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StarChapter of March: ACF Chicagoland

Engagement has been the key to the success at American Culinary Federation Chefs and Culinary Professionals of Chicagoland, ACF Chicagoland. We spoke with Don Zajac who currently serves as their Vice President and learned how they have been able to build relationships with their members. Their StarChapter website has been vital to building their relationships as a tool for distributing value to its members though interaction, usage, and social media. See why ACF Chicagoland couldn’t be happier that StarChapter is their partner.

1. What was ACF Chicagoland’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?

“We look at engagement as the result of a member investing their time into our site in exchange for value. Members feel their membership has a greater value are more likely to renew. The bottom line is bulk information sent to a member does not build engagement. However, finding ways to get a member to interact, use, and take advantage of the value we offer builds our member relationship. We use our site as a tool to build that relationship.”

2. Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year.

“Most recently, our chapter hosted an event, ChefConnect-Chicago. This event is a regional series throughout the country with the National event happening in Florida this summer. This conference has a great deal of information that is available for members and non-members via our site. Our site gave us a great vehicle to disseminate information on our front page and by way of the social media widgets.”

3. The ACF network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other chapters?

“Yes, we never want to be status quo. We like to see what works for other chapters and what doesn’t, too. With the exchange of ideas, we can take from the components that work and implement them. Again, it is about engagement.”

4. What is the most valuable advice you could share with other board volunteers?

“Never be satisfied with the status quo. Be open to new ideas and don’t be afraid of pushing the envelope. Also, it’s important to work with StarChapter, to take advantage of their video tutorials.”

5. What does the board have planned for members of ACF Chicagoland next year?

“We have great multiple events planned for the year but for those events to be successful, we must continue to engage membership, including professional, associate, student and senior membership. And, we will continue to pursue non-members and converting them into members.”

6. How did StarChapter help you run ACF Chicagoland and reach its goals?

“In Chicago, we recently blended two chapters into one. StarChapter helped make the transition seamless with great tools, tech support and customer service. Not only did we blend two separate chapters, but, we also built a new chapter site. Based on our positive previous experience with StarChapter, we chose to stay with them in this transition. We love the new site and couldn’t be happier StarChapter was our partner making it happen.”

 

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