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Starting a local chapter of AMAC
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Four years ago I joined AMAC in Northern Maine.  Shortly thereafter, my wife and I moved to Titusville, Florida and I became an Ambassador.  We are one hour east of Orlando.  My desire was to form a local chapter and to keep politics to a minimum.  The primary function of our meetings is to meet like-minded conservative seniors for food and fellowship.  I asked for a list of current members in my area, contacted the ones with email addresses and introduced myself.  Our first social was held in a local restaurant and we had nine members present.  Early on we decided to change our luncheon location every two or three months.  Some months we only had two or three people and occasionally I was the only one to show up but I persisted.  On one occasion we had five members from Orlando and Melbourne visit our fair city and stop in for lunch to meet with us.  What a joy!  We advertize our socials on the http: www.amac.us web site, calendar of events.  Earlier this year, I started sending postcards to those that had an incorrect or no email address at all.  Today, after three years we now average 7-9 members every month.  Several members are snow birds and are only in the Titusville area in January, February and March.  Many of the members are still working and are unable to attend but we keep in contact with over 100 members in the Mims and Titusville area.  Over two dozen that are not able to attend keep in touch by email and remind me to keep them in the loop about our socials because they want to attend at least once or twice a year.   



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AMAC Ambassador

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I too believe that local chapters are the fastest and least expensive way to expand our horizons at AMAC. I started my group not long after I retired here to North Texas. I set up a facebook page for community use only, however by accident it went public. I have readers from all over the country respond to some of the posts. I immediately notified AMAC because I didn't want to be in violations of the organization’s copy right or logo infringement. Unfortunately to date I’ve had no response from corporate. And like your group we have small impromptu to meetings where we discuss anything that involves seniors. We also have a combination of retired and those who wish they were retired. We would like to become more active, and I am afraid that at some point AMAC will shut us down.
However if you or anyone else would like to share what they’re doing as a group, we would be interested



-- Edited by Senior Crusader on Monday 18th of November 2013 05:48:53 PM

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R. Smith Sr.



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@Senior Crusader - I have been thinking of starting a chapter for expats but your lack of response from AMAC leadership is disheartening

help us out here Dan



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AMAC Admin / Moderator

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Hey guys, I too want to grow chapters all over the country for AMAC. We just don't have the man power right now, we are going through some growing pains as our membership blows by 1 million members. This is something I will bring up at the next meeting for sure and see if we can get this rolling again now that I can show some member initiation.

At this exact moment the best I can do is direct you to our Delegate and Ambassador Programs.

Delegates: amac.us/about-amac-delegates
Ambassadors: amac.us/amac-ambassador-leadership-program

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don't quite understand your response Dan - WE are that manpower you say you don't have - all we need is some parameters on rules and procedures

I, for one, am NOT looking to create a franchise, just an approved affiliate, so what is the difficulty with that ?

 

Bob in Costa Rica 

 

Dan L wrote:

Hey guys, I too want to grow chapters all over the country for AMAC. We just don't have the man power right now, we are going through some growing pains as our membership blows by 1 million members. This is something I will bring up at the next meeting for sure and see if we can get this rolling again now that I can show some member initiation.

At this exact moment the best I can do is direct you to our Delegate and Ambassador Programs.

Delegates: amac.us/about-amac-delegates
Ambassadors: amac.us/amac-ambassador-leadership-program


 



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AMAC Admin / Moderator

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Those rules, parameters and procedures need to be created and maintained. Will you need printed items or handouts? Are you going to be speaking on behalf of the organization? You will need someone to rely on to have these answers. Someone has to manage this project and keep it organized.

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AMAC Ambassador

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I have had to think for some time about how I would respond to this conversation. First off we are no longer a new organization, in that we've been around for several years and have a considerable membership. We are however struggling to grow in numbers, as well as popularity (public awareness). However there are a number of us out here who see an avenue to achieve those goals, and in the process do good work in our communities. As Adam and Bob have stated we are the Manpower you speak of, the advance guard for things to come. If AMAC is to continue to advance on our counterpart it’s time to take this to the next level. It’s embarrassing, when I approach an individual or group and began to speak about AMAC, to have someone asked what it is we’re doing locally and then have them bring up AARP. For AMAC to put together simple guidelines for local chapters should not be that hard seeing how you have several members who are willing to help. What we need is permission to use the AMAC corporate logo as part of the chapter name and a simple set of guidelines. This can usually be accomplished through the ambassador program, allowing other ambassadors to coordinate with one another to build the outline for local chapters. Then submit an agenda to AMAC for review and approval. Has someone forgotten that among one million members there must be a tremendous amount of talent in the membership that could be tapped for this task? It’s apparent that there’s a great desire by the membership for this type of program, for AMAC not to take advantage of it, is just wrong! One of my favorite sayings is, A man who cuts this Own wood is warmer twice. It’s time to get warm.
Which brings me to another topic; I am a very early member of AMAC and also to the ambassador program. I am disappointed that there’s not been more communication between AMAC ambassador headquarters and the ambassadors at large. No guidance, and no follow-up, no motivation from AMAC to continue the charge. I believe that AMAC needs to improve this line of communication.
These are my thoughts and I would be happy to discuss them with anyone interested in this program.


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R. Smith Sr.



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I second all of what Senior Crusader says above



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Senior Crusader I agree.

I have brought this up several times to the executives and they agree but that's the extent of it.

You seem very passionate about this - Maybe I can put you in direct contact with someone and we can make this happen. I sent a PM with my email maybe we can iron out some details.

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I understand Dan L viewpoint. There are several problem areas that can develop with the formation of formal chapters that have charters and bylaws. After the small headquarters staff releases guidelines for local chapters, they also need to develop state charters as well and it might not be easy to find fifty volunteer field officers that are willing to travel all over their respective state. If ambassadors meet and create local policies that conflict with the National objectives, that can cause problems for the local chapter but more likely big problems with the National image and message. We could possibly say or print something that is counter to the national organization leadership policies. With fifty states that could become a "big" manpower issue for a small crew at the National Headquarters.
What I have opted to do here in Titusville is to conduct informal, monthly socials at local restaurants. We have one or two non-members from time to time and just engage in friendly conversation over a meal. We are not engaged in spreading the word at business meetings and asking our national headquarters for advertizing dollars to draw crowds of possible new members. When National finally authorizes and creates guidelines, our little group will only need to tweak our procedures because I'm a one-man band and not a committee of four.

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So here we are one month after the last post, are there any new developments? I'm a new Delegate and Ambassador and looking for some direction also. To be taken seriously by AARP members we need to be able to do things locally as AMAC members. One of the Roles of being an Ambassador is "Help organize a local AMAC Chapter in your area." If we are to do this guidelines are essential to that mission. We need a united front so that all of us are on the same page. There will be some things that won't work in certain areas but basics parameters are needed. What do you think of an Ambassador page on the AMAC site that is for ambassadors only where information can be shared and we can discuss ideas. I don't think an open forum such as this is a good place for that.

Steve M



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Ask for a list of current members in your area - use the first three digits of your zip code.  Determine a restaurant, a time and day of the week to hold a meeting or social, send an email to everyone with a valid email address and do this every month for at least two years. I average 8-12 every month after only three years of persistent, consistent diligence.  During the first two years I often only had two or three show up but I never gave up.  We now have folks that love to get together and visit once a month for food and fellowship.  You don't need a formal structure, just get together.  Keep the faith!



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I was sent information to become Ambassador/Delegate as well but with NO REAL direction to compete with or against AARP - AMAC has allowed the ball to bounce away.

When I say anything about AMAC -- the general response back is ::: Who are they, exactly?? Do they offer the same discounts and programs (supported) as AARP?? It seems AMAC is very limited!!! and then response drops to NOTHING !!!

Any one can set up meet-ups and do get together meetings but AMAC needs to make themselves/ourselves a PROMISING VIABLE ALTERNATIVE to AARP. We need a concrete course of action to get AMAC visible (a 'good' marketing strategy), more than it is. Yes, having a select few - to start is good but it seems we are at a stand still. Proof is in the way people participate in the forums (including me). Perhaps having an interactive community with viable supporters (similar to AARP); a more interactive website.

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I am also willing to do what I can to help spread the word & have been looking for information on the site about how to go about that, but so far have come up empty-handed. I have no idea if there is a local chapter, but I doubt it. The only way we can help this organization to grow is with help from the upper management.



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