Charging Ahead…

Greetings!

It is my honor to serve as the Exalted Ruler for the upcoming Lodge year.  This is a responsibility that I take very seriously, and I appreciate the opportunity to serve the membership in this capacity.  As you may know, I have spent the last decade getting involved in the Lodge serving in a number of different roles as a member, officer, grant writer, liquor steward and bartender.  I’ve also served as the district auditor and district membership chair.  If you recall, I also spent a great deal of time studying our Lodge as a college level organizational case study with hundreds of MBA students across the region during my time as an adjunct professor.  So, I would submit that I have a very keen perspective to add to this role.  I am excited to put my full effort into it and with your help I am confident we will accomplish great things together.

I want to start by sincerely thanking Brian Kirch for his tireless work and steadfast leadership during some very uncertain times.  He really did manage the ship very well in choppy waters and he should be commended for his two years of service not only as ER but also in the kitchen.  Brian is a capable, loyal, service-oriented person and he set the bar at a very high level.  To have the growth in membership during a pandemic over his tenure is truly impressive.  Well done!  I should also thank Paul Erkinnen, Larry and Linda Rowse, Ron Barner and Tom Nardacci for educating me about our organization and our Lodge.  Their mentorship, and more importantly their friendship, mean a lot.  We have one of the strongest Lodges in the New York state and it is because of the leadership of these folks, and those who came before them.  With their guidance, and with a healthy respect for the past, I will do my best to continue our good work.

With that being said, I do plan to charge ahead with a vision for the Lodge this year.  I’ve spent a lot of time listening to members.  There is a lot to do and only a short time to do so.  That’s why I have made every effort to hit the ground running as PER Bob Myron sagely advised me.  I know many people don’t like change.  It can be uncomfortable and sometimes even difficult.  But whether we like it or not, change is inevitable.  It is necessary for growth and success.  Our Lodge is changing as we speak.  We have already made a great deal of progress just in my time as a member.  I want to build on that evolution.

So, I would ask you to do a few things in the interest of the Lodge.  First, keep an open mind.  We are going to try some ideas this year that I think will help us.  They won’t all work perfectly though or be suited for everyone.  It is impossible to make 650 people happy at the same time.  Give it a chance to play out.  Second, get involved!  I don’t pretend to have all the answers by any means, and I can’t do it alone.  The Lodge is only successful due to the efforts and support of our good members.  We need your help.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I would ask you to resist drama and negativity.  When someone sits at the bar engages in this behavior, I hope that you will help stamp it out immediately.  If you have an issue, I encourage you to speak with me directly in private about your concerns to address them productively.

So, what do I plan to do exactly this Lodge year you may be wondering?  It really only boils down to four main things:

 

  1. Focus on the Lodge and Our Members
  • Initiate a General Lodge Fundraiser
  • Offer Regular Entertainment / Events
  • Expand Food Service / Selection
  • Upgrade the Club Amenities

 

  1. Do the Work
  • Receive All ENF Grants
  • Support Our Veterans
  • Enhance Youth Activities
  • Aid the Less Fortunate

 

  1. Tell Our Story
  • Implement a Coordinated Marketing Effort
  • Better Communication
  • Grow Membership

 

  1. Get Recognized
  • Obtain the All-American Lodge Designation

That sounds simple enough.  If you dig beneath the surface, it is quite ambitious though.  That is why I recruited good help.  We have a very strong team of officers and committee chairs who are ready to lead.  I would ask you to support them.  In the meantime, I will do whatever I can to push for the best interests of our Lodge and our members.  More to follow in the days ahead…

Best wishes,

 

Greg Collins