February 2017 President’s Column
By: Steve Weitekamp
We are all a part of many communities; these groups,
large and small, play a role in defining who we are and what we value in ourselves and in the world. A smaller, yet valued, group I have
the honor of serving as chairman of is the National Council of Moving Associations (NCMA). This group provides the opportunity for leaders
of moving associations to communicate and gather for the betterment of their individual associations and the industry at large.
This last week, I received a call from a colleague informing me that fellow NCMA member Donn Eurich, current executive director of both
the Michigan and Indiana moving associations, had passed away. Donn was an active member of our community, attending annual NCMA meetings and
always ready to share his experience and knowledge with the group. Donn was a soft-spoken leader who always listened to the opinions of others
and will be missed by his association members and his NCMA colleagues.
Donn's sudden and unexpected passing leaves some in his communities with questions. From a business perspective, a reasonable question
is: What does an association leader do? What are some of the tasks that a leader handles or oversees? Without spending a lot of time on the order
of importance of these questions, the areas of emphasis would include development and oversight of volunteer leadership, office staff and consultants
(including but not limited to legal, accounting and lobbying efforts); advocacy of industry and association issues (legislative and regulatory, both
specific to our industry and small businesses in general); provide strong member support (either possess or attain knowledge of the industry you
represent); education (programs, seminars and communication); networking (conventions, meetings and events) and charity programs. The individual
must be able to work with others, be forward-thinking and provide motivation but also have a pragmatic side. It's the leader's responsibility to
lobby strongly for positions that are in the interest of the greatest number of members while doing everything possible to ensure that the minority
position is heard. Communication is key and must encompass many platforms, such as newsletters (print and or electronic), emails (individual and
mass), social media, high call volume, member visits, meetings and conferences.
I could write or speak about this for far longer than is appropriate for this column. A good leader also needs to know when to be quiet, an
attribute I'm still learning. Donn served our industry well and will be missed.