From Dan Hopwood, ARVP – COPA, Region 1
As I race toward my 41st year as a member of ASSP, I am amazed at how quickly the time has passed since I was a student studying safety and being a 50-year member not that far off. Having attended hundreds of Chapter meetings in my home chapter and others, I can say that long service recognition is hit and miss.
Based on these experiences, the leadership of Region 1 thought it a good idea to share some thoughts on Long Service Recognition. I suggest you look at these options and determine if you may be able to adopt any of them within your Chapter. I also ask that if you have undertaken other recognition activities, that you share them with the Region so that we all may benefit from your experiences. (You can send to me if you like and I’ll package them for distribution and posting.)
Below you’ll find several things to think about relative to long service recognition; some simple, some more complex. As I have suggested with other chapter matters – once you start or enhance your long service recognition efforts, don’t stop! Build recognition into your chapter planning/strategic planning and possibly budget. Your Chapter Membership Chair and Society representatives can assist you in determining who and how many members are coming up on long service recognition in a Chapter Year. If you have an Awards and Honors Chair or Committee – Long Service Awards is a perfect activity for them to tackle.
OK, here are some recognition and activities to consider for Long Service Awards and the member:
- At the very minimum, don’t hold on to the Long Service Certificate waiting for a member to attend a meeting; if they don’t or wont, mail it to them!
- Recognize the member at Chapter meetings with their Certificate – you may need to specifically invite them
- Pay the meal fee for the member being recognized
- Budget to have the certificate provided by Society framed; make the frame a decent one!
- Ask the member to spend a few minutes talking about how they got into safety, why they became an ASSP member and what the value of membership is – new and younger members will benefit from this discussion
- Include a brief bio about the member in the meeting program and on your Chapter website
- Interview the member and place a small article and picture in your newsletter
- Maintain a list and photos of long service recipients on your website (you’ll have to determine when to start that list – at 10 years, 20 years, etc.)
- Budget and determine at what intervals you may provide a Chapter gift/certificate supplement to the recognized member, e.g. the certificate and an ASSP item from the catalog
- If your Chapter has a Hall of Fame, evaluate the recipient for membership
- If the long service recipient is retired, for example and not regularly attending meetings – make the effort to reach out to them and invite them to the meeting where they will be recognized
- Invite the recipient to serve on committees, councils or as a Chapter Ambassador
- Consider inviting the RVP or Area Director to participate in the recognition activities
- Invite family members to attend the meeting, especially for very long service recognition (and pay for their meal!)
Regardless of your approach on Long Service Recognition, make sure it is sincere. Make sure your efforts are honorable and reflect the service of the member and their contributions over time. Be certain that your recognition efforts reflect well on your Chapter, the Region and Society. Be consistent in your efforts and that will help members overall appreciate the value of the recognition.
That’s it for now – hopefully these ideas are of benefit to you as you make plans; reach out to me, your Area Director or the RVP if we can be of assistance.