StarChapter of December: APICS San Fernando Valley

More than other associations, APICS, the global leader and premier source of the body of knowledge in supply chain and operations management, focuses on bringing all chapters in to collaborate on a broader basis. From vision to practice, we interviewed Michael O. Thornburg, the President of APICS San Fernando Valley Chapter in California. Thornburg shared the chapter’s milestones in past year, and what members should expect in the coming months. Listening to members and learning from other chapters in the association stand out as successful practices. Read more about the story of the APICS San Fernando Valley Chapter.


  1. What was APICS San Fernando Valley’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?
    Active participation in the form of informative professional meetings, on campus events and presentations with local universities. We find participants to APICS events are selective and are keenly looking for tools, techniques and methods to help them in their specific interests, daily tasks and careers. We offer subjects that satisfy our mission: professional development, education and certification. Sometimes turnout is low as each subject resonates with a different mix of participants.


  1. Tell us about a successful event/meeting the chapter organized last year
    We conducted a skills gap session and empaneled industry leaders for a Q&A session concerning Supply Chain and Operations Management jobs with Undergraduate and Graduate students.
    We held the skills gap session on campus at California State University Northridge (CSUN) in conjunction with the Systems and Operations (SOM) department, where Supply Chain Majors are found. We worked with the dept. Chair to coordinate the session on an evening where the SOM class could attend without missing class. And CSUN has invited us back again! The event was a huge success and we had standing room only. We enticed membership by promoting a low cost session for members and then offered the APICS free student membership for students to comply. We had many new student members sign up and had one of the largest PDM’s in our recent history with standing room only. Students got to meet and ask questions of professionals. Professionals got to meet students and relay what positions they are looking to fill. We had several recruiting firms also attending. This year, I have approached these same recruiting firms for sponsoring event by providing raffle prizes. This is such a powerful event I would like to see this become an inaugural event for the Chapter and CSUN.


  1. Do you get ideas on how to improve membership value from other APICS chapters?
    We reach out regularly with other Chapters and share ideas. We collaborate with APICS National at several levels. Our Chapter works closely with the National and understands we are running a business. We share our original ideas, knowledge and techniques with other chapters such as our recent session on “How to get started using StarChapter?”.


  1. Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers? 
    APICS promotes sharing of ideas among our Chapters, however, one area of interest to other chapters is how we manage and keep track of our membership. Another area of interest is StarChapter implementation where our own Web Director Jose Feliciano gave a presentation on transitioning to StarChapter at our Southwest and Pacific Northwest conference earlier this year.


  1. What is in store for the members of APICS San Fernando Valley next year?
    We have had noteworthy success in attracting members with our skills gap and network mixer events. We are looking to continue developing a sponsorship program and have promoted sponsoring organizations using StarChapter on our web page.


  1. How did StarChapter help you run the organization and reach your goals? 
    StarChapter cut down administrative time. For example:


    • Events are auto removed the day after the event takes place
    • Job Listings from prospect employers were effortlessly created and deleted after a predefined time period
    • Letters to new members about to expire members are on auto-pilot
    • Officer reports are being filed with the respective event using StarChapter
    • Registrations to events are easy to keep track of and signup lists and badges are easily extracted from the website registration
    • Invoices for events are automatically created upon registration.
    • We cut Constant Contact, because of the power of StarChapter’s email engine.  
    • Started using the StarChapter Newsletter feature to help promote chapter events, which is of interest to other chapters and really adds a level of professionalism to our outbound email notifications.





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