To all MCSG members:
Below you will find an email sent through the Chimney Forum a few days ago, indicating the disbanding of the Southern Chimney Sweep Assoc. The reasons noted where due to economic conditions as well as the lack of participation from sweeps at conventions and workshops.
The reason I am bringing this to your attention is that although we have a substantial amount of money in our treasury and at our disposal to provide many benefits to our membership, due to the lack of participation of members to be on the Board, an Officer, or even to help out with the Holiday Party or the Summer Picnic, I'm afraid that one day we will be sending out the same email to our fellow sweeps on the east coast.
It was just on Wednesday that the Guild sponsored a Thermocrete and Smoktite seminar of which there were only 5 persons in paid attendance and one of them was my husband Dan and another Board member.
Prior to that, we had a fair, but not a very good showing of members to the NH Sweep Fest (mainly due to the fact the the SootPrints played and they are all MA sweeps), where I incorporated our annual membership meeting.
We've hosted seminars on disability and accidental insurance, an OSHA safety course, a web site seminar and one on drafting issues as well. The people who give these seminars give of their time as well, for the Guild, in order to provide us with information and education.
Attendance at other general membership meetings (other that the Holiday Party) are again fair at best. I continually hear "what does the Guild do for me?" when we asked you to renewal your dues each year. Well, as far as I'm concerned the old saying "you get what you give" applies to this organization just like any other. We have two openings on the Board of Directors despite recent elections. Will no one in our Guild give of their time to see that I don't have to send out the email below??
I know that we all have our own businesses to run and lives to lead, but so do I and the others who have in the past served as your Officers and Board members. We have all taken our positions very seriously in order for our Guild to be a successful and respected organization.
Starting at the next general membership meeting scheduled for September 15th, nominations will be opened for President, Treasurer, and 3 or 4 Board seats. Nominations will be taken again at the Holiday Party meeting and then only once more at the March 2009 meeting. I have served two terms and was appointed to a one year interim term which means I've served as President for 5 years. This is not the only time that has happened as well and I would like to see that it doesn't happen again. I will not lie, this has not been an easy job at times, but I take great pride in what we accomplish as a Board and sincerely appreciate all the hard work done with all of them.
That being said, I would again at this time like to ask that you ask yourself if you could possibly give a few hours of your time every 60 or 90 days to help this Guild stay strong. We are in the process of developing some really intense seminars, however I am afraid that the Guild will be wasting its time and resources if no one attends what we have to offer. If you haven't seen us offer anything you'd like to see, then as we've said in previous newsletters, let us know. We are here for you, but if you don't communicate with the Board then we can't help you.
We'd also like to see our membership increase. Dan has sent out renewals for 2008/2009. Take the time to fill it out in full and return it as soon as possible. Also, look in your local phone book. Find a sweep in your area that you know is not a member and see if you can't get them to join. The Guild is going to sponsor a membership drive where for every member you get to join you get a credit towards your next membership. (The amount has yet to be determined).
This would benefit the Guild with "new blood", and you as well.
Again, the next General Membership meeting will be held on September 17th, and as usual we are currently trying to incorporate some type of seminar to the meeting to make it worth the trip. So please, look at your calendars before you get too busy, cross out the 17th and please plan on attending. A notice of where the meeting will be help will be out soon. Please open all mail sent from the Guild in a timely fashion so you don't miss out on what we have to offer.
Jeanmarie Jacobson, President
Duxbury Chimney Sweep and
Mass. Chimney Sweep Guild