The fifteen-month long COVID-19 public health mandates and restrictions meant the cancellation of in-person branch meetings and events from March 2020 – June 2021. With the lifting of restrictions, the Leadership Development and Membership committees decided to reach out to new members, cognizant that they had missed the customary opportunities of one-on-one interactions.
Twenty-three members who had joined our branch within the past two years received specially designed invitation cards for the ‘New Members Meet-Up’ by mail and personal phone calls.
It was a beautiful summer evening on August 5 at the Jackson Oaks Clubhouse. Wine, soft drinks, and an assortment of delicious and hearty snacks provided by committee members helped along the initial networking period with the ten invitees who attended.
Afterwards, VP Programs Yvonne Randolph led introductions, where everyone shared varied and fascinating information about themselves. President Marian Sacco gave an overview of AAUW and our branch. Weekly email co-chair Monica McClintock outlined how to stay connected via the Sunday email, website, and bi-monthly newsletter. President-Elect Suman Ganapathy went over the calendar events of the year and AAUW acronyms, and exhorted members to attend at least one branch event per month. Finally, Leadership Development chair Janet McElroy enumerated the current interest groups, and described the process to start a new one. The useful handouts created for the event will be shared with the entire membership.
After the event, new members expressed their appreciation of the evening. We hope to make New Member Meetups an annual feature. Our goal was to make our newest branch members feel welcome, and encourage them to participate in our events, volunteer activities and interest groups. Please help them continue to feel connected. Introduce yourself. Invite them to join your group when you meet them at events and interest group meetings. They are friends-in-waiting awaiting your friendship.
New member Nancy Wulff with Pat Toombs; new member Wan Chen with Joan Ensign & Barbara Palmer.