ABATE GA’s State Director March Letter - The Long Road to Success

Abate of Georgia·Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Long Road to Success

Howdy y’all! I hope everyone is safe and sound. As we continue to move forward with our “Back to Basics” plan, I’ve been thinking a lot about what success will look like for ABATE of GA in the coming months and beyond. As the picture to the right implies, success will not come easy. It will be messy and may take a lot longer than expected. Overcoming years of challenges will prove difficult, for whomever takes over as State Director.

Nonprofit management is challenging. Whoever fills the role of SD will be tested. A successful SD will have a broad range of skillsets, and the resources and time to do the job right. It’s a lot to be responsible for. The duties will include, but not be limited to:

  • Traveling the state, supporting 15 out of 19 districts with their unique needs (this will include finding strategic ways to fire up the four districts that are closed.)
  • Actively supporting the 10 positions on the Executive Board (the State Director is expected to be able to do these jobs, if the position is vacated or an officer cannot complete their duties)
  • Overseeing the daily operations of the State Office (financial and legal issues, office resources, IT technology, etc.)
  • Planning and facilitating bi-weekly Executive Board and quarterly Board of Directors meetings
  • Strategically growing relationships with partner organizations such as the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program, GDOT, CMA, the clubs, the MRF, the AMA, other state ABATE’s, sponsors, donors and many others
  • Arbitrating disputes among members and districts
  • Finding creative ways to raise money and cut expenses to support our mission
  • Monitoring for and responding to threats to ABATE’s brand and mission, as well as promoting it at events around the state
  • Ensuring the entire organization, districts and state, maintain solid financial and legal standing in compliance with nonprofit law and IRS 501(c)(4) regulations

Quite a hefty chunk of responsibilities for a non-paid position. A successful SD will need to juggle all of these things well. It will be a learning curve for any new SD, for sure. This person will need a positive, hopeful attitude and vision for the organization. They will need a demonstrated commitment to drive forward, even in the face of very public criticism and significant challenges. We can’t have someone who will give up at the first sign of trouble. The nature of a leadership role means that there is often a target on your back and you live under a microscope, with your every move being judged. This is not a job for the weak or the cowardly!

Since February 4th, progress has been slow and tough. But, in an all volunteer-run organization that is to be expected. People have other jobs, families, lives to attend to, on top of working for ABATE. But, despite this, we have been moving the organization forward. And, hey come on, I’d much rather be moving forward slowly than barreling backwards!

In the first few weeks, recovering from the former SD stepping down was the biggest challenge we overcame. Dealing with all of the questions, circling the troops, assessing resources and trying to get a handle on where we were as an organization marked the rest of the month of February. March saw us putting out a lot of fires; scrambling to gain access to all of our business accounts; accessing and updating the website, fixing serious IT, database and email issues; addressing challenges with basic processes like membership; cleaning out and organizing ABATE storage units and the office; and, completely revamping the online newsletter. This is all on top of our work down at the capital with four bills moving through legislation AND producing our largest event of the year – the Spring Swap Meet.

As we move into April, we will begin work on the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Swap Meets. We will regroup on our legislative strategy and discuss plans for next year. We will be carefully evaluating our financial position and continuing to work the kinks out of the basic processes. The three new committees will need guidance as they are being formed. The next Board of Directors meeting is coming up and will need to be planned. And, the Executive Board members will continue to support each other and learn how best to work together and grow as a team.

As always, we ask for your continued patience and understanding as we continue to work to make ABATE great again! It’s a long road to success, but we will all make it if we pull together.

I sincerely appreciate all that you do for the mission of ABATE of GA. Without you all, the members, achieving our goals would not be possible. Always remember, this is your ABATE!

God bless,

Skinny Bob

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