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The Importance of Service

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Has your local chapter Board encouraged you to serve Prime Timers in some capacity? Service to Prime Timers can be anything from hosting a Prime Timer event in your home to serving as President of your chapter or even a position on the Prime Timers Worldwide Board. Was your answer, "Yes, I will help?"

All chapters of Prime Timers have need of men who will take responsibility for the various categories of leadership. Depending on the size of a chapter, those roles vary greatly from location to location. Imagine the dedication and skillsets required of the persons planning events for Prime Timers of the Desert with 797 members. They have a whole different set of dynamics with event planning than a member serving that role at Prime Timers Tampa Bay, Inc. with 104 members or Prime Timers Indianapolis with 39 members. Responsibilities vary widely throughout Prime Timers Worldwide for those who are willing to serve. One "stiletto" just doesn't fit all. It is the man or group of men willing to step-up to organize events for the good of all their chapter members that make a difference. The task of the Worldwide Board is to find the common threads among our varied chapters to promote Prime Timers and support where needed.

Whether it is Rotary, United Way, or Prime Timers, the success of the mission depends upon a group effort to accomplish the goal(s) of the organization. In Prime Timers, chapters have varying times to hold elections for varying numbers of Board members who will work as a group to provide social and educational opportunities for their membership. The dynamics of those Boards and committees in larger chapters should ideally be a changing mix of players. New blood in a Board brings new ideas and approaches to making Prime Timers an interesting and evolving society of men. In some cases, the same five to nine men occupy the same positions year after year. While that increases the comfort level of the men doing the work, it can lead to stagnation and similar calendar of events month after month and year after year.

The election season is approaching again. Most chapters will be electing new officers at the beginning of the year. However, Prime Timers Worldwide elects all nine Board positions at the biennial Worldwide convention. This year, that happens in Chicago from October 29th to November 2nd. Will you be there? There will be old and new friends to meet and greet.

The two-year terms of the current Board end and a new Board will assume their duties during the Chicago convention. The composition of the current Board includes men who have served in various Board positions for a number of years. Three current members are serving their first term on the Board. Due to term limits and/or retirement from the Board, many of the current Board will not be seeking re-election. All positions are vacant. As with the local chapters, new members from different chapters bring diversity and innovative ideas to Board leadership. Conversely, retention of some current Board members add context and historical reference to decision making. Some current Board members (including me) are willing to serve another term in their current or another position. The decision on whether to retain current members will be up to your chapter representative voting in Chicago. There is room for new leaders to step forward from among the chapters in any or all of the positions.

Gary Payne, the current Vice President, is heading up the Nomination Committee for this election. That committee will be advising all Chapter Presidents and the chapter's designated liaison to the Worldwide Board by email with the details of the election in very early July. If you've served on a local chapter Board and would be willing to serve Prime Timers at the Worldwide level, it is a good time to consider doing it. The ideas and helping hands you would bring to Prime Timers as a whole can further the concept Woody Baldwin had for this society of gay and bisexual men. For so many Prime Timers, the friends within our chapters and those we've met along the way are a large part of the happiness we've found now that we've exchanged "stilettos" for "flats" (metaphorically speaking). I encourage you to further Woody's dream by serving Prime Timers with your attendance, renewals, or however you are led to do so.

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