Executive Director’s Column

(from Maine Townsman, April 2006)
By Chris Lockwood, MMA Executive Director

70 th Anniversary

This fall will mark the Maine Municipal Association’s 70 th anniversary as an organization. This milestone will afford an opportunity to reflect on MMA’s history and to affirm our commitment to serve you, our members, as you face ever-changing demands and challenges.

Clearly MMA’s service program and scope of operations have grown significantly over the years, but our underlying mission has remained constant – to provide professional services to local governments throughout Maine and to advocate their common interests at the state and national levels. It is vital that MMA maintain a strong link with our members to ensure we are providing valued programs and services.

Membership Survey

In this regard, the MMA Executive Committee will be conducting a comprehensive membership survey this year as a follow-up to a similar survey effort conducted in 2001. The Executive Committee has retained Strategic Marketing Services, a New England based strategic market research and consulting firm, to assist in this effort. The key objectives of the survey are to evaluate:

• MMA’s standing with our membership overall and also in terms of specific service areas and to benchmark data collected during the 2001 membership survey;

• Key issues facing the membership; and

• The membership’s opinion of key services and issues on which MMA should focus in the next 3-5 years.

We are currently in the development stage of designing the survey and methodology. Our timetable calls for the survey to be distributed by late May to mid-June. Strategic Marketing Services will provide survey results and key findings to the MMA Executive Committee at its September meeting. We will then be in a position to report on the survey at the annual convention in early October.

We will keep you posted on the timing and distribution of the survey, but want to thank you in advance for taking time to share your views on MMA. We know you face endless demands on your time and attention, but it is vital that we hear from you to ensure we are providing valued services and programs.

Nominations for MMA Executive Committee

I also would like to bring your attention to the MMA Nominating Committee process. Pursuant to the MMA By-laws, the MMA Executive Committee appointed a five member Nominating Committee to put forth nominations of municipal officials (elected municipal officers and chief appointed officials) to serve on the MMA Executive Committee and as MMA officers. Thursday, May 25 is the deadline to notify the Nominating Committee of interest in being considered for nomination to the MMA Executive Committee.

The Nominating Committee will also interview and nominate a municipal official to serve as the MMA Vice President. In order to be eligible to serve as MMA Vice President, an elected or chief appointed municipal official must have served for at least one year on the MMA Executive Committee; however, that official does not need to be a current Executive Committee member. The deadline for stating your interest is May 12, 2006 to allow time to schedule interviews with the Nominating Committee.

If you are interested in being considered for the MMA Executive Committee or MMA Vice President position, please contact Theresa Chavarie at 1-800-452-8786 to obtain a Statement of Interest Form. More detailed information about the Nominating Committee process, including the Statement of Interest form, is available on the MMA website (www.memun.org ) or by contacting Theresa Chavarie at the above-listed number.

MMA Director of Risk Management Services

On a closing note, I am pleased to announce I have appointed Pat Kablitz to the position of Director of Risk Management Services. With the assistance of the Business Management Group (BMG) consulting firm, MMA conducted a national recruitment process for this key position. Pat holds the CPCU (Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter) and ARM (Associate in Risk Management) designations. She has over thirty years experience in commercial insurance management/underwriting, with seven of the last ten years in the self-insurance/pooling arena as Underwriting Manager and Assistant Director of MMA’s Risk Management programs. Pat is committed to building on the solid foundation of the Risk Management programs and working with the RMS staff and others throughout the organization to provide quality service and programs to assist MMA’s members in meeting their insurance and risk management needs.