Chapters Banding Together Shows Potential
By Jeff Skiles, EAA 336120
EAA Vice President of Chapters and Youth Education
February 7, 2012 - In January, EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower and I traveled to Terrell, Texas, to participate in the Northeast Texas EAA Chapter Officers Conference (NTEAACOC). Other than possessing an unfortunately complex acronym, the NTEAACOC was an enlightening event, both for the participants and for Rod and me.
While I have been involved with the Young Eagles program for a while as chairman, chapters are new to me. My only experience with chapters has been my participation in the two chapters in which I am a member.
NTEAACOC was formed to allow chapters to band together, share newsletter information, plan common activities, have the horsepower to attract speakers (Rod and I flew down and back from Wisconsin for the day! A long day!), explore the possibility of a regional newsletter, and have a larger presence to interface with outside organizations.
The NTEAACOC concept strikes me as a fantastic way to energize chapters and interact with us here at EAA headquarters. There were 42 chapter leaders in attendance. What a perfect opportunity for an on-the-road Chapter Leadership Academy. At headquarters, we're lucky to get 25 to attend our planned chapter leadership opportunities in Oshkosh.
Rod and I came away with a strong appreciation for the challenges that chapter leaders face. We will use that information to shape the relationship between EAA and chapters over the coming months and years and to provide you the resources you need to create a vibrant chapter experience for your members.