Message From AMTA President Jeff Smoot

Together AMTA!

AMTA National Board of Directors Meeting

At our June meeting held in Alexandria, Virginia, the National Board of Directors, 31 Chapter Presidents and AMTA staff worked together to brainstorm ideas. In preparation for the meeting, the Governance, Chapter Relations and Bylaws Committee’s each formed a workgroup to review areas that would improve your volunteer experience. The goal was to create clarity and consistency while eliminating redundancy and confusion. The Governance and Chapter Relations Workgroups brought forward ideas regarding chapter titles, chapter board size, budgets, annual meetings and awards. The Bylaws Workgroup presented ways to simplify and make chapter standing rules more consistent and non-restrictive. The energy in the room was palpable; everyone was involved and engaged in creating changes that will benefit our volunteers and the association.

Effecting Positive Change 

The needs for national election changes were also discussed. An election survey in 2014 that was sent to 3000 professional members resulted in 33 responses, a 1.1 percent rate. In an effort to increase voter participation, we relaxed the campaigning restrictions, created a nationwide social media campaign, increased e-mail voter reminders and developed a comprehensive communications program. But it was all to no avail, only 2.5 percent of eligible voters voted, one of our lowest turnouts ever. While AMTA’s membership has increased, voter participation has decreased. Metrics indicate there is little interest in the process. Possible revisions included a transition to all board members being called Directors, adopting a slate format rather than preferential voting, transforming the Commission on Candidacy to a slate selection group and transition to directors electing the president-elect.

Another idea that was brought forward as part of the culture initiative approved in September, 2014, and discussed at the meeting in June, was the creation of the Volunteer Hub. Our chapter volunteers wanted easy access to the vast amount of information, documents, manuals and toolkits available to help them run and manage their chapters. They wanted a more organized approach to volunteer training and a way to communicate with each other. The purpose of the Volunteer Hub is to be a vibrant, functional online center for resources, training, education and communication. The Volunteer Hub will create general areas for all volunteers to participate in, but also smaller communities focused around specific roles and topics. Multiple file libraries can be set up as well as polls, surveys and even a social network.

Meet You in Pittsburgh!

I would like to thank all of our volunteers that attended the June meeting for offering their time and input, it is greatly appreciated. I look forward to seeing everyone at the AMTA 2015 National Convention which is to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, August 19-22, 2015, and I am excited about the changes taking place.


Jeff Smoot
AMTA President

"AMTA is just the best professional organization there is and does the most for their people."

Karen T., AMTA member since 2002