in the area, and we have adjusted our schedule to not conflict with them since several of our members are also members of those groups. We meet on the 4th Sunday of every third month (January, April, July, October). This avoids meeting conflicts with other groups and the Holidays.

Even though we are the “Michigan” chapter, we’re really the “Southeast Michigan” chapter, which really means the greater Detroit area. Everyone is welcome, but distance is a factor. We do, however, have some regular attendees that drive better than 3 hours … they come from Ohio. We also, on occasion, have visitors from Windsor, Canada, which is about 4 minutes south of downtown Detroit.

Although we have fallen into the pattern of meeting at two places (east side of Detroit, and the far west side), officially we are always looking for people to volunteer there shops. It’s a chance for people to show off their shops, and I think it helps for building better relationships if we know each other’s home locations, etc. Several people, however, feel they can’t accommodate 15 (or more) people.
The meeting themselves have a consistent format. We do not use “Robert’s Rules of Order”; instead we use “Bob’s Suggestions for Meeting Management” … in other words we keep as informal as possible.

We always start at 1:30, but are always, always ready at 1:00 to give free tutorials to newbies. This is especially true if there’s a parent bringing a son or daughter (we also make a point to have an extra give-away for the young person). The IAP members taught me, so I make sure we continue to teach others.

We require (with no enforcement) that everyone bring at least one show-and-tell piece (and it doesn’t have to be a pen!).
We ask for volunteers to bring snacks, soft drinks, etc. To help people plan, we generally ask people to confirm (via IAP, Michigan Forum, meeting threads) their attendance about a week before the meeting.
We have three tables (or work benches, etc.) set up … one as a swap-n-trade table, one is a for-sale table … these are for tools, jigs, or other things shop-related.

The 3rd table is for the ‘raffle’. We sell tickets for $5 each. We draw tickets to establish the order in which the participants will pick something from the table. We then repeat the sequence until the raffle table is empty. Buying a ticket is optional. I then take the money and buy things for the raffle table at the next meeting (pen kits, bushings, pen tools, … or other things I find on sale). Several members also volunteer things for the raffle table. For example, LandfillLumber (Victor) sells bowl blanks (and other nice ‘hunks’ of wood) as part of his business, and he’ll often times donate several pieces. Similarly, several of the members like to cast blanks, and they donate as well. Usually, the store bought trinkets are less than 25% of what is found on the raffle table.
As for demonstrations, they are always put on by someone in the group. The struggle here is people seem to hesitate to ask for demonstrations. Once a request for a topic is known, I have no trouble finding someone willing to do the lesson/demo, but I have to beg people to ask for topics.

Somewhere in the middle I have a ‘business’ meeting where I give an update on the funds (which are always zero, because I spent it all on raffle trinkets), or other topics from IAP (or other sources). Usually, I get the topic started and the members contribute the most.
The local Woodcraft and Rockler stores support us by displaying informational flyers. I live just 8 miles from a Woodcraft store (and my wife says I spend too much money with them), so I have a better relationship with them (Rockler is about an hour from me). I’m working on getting more tangible support (which won’t be hard, I just need time to get over there). However, we do not use the classrooms in these stores … They have liability concerns, so there’s no demos (that involve turning on any equipment), and we have scheduling issues when we bump against their for-pay classroom time. I also (when I remember to do so) get support from some of the laser-blank people from IAP.

We then tell shop stories (kinda like fishing stories), ask questions, and just talk until it’s time to go. That’s generally around 5:30 to 6:00.

Hope this helps ... if I think of more I'll add another post.
 
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