It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that I will not be seeking re-election to the CMSA Main Board after seven years of service including the past two years as President. My term will end July 22nd. I recently started my own business facilitating workshops and team sessions and need to focus my time on growing my clients and building my future.
In July of 2012, following the most attended election in CMSA history, our organization was at a crossroads. You, the membership, gave your board a mandate for change and I could not be more proud of the progress we have made together. I’d like to take a moment to reflect together on ten significant steps we’ve made in our journey.
1. Launched a new website with simplified registration, game reminders, and improved ability for captains and commissioners to check team and player registrations
2. Negotiated cost controlled five-year contract with the Chicago Park District, growing our space and protecting our league for the future.
3. Revamped our communication system with frequent Facebook content, regular emails with a consistent template, and quarterly presidential newsletters
4. Reinvented our marketing efforts with breakthrough creative, advertising media such as out of home billboards, facebook sponsored ads and event marketing
5. Reengaged our female membership including partnerships with the Chicago Sky and this year’s Back Lot Bash.
6. Grew the organization (+4 percent membership increase YOY) and back to back growth for the first time in years
7. Improved our social presence with our annual membership event at Joe’s on Weed in January and our 35th Anniversary celebration last November
8. Built our relationship with the community with partnerships with Proud to Run, Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Edge Alliance, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and many other initiatives supporting our community and our youth.
9. Developed and reinvigorated multiple sports. Returned bowling to CMSA, Rejuvenated Badminton, Kickball, and Thursday Softball. Launched Ultimate, Golf, and Billiards
10. Held elections in many sports for the first time ever including beach volleyball, women’s Sunday softball, women’s dodgeball, soccer and many others. Saw 12 new commissioners join our leadership team, bringing new blood and new ideas to our leagues.
As our survey results over the past two years would indicate, we should indeed be very proud. Nearly 90 percent of you would recommend CMSA to a friend and we continue to work hard to get better.
While the decision to leave the CMSA main board was not easy, I am confident that the organization is in terrific hands. We have an incredible group of leaders and with fresh ideas and new energy, I have no doubt that they, along with you, will take our organization to the next level.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank some of the key individuals who have been so integral to the success of this organization the past two years. Our commissioners work tirelessly to have our leagues ready for your enjoyment – just say thank you next time you see them. As for specific individuals, this is by no means comprehensive but it’s a good start:
· Michael Erwin for his incredible leadership with CMSA communications, emails, facebook posts, and public relations (he even made me sound knowledgeable on TV!)
· Jason Kallen for handling all our marketing, advertising and changing how we approach new members. He’s probably one of the unsung heroes of CMSA.
· Michael Rice is the best treasury partner I could ever have imagined. His organization, turn around speed, and dedication to the job is truly inspiring
· Mark Sakalares is another unsung hero doing so much of the behind the scenes work that our members never see like insurance and liaison to legal support
Lastly, I want to make a plea to each and everyone of you to get involved. The seven years I served on the CMSA board have been incredible. Nowhere else have I seen such a great forum for personal development and growth – leadership skills, teamwork, strategic thinking, building relationships and the list goes on. There are so many opportunities within the leagues and at the executive board level to get involved. I encourage each of everyone of you to challenge your friends who might see opportunity for improvement within their CMSA experience. Challenge them to get involved, be part of the team and make the best LGBTQA sports organization in the country even better.
I hope you will continue to come out and play.
All The Best,