StarChapter of July: AGA Montgomery

The Montgomery chapter of the Association of Government Accountants knows all about succession planning. To make the chapter successful their board constantly try to get more members involved by taking advantage of the tools StarChapter already offers them. LaTaya Lucas, the President of the chapter shared their secrets.


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

To engage new members, we ask for a small amount of time on a specific project. Once they are involved and realize the task can be completed with little energy, thanks to communicating through StarChapter, new members pitched in and volunteered to assist even more. In addition, we sent out mass emails to communicate about all activities, including free events, meeting registrations, luncheons, and professional development training. The graphics and adaptability of StarChapter to customize the announcements helped us engage our members even further.  


2. Can you tell me about a successful event/meeting that you organized in the past year

One of our most successful events last year was the Fall Professional Development Training with a record number of 275 attendees. We were able to advertise concurrent sessions and have everyone register in advance. This feature helped us ensure that each session was well attended with a fairly even amount of participates. After the training, we held a free membership social event. StarChapter helped us in preparations for this event with saving costs, increasing attendance, announcing, and advertising the entertainment. I would say this was successful as it was the first time we were able to plan and organize according to the registration while saving costs. 


3. Can you share some secrets of running a successful chapter?

The real secret is advanced preparation. Meet your committees well in advance to discuss the needs of the chapter. Once determined, use your chapter software (we use StarChapter) to maintain the goals, mission and annual plan for the each committees. This will in turn keep members informed of chapter events, activities, training, etc. We also never procrastinate. The key is to advertise early as possible to reach maximum attendance at each event.


4. Do you get inspired from other chapters?

Yes. We review other chapter websites and try to determine what may work for us.  We also review to improve our plans, and reach out to others. We become inspired by reviewing the process of other chapters, then work collaboratively to determine what we can changed. 


5. Do you have any tips to share with other volunteers? 

As we work and volunteer with multiple generations now, the best tip/advice I can provide is to listen to each other, share your goals/plans but know when to let someone lead. We encourage our younger members to volunteer and bring in new ideas that match the organization’s purpose and mission.


6. What is in stored for AGA Montgomery members next?

We are in the process of preparing for our 40th year anniversary, which is a big deal for the members of AGA Montgomery.


7. How did StarChapter help you run the chapter and reach your goals?

Thanks to StarChapter we have exceeded our goal of 400 members! StarChapter allowed us to stay connected with members and non-members. Using the registration feature for an event and making the email field required, we substantially increased the records of prospects interested in joining our organization.


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