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Steal This: A Good Annual Meeting

by Jennifer Hutchins

When I spoke at the Annual Meeting of the United Way of York County earlier this week, I was struck by what a positive and effective event Barb Wentworth and her team pulled together.

From the desk of Jennifer Hutchins, MANP Executive Director

Here are 5 reasons why:

1. A lot was efficiently packed into a reasonable time frame.

In under two hours, there was networking, a silent auction, a raffle, a full buffet breakfast, a business meeting, a keynote speaker and ample volunteer acknowledgement.

2. As early as they are, breakfast meetings are the way to go.

After the first cup of coffee (or two), most are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the space is (hopefully) full of natural daylight, and everyone is headed back to work before 10. And, selfishly, this is the easiest time for me to steal away from my family and co-workers.

3. The agenda was well-defined.

Attendees and speakers (not speaking for myself here) were scripted and brief, yet casual and funny. I loved how they followed Robert’s Rules without being overly officious–the passing of the gavel came with many a friendly quip.

4. All felt welcome.

UWYC’s leadership did a great job making everyone who attended know they were part of the UWYC community–board members, grantees, community partners, and guests.

5. The focus was volunteer acknowledgement.

At MANP, we emphasize that community problems are best solved through collaboration among the business, government and nonprofit sectors. This annual meeting culminated in bestowing their annual Elise Kittredge Award to the Eagleson family, owners of Baker, a manufacturer of lab equipment. What exemplary community leaders the Eaglesons are in Sanford–a model of humility and civic-mindedness for any Maine business. It was very clear throughout the meeting that people from all sectors were part of UWYC’s work.

Ok. Yes, they also had a great keynote speaker, but I’ll save that for another post. Do you have any suggestions for what makes a good annual meeting? Please share them here.

2 thoughts on “Steal This: A Good Annual Meeting

Many thanks – Jennifer was a great keynote speaker! We thank her for joining us and for her smooth and informative delivery even when the technology did not cooperate!

Steve Mortimer says:

Barb is terrific… not at all surprised that she did a great job! Of course, I find MANP’s meetings to be a best practice as well. Congratulations to both you and Barb for being terrific leaders, Jen!

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