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Committee News

July 24, 2006

By Linda Lopez

Every summer, after the rush of MCA-I NY events, editorial deadlines, and other responsibilities are behind us, the New York board of directors gathers for … well, I want to say a retreat, but, unlike last year when we grilled burgers and enjoyed the sun in former president Sager’s back yard, this year we met in a studio in midtown Manhattan, passed around a bag of chips, and dove into a very full agenda.

Kids on floatiesSo it wasn’t pretty, but we got a lot done, and I think you will see the results in the coming months. The July meeting is a tradition, and whether the setting is idyllic or merely functional, the routine is the same.

It begins with a review of the past season and plans for the upcoming one, committee and event production assignments, a bylaws and procedures review, the scheduling of meetings, and anything else that needs attention. I must confess, this year was my favorite in a long while because we have four new members on the board, which means new energy and fresh ideas.

In another month or so, we will have our first planning meeting for the 2007 Stories from the Field film festival, and in September we will throw our annual kick-off party and plunge into the new season of events.

Now for the pitch. Every thing we do from September to June requires human resources — volunteers. We are a member-focused and member-run organization; your input and participation helps us, your board leaders, to give you maximum value for your membership dollars.

Perhaps the most important benefit of volunteering on a committee is that it offers you a unique opportunity to get good at something, or let the world know that you already are good at something. One is free training and the other is free advertising — either way, you can’t lose.

If you have ever entertained joining an MCA-I NY committee, take a look at what we have on the menu:

DEVELOPMENT
Identifies potential funding sources, plans revenue targets and development strategies, creates sponsorship programs, applies for grants, and seeks new revenue streams for the Chapter; submits a yearly activity report for inclusion in the Chapter’s annual report. Members represent the Chapter as account executives to sponsors and other funders.

This committee is seeking a chair, as well as members who have some expertise in or willingness to learn about development. If nonprofit or arts management, cause-related marketing, sales, or fundraising figures into your future, this is where you can pick up some experience.

COMMUNICATIONS - Linda Lopez, chair
Produces the Chapter’s informational, marketing and public relations communications; develops Chapter news stories; plans and coordinates media placement and events; briefs and provides talking points for board members who meet the press. Manages the editorial content of the Chapter’s news outlets: the online newsletter, FOCUS on New York Media; the print publication, Spotlight; and the Web site, www.mcainy.org. Maintains the Chapter’s news archive.

The communications committee has all kinds of interesting subcommittees and assignments. If you know or have an interest in public relations, marketing, journalism, the Web, or photography, we have a place for you.

MEMBERSHIP – Michael Huss, chair
Identifies opportunities for member recruitment; screens membership for potential committee and board service; researches and designs member benefits and incentives; produces the annual membership event; manages and maintains the online member database.

Our new membership chair and his fellow board members are eager to build membership and identify new benefits for you. If you are outgoing and energetic, this may be the perfect vehicle, and there’s no better way to network with your fellow members.

PROGRAMMING – Corinna Sager, chair
Researches, plans, and produces the season’s industry and social events. Recruits producers, hosts, and speakers for events; acts as liaison between producers and speakers; secures locations; works with Development Committee to solicit sponsors; works with Membership and Communications Committees to generate interest and build attendance.

Producers, come produce! Every event we give needs a production team –producer, location scout, publicist, talent wrangler, AD, DP — you know the drill. And if you are looking for experience in these areas, our new chair is the person you want showing you the ropes.

STUDENTS & INTERNS – Lloyd Nilsen, chair
Works with colleges, universities, youth organizations, and the Chapter’s Membership Committee to recruit student members. Arranges internship opportunities with MCAI-NY member firms. Provides news and other content relevant to students and interns for the Chapter’s Web site and publications. Works with the communications committee to develop materials of interest to students and interns. Works with the Programming Committee to include students and interns in the Chapter’s events.

We’re really excited about this new committee because we know what enormous potential it has, both for our organization and for the young people it will help to succeed in our industry. If you share our dream, sign on.

FILM FESTIVAL – Linda Lopez, Corinna Sager, producers
Produces Stories from the Field, the annual MCA-I NY / United Nations film festival.

The Festival committee has built a wonderful team over the past two years but we still need people in all areas of production, marketing, sponsorship — and to help with lead-up events, the first of which will take place in October. Love film? Care about the world? Looking for your next big thrill? Join us!

So there you have it. If you would like to give any of these activities a whirl — or if you would just like to know more — contact me or a committee chair today!

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