Below is an "ATRA Update" published today by ATRA:
The ATRA Board of Directors (BOD) has received many questions and concerns regarding the changes within ATRA. The BOD has been as open and transparent as possible, but it is difficult to get timely information to the entire membership.
Membership numbers have slowly declined (a national trend for associations) and this has been a major concern for ATRA. To understand the issues, membership surveys were conducted, consultants hired, and membership plans designed. Projects like e-ATRA, the Medicare Project, representation on numerous healthcare organizations, and additional continuing education opportunities were undertaken as a means to increase membership while continuing to promote the profession. Membership numbers have not grown and our reach exceeds our available resources. ATRA must “right-size” and prioritize projects.
The first, most important responsibility of the BOD is to ensure that ATRA is a viable and strong organization. This BOD has examined every aspect of the Association in the last eight months and took strong actions to ensure ATRA continues to be a sound membership driven organization.
Below are some of the major actions of the BOD:
The finance committee made recommendations of over $150,000 in expense reductions.
The Membership Ad Hoc Committee revised the membership plan, which is now in Phase I.
The BOD analyzed the profit margins and level of membership participation of Mid-Year Forums and other continuing education programs. Membership continues to ask for more local and regional opportunities and this is evident by attendance at Mid-Years. It was decided to cancel the 2008 Mid-Year and suspend the 2009 Mid-Year for further analysis. A subcommittee is being formed to investigate this entire process and address progressive implementation.
Past Presidents were informed of the changes that were taking place and the Board’s efforts to address the issues.
BOD makes personal calls to non-renewing members to request their renewal and seek ways to improve services.
An Interim Strategic plan (2 years) was written to address ATRA changes and bridge the gap between previous plan and future plans of ATRA.
At this time, the ATRA membership is just over 2,550. We must grow to meet the current needs of the Association, our members, and the profession.
Separate from this process, Executive Director Ann Huston resigned effective August 5, 2007. In May of 2006, Ann discussed with me as President-Elect her thoughts of pursuing new career options. At the 2007 Mid-Year, she discussed with the Personnel Committee the need for a transition plan. In April, the Finance Committee began negotiations with Ms. Huston on her desire to resign. The decision was made by Ann and was a positive, mutually acceptable agreement. As with any negotiations, Ms. Huston’s resignation remained confidential until both parties reached agreement and were ready to inform the membership. Ann’s work for ATRA is highly honored and her leadership will be greatly missed.
Upon the formal resignation of Ms. Huston, an organizational structure subcommittee was formed. The committee will include a Chair, two Past Presidents, two Members-at-Large (non-board members), the BOD Personnel Committee, a representative from the CAC, and a representative from the National Office. At this time, Kelly Parker has accepted appointment as Chair of the subcommittee.
The responsibility of the committee will be to cover three areas: review the organization structure, review all job descriptions of the national office and BOD, and develop a search committee for the new Executive Director position.
Many have devoted their entire career to the success of ATRA. Your current BOD is comprised of such members and has taken this responsibility seriously. They have made hard decisions in order to address the changes needed for a strong and viable ATRA. Each has sacrificed countless volunteer hours and personal resources for ATRA.
Please forward this update to others who may not have received or who have contacted you with questions. The BOD wants every member to know and understand what is happening in THEIR organization. If individuals have additional questions, please feel free to contact a member of the Board of Directors and we will do our best to answer questions.
Sandra Negley M.S., MTRS/CTRS