SWS has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for association management. We are receiving a number of questions about that, and in fairness to all management candidates, we are posting those questions, along with responses to each, here.
Membership and financial data for SWS relevant to this RFP may be requested. Please contact SWS.
Some of our most pressing challenges are 1) maintaining smooth operations while transitioning among business offices and getting the new business office smoothly running afterwards; 2) building our membership, services, and footprint globally; 3) residual COVID effects (we have done well financially and providing services and content for members, but need to remain dynamic, including meetings structure); 4) having a more effective Managing Director role in the new Business Office to reduce the amount of day-to-day oversight by the President and the rest of the Executive Board. In general, SWS is a complicated organization that is also active, requiring effective help in making it all go smoothly and successfully.
SWS has not decided whether to seek an Executive Director. For now, we need a new Business Office to handle admin, financial, and operating support. That is also what we need for the Exec Board and Full Board meetings. At this point strategic decisions and operational guidance/requests that interface with the Business Office are handled mainly by the Exec Board, particularly the President. We are seeking a Managing Director in our RFP. However, should we choose to go the route of having an Exec Director as well as Business Office at some point in the future, we want to be upfront now about this possibility and also to seek input from our new Business Office on what is best for SWS, and how that could impact the future relationship with the Business Office. Right now there are mixed thoughts about the hybrid option but an openness to discuss further.
For in-person meetings, we will only participate in the JASM meeting in 2022. As part of that conference we will hold our standard SWS events for annual meetings (e.g., awards and business meeting, chapter and section meetings, etc.). There is still some planning effort needed from the SWS office for these SWS events at JASM, as well as general liaison between JASM and SWS (including the members who are helping to plan JASM). We are discussing over the next year whether to add a standalone virtual meeting in the Fall as part of our regular annual offerings, and what that would look like, but at this point these are not scheduled nor approved.
We have contracted for Spokane WA in 2023 for our SWS Annual Meeting (Spokane was going to be 2021, but we worked with the conference venue to move to 2023 at no cost). We are intending to hold the 2024 SWS Annual Meeting in Taiwan. No other outyears are confirmed, but we do have a standard rotational schedule that distributes the annual meetings among our geographically-based Chapters. We rely on the savvy of our Business Office to choose the city and venue within those regions.
Our agreement with AMPED, our current business office, ends on 9/1/2021. AMPED has requested a 2-month overlap with our new business office, and we are doing everything we can to get a new business office chosen ASAP to meet that 2-month goal (but we recognize we may have somewhat less overlap than that based on the realities of when a new agreement could be signed).
Chapters and Sections are not separate. SWS maintains financials and bank accounts that are tracked for each Chapter and Section. Chapter and Section dues are based on SWS membership applications, with each new member automatically generating a portional due to the Chapter based on geography of the applicant, with Sectional dues an optional extra payment on the application. Other income and expenses for Chapters and Sections are handled by the SWS Business Office.
PCP is completely separate with minimal interaction with the SWS Business Office. There is substantial overlap in members and officers of the two organizations, and some communication among officers of the two organizations.