Issue 52, December 27, 2015

As I’m sure any Past President (and many of you) will attest, running the Southside Business Men’s Club is no easy task.  It requires a lot of management skills, funding, and volunteer hours on the part of many.  A President will spend 20-25 hours a week working on SBMC affairs; it’s not a job for everyone.    We didn’t volunteer for financial gain, or notoriety.  We did it because we are passionate about this organization: both its history and its future potential.
Driving this organization is like navigating a ship, not steering a car.  Change does not come quickly or easily.  Significant change is virtually impossible to enact and maintain during a single tenure.
A couple years ago, Annie, Patrick Heatherington and I started having meetings (along with a lot of scotch) to determine what we thought this Club would need over the long term, to make SBMC the most relevant civic organization in Jacksonville.  Our Club’s history is monumental, but we need to keep pushing ahead to avoid stagnation, or regression.   We decided that if we all ascended to the Presidency, we would all have the same goal, in a single 3-year project.
Currently, we are finishing the 2nd of a 3 year project to modernize, refocus, and to make this Club more efficient for its long-term success.  This is not to ‘right wrongs of the past’, rather, this is because we have a unified vision of how to propel this Club to a successful long-term future.
Annie’s part laid the foundation.  Underutilized SBMC events were deleted to make the Club more efficient.  The NJROTC Charity Clay Shoot was inaugurated and has become a huge success for high-school cadet’s futures.  With the Board’s approval, we initiated the SBMC-PAC (political action committee) to ensure our Club’s significance within the local political community.
This year, we improved our branding with an updated Club banner,  and by dropping the printed directory in favor of upgrading the Club websites: main, charities, and mobile.  I have written President’s Messages to be both entertaining and to provoke thought.  We reduced the amount of volunteer hours that are asked of our members.  And, we partnered with numerous local non-profit agencies to help improve the lives of the people of Jacksonville.
In 10 days, Patrick will begin the 3rd phase of our mission.  He has a high level of enthusiasm, logical intelligence and organization skills.  He will be driving membership and attendance at the weekly meetings.  He is personally taking responsibility for food quality and guest speakers at the weekly meetings.  I am excited by his focus for the upcoming year.
Our unified goal is to increase SBMC’s viability in a rapidly-changing world.  When people in this community mention SBMC, we want them to say “That Club is hitting on all cylinders!  I want to be a part of that!”

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