Happy New Year!
As we close out a great 2017, I wanted to review our year with you, recap all the great things we did and fun we had and let you know about the great things that are coming in 2018!
As always, each one of our board members is here for you. We serve you our members and strive to make your EWGA experience a memorable and fun one.
2017 in Review
First, what have we accomplished in the last year and how has it provided value to you our members? Our theme for our planning session in December 2016 was Back to Basics. The theme had three key components: Communicate – encourage open communication between members, the public and the board, improving attendance through personal communication. The second component was Member Engagement – reach out regularly to members to get feedback, encourage opportunities through volunteering and recognize our volunteers and members often. The third component was Recruitment – growing membership, but also reaching out to other organizations and providing opportunities to mentor young or less-experienced golfers.
How did we do?
Communicate - To encourage open and more personal communication, we used standard methods, Chapter Chatter and Eventbrite, but also reached out personally through email as well as sought out a new way to communicate – through our texting program. If you’re not part of it, be sure to ask me about it later. Additionally, we have blogs, discussions, photos on our website and a yearly calendar showing events by category so you can save the dates. Hopefully you've found those useful.
Member Engagement - I think we’ve made some headway in this area, but we can improve – we want to be sure that each and every member and volunteer feels appreciated. We had monthly member meetups during winter months, our fall golf outing, Bunco (always fun!), spring kickoff, golf clinics and introduced a new option for members - with Yoga for Golf.
Recruitment – We had an aggressive goal for membership for 2017 – reach 100 members. This meant adding new members and retaining our current membership. We did lose members this year – 16 -- but we recouped some of that with new members. We are currently at 96 members for our chapter. We’d still like to improve our membership – the more friends, the more fun – so connect with your personal groups and see if they’ve heard of us.
Events – We had so many great events this year. I have a hard time keeping track of everything we do, because we have something for everyone practically every month of the year!
- Last December – Ugly Sweater party at Lazy Dog – FREE to members (so much fun)
- Golf Clinics during the winter months – FREE to members
- Yoga for Golf - an interesting and worthy 10-weeks of sessions at a small cost to members
- Member Meetups during the winter months – a fun way to stay connected to your golf friends
- Bunco! Always a fun time!
- March – Simulator golf and pizza party. Not a lot attended, but it’s a great way to keep the muscle memory during the off-season or get warmed up for the upcoming season.
- April – Spring Kickoff – our biggest and most successful event. Obviously, we know it’s getting ready for golf season, but this year was extra special. We raised funds to help offset junior volunteer costs for the LPGA. With the money raised, we were able to refund all junior golfers and provide an additional donation to the USGA LPGA Girls Golf foundation.
- May – August - leagues – our leagues are amazing, out site captains outstanding and it was a fantastic summer! But we also had other fun golf events, including:
- Rust Buster at High Cliff
- Chapter Championship – 3 competitive scramble teams – 2 went to semi-finals
- Badger Cup – we brought the trophy back to the Fox Cities! The bus went over well again, and is a great addition to this event. If you haven’t participated in the past, do consider it for the future.
- Let’s not forget the Thornberry Creek LPGA Championship. What a great time and great event that was. For those of you who volunteered, thank you so much!!!! The tournament will be here for the next two years, so we hope to see you back, and bring friends.
- September – Fall Out and Golf Jamboree. This was a highly successful and incredibly fun day!
At the beginning of the year, our book balance was around $6,000. We planned for a break-even year, which is why some of our events are not free anymore. You may ask, why keep so much money in the bank. We maintain an amount equal to our operating expenses for the year in the event we lose more members than we gain.
If you’re interested in the details, feel free to reach out to Katie Fisher-Petersen, our Financial Director.
We had two board members leave the board.
Susan Beaver, Member Services Director. Susan served for a 2-year term, and is exiting the board, but will remain as a valued volunteer providing you information through our Chapter Chatter!
Vickie Rhiner, Marketing Director. Vickie served for a 2-year term and is exiting the board, but we hope we see her often at events (and possibly helping out in a smaller volunteer role).
2018 Board of Directors
Betty Weizenicker – our new Member Services Director.
Member Services is your first contact as a new member; she keeps you involved; finds out what keeps you coming back and together we work to recognize all volunteers publicly and frequently. Betty is a great addition to the Board and all of you will get to know her well throughout the next two years.
Renae Dobbe – Marketing Director. Our board reviewed board positions and national expectations on the board model. The Board Model contained Communications under the Marketing Director position. Renae as Marketing Director (which will be up for renewal again in 2018) will have responsibility for a team to help with media, community relations, sponsorships and chapter communications – including the website, social networking, and newsletter.
Cully Sheahan, Golf Programs & Services Director. This position is responsible for educating our members about golf through various means, handicaps, leagues and encouraging new golfers to participate. Judy Quadracci, Leagues Chair, reports through Cully. If you have a desire to help with golf education or ideas on how to grow golf knowledge, let Cully know.
Vickie Schrader, Member Recruitment Director. This is a key position responsible for promoting membership at major events as well as community relations to spread the word about EWGA. If you know of networking opportunities and want to help Vickie spread the word, let her know! You can volunteer and have fun networking too!
Katie Fisher-Petersen, Finance & Record Director. Katie has been on the board for 2 years and has been re-elected as our Finance Director for another two-year term.
Carol Radtke, Events & Activities Director. This position is responsible for overseeing a team who leads our competitive golf events, fun non-competitive golf events and social activities. Carolyn Grady, our Social Chair, reports through Carol. There are many opportunities to help out with events & activities, even in a small way. Let either Carol or Carolyn know of your interest.
We also have key area leaders who you have come to know:
Carolyn Grady - our Social Events Chair
Judy Quadracci - our Leagues Chair
Devon Schoenboem - our new Social Media leader
Serving as an EWGA volunteer is a great way to get the most of out of your membership – to get involved and meet others and build leadership experience. Our chapter could not operate without our volunteers and their great gift of time to this organization. We appreciate everything you do as a member, volunteer and leader. THANK YOU!
COMING IN 2018
The Board and key leaders met on December 2 to review the upcoming events for 2018 and what we want to accomplish.
The general themes were "Member Retention", "Member Value" and "Member Fun".
We have a surplus of funds and the board agreed to pay down $2000 of our surplus through providing incentives, reduced event fees and refunds for Chapter Championship participants, leaving us with $7,000 at end of 2018. However, EWGA national will be re-branding and our leaders felt it important to leave an extra $1000 available for covering the cost of any re-branding (i.e. purchasing gifts for events, event flyers, etc.) Depending on the re-branding needed, this would leave approximately $6000 at the end of 2018.
We will have our standard events that everyone knows and loves:
Bunco, Chapter Championship, Badger Cup, FallOut and Jamboree, Holiday Party, Golf Clinics
We are also looking at bringing back Yoga for Golfers
Our new Member Services director is working on pairing new members with experienced to bring back the Best Fairway Friend option and she will be reaching out monthly to our new members.
We are working on ensuring our volunteers feel valued and appreciated.
We'll bring back the Virtual Golf Scramble and Rust Buster and our Golf Events director is working on some Golf Weekend Pairings with other chapters!
While not EWGA-sponsored, we will again be marshaling Hole 17 at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. 2017 was a great time, and we will be seeking additional volunteers for cover on Hole 17 and other holes. Carol Radtke and Veronica Tovar are co-captains again for the Hole and Kathy Brewer is the Marshal Chair for this exciting event.
Finally, we are working on retaining our existing members and hope to add 10 more members to our roster. You are the best source for new membership. Invite your friends, reach out to former EWGA members and ask them to come back. If you are thinking of leaving our chapter, please reach out to Betty, Vickie or Kathy. We don't want to lose you -- you are the reason the chapter is so much fun!
In summary, 2018 looks like it will be a year of great things, for our local chapter and the national organization. We look forward to our upcoming social events, and hope for an early spring so we can get back out on the golf course again.
Cheers to a fantastic 2018!