by Carlene Sippola
We’re Stronger Together: Carrying Out the Mission of IBPA
Many of you know the phrase prominently placed on IBPA’s home page: “Helping each other to achieve and succeed!” As IBPA’s newest president, I want you to know that I firmly believe this is our association’s primary mission. Carrying out that mission takes on many forms and involves many players. Over the next two years as your president, I am committed to doing my part; and I challenge each of you to do yours.
So, who are the key players, and how do they carry out IBPA’s mission?
The Board of Directors
This group of dedicated people has the opportunity and the challenge to ensure the health, financial well-being, and growth of the organization. They serve the members of IBPA in many ways. All board members bring their own unique sets of skills and are encouraged to serve on at least one committee and participate in many hands-on projects. They demonstrate support of IBPA by promoting its programs, generating goodwill for the organization, creating and reviewing strategic plans, setting and adjusting long-term priorities, monitoring the management of financial resources, growing the membership, and supporting the staff. All this adds to the success of the organization, which in turn helps the organization help members achieve and succeed.
Terry and his staff work tirelessly to make sure the mission of IBPA is carried out. They help members achieve and succeed by creating cooperative marketing programs, offering educational opportunities, fielding hundreds of questions, supporting the regional affiliates, serving as an advocate for members, issuing a stellar publication, and implementing long-range strategic plans set by the board. They do these things with dedication and passion, which is why this organization thrives.
These organizations do on a regional level what IBPA does nationally. As affiliate liaison on the board, I saw this in action. Each regional affiliate has its own challenges—membership growth and retention, financial stability, volunteer burnout, event planning, and many more. But every affiliate has the same goal—helping each other achieve and succeed. Sound familiar? Our regional affiliates are so important because they help nurture the start-up publishers in their region who end up becoming strong, long-lasting IBPA members.
Last, but certainly not least, you, the members of IBPA, help one another achieve and succeed. The most effective ways you do this include networking and mentoring. Here are just a few examples of opportunities you can and do use to advantage:
Our annual Publishing University. If you’ve ever attended our annual Pub-U, you know that you can learn not only from the presenters but also from each other. In between sessions, groups of folks eagerly share the challenges and successes of their publishing programs. At lunch they aren’t talking about the weather. They’re talking about a new book in the works. They’re exchanging marketing ideas. They’re inquiring about printers, distributors, book awards, and editors. They’re soaking up as much new information as they can from each other. Most important, everyone goes home with new friends and colleagues they can call on throughout the year.
The IBPA Independent. The Independent is ranked as the #1 benefit by most of our members. It’s a great way to share information. Consider submitting an article or an article idea by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regional publishing associations. If you have one in your area, join it. You will meet people with challenges like those you face every day at work. You will make connections that you can access now, in a year, or even in five years. Regional publishers’ groups are places to ask questions. The publishing industry has changed so much and so fast recently that now, more than ever, we need to learn from one another. Our tendency is to try to figure things out ourselves, but that’s not always the best way to achieve and succeed. Let’s count on each other.
Are you a key player in carrying out the mission of IBPA? What can you do in the next week, month, or year to help at least one other member achieve and succeed? I have no doubt all of you will rise to the challenge. I have no doubt that independent publishing will continue to achieve and succeed for many years to come.
Please share your comments, thoughts, and ideas by emailing me at email@example.com.