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ARCS Oregon Leadership Retreat by Elizabeth Bell

Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2022

On September 10th, our Chapter hosted a leadership retreat for past Presidents, the Board and Committee Members to launch us into the new ARCS year. It was wonderful to see so many ARCS friends in person and engage in conversations about the important business of the Foundation. I presented a “State of the Foundation” report, which highlighted areas we need to focus on in the coming year. One critical item is Membership. Our Chapter has seen a 23% decrease in membership over the past 5 years. That is equal to 1 scholar award! We know we can and must do better!  

At the retreat, members engaged in identifying causes and solutions to this issue. Solid recommendations were proposed including the creation of a communications plan that supports different pathways to membership, instituting a mentor program for new members, hosting compelling science discussions on current issues, targeted efforts to reduce member resignations, and creating a communications task force to develop better ways to disseminate Chapter information. I will be working with committee leaders and staff to determine how and when we can implement these ideas. 

On one point, we all agreed. All of us should be reaching out to friends, family, and colleagues to introduce them to ARCS. To facilitate your outreach, we have made significant changes to the membership process by automating the application on our website, by not requiring members to have a sponsor or need board approval and by removing the requirement of attending two events and serving on a committee. The latter means we have no Associate members. All members are full members. We look forward to welcoming the like-minded women in your circle that you would like to join you as an ARCS member. 

 Please stay tuned in the future for updates on our progress.