Happy Friday, readers. 👋🏻
I was thinking about this topic as I was brushing my teeth and getting ready for the day, just earlier this morning: Now that I’m in my fourth month at TOPS Club, I feel like I’ve gotten a little bit older and a little bit wiser (and yes, you can take some time to laugh at that sentiment, because I know I still have a LONG way to go!)
Anyway, you want to know what’s been a real theme in my day-to-day happenings in this role as Communications Director?
“Let’s talk to Field Staff.” Or “Field Staff would know.” Or “Time to loop in Field Staff.”
The lesson here? The importance of Field Staff cannot be overstated.
Your Coordinators, Advocates, Chapter Leaders — these are the experts you want in your corner. And I’ve met a lot of them! I can confirm just how true this is.
Sure, a lot of our interactions have just been over Zoom or email, but it’s been a real treat, getting to know all the Field Staffers I can, and learning from them each and every day.
Ever since mid-June, it’s been like, a crash course for me in all things TOPS. But I expected that, to a degree … there’s been a bit of a learning curve. And as the communications liaison, I have to REALLY understand things, in order to relay messages to bigger groups of people. At any given time, I’m usually talking with the membership, updating our website, writing an email newsletter to the masses, blogging, spreading the news about TOPS with the help our our PR team, working with the Service Program Administrators; the list goes on (and on and on).
But really — I know I’ve said in the past, “I want to be your contact at HQ. Let me know if you have questions!” Just keep in mind, some of those questions are appropriate for me to field. But others might not be. Your Field Staff is SO, so valuable. Know when to turn to them, too!
And I don’t want you to read that as a knock on myself or my colleagues at HQ, by any means.
Let’s talk about Headquarters for a minute. Lori, who takes a lot of your phone calls at the reception area or helps deal with chapter transfers, is an incredible, valuable resource. Our president, Rick, as you likely already know, is unmatched. Kelly and Donna in the warehouse/facilities/production, seemingly know everything. Barry and Dave, who publish and design TOPS News — they’re some of the best in the business.
But, all that said — Field Staff! Use these terrific people as the assets that they are.
— If you’re thinking about transferring chapters (or changing chapter types, as in, going from an online chapter to in-person, or vice versa), it’s incredibly important to loop in your Coordinator.
— If you’d love to get a little more involved with TOPS, but you’re not sure where to start, perhaps you’d make a great publicity volunteer. Again, tell your Coordinator that this is an opportunity that interests you!
Or if you’d like to BECOME Field Staff, as it turns out, we have some openings.
Here’s what I’d recommend as a first step: Check to see where you live on this map below.
Now, email the person who corresponds with your region.
As you can see, if you’re in the:
BLUE section — you’ll email Carol Harper at email@example.com.
PINK section — you’ll email Margie Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GREEN section — you’ll email Judy Pruett at email@example.com.
PURPLE section — you’ll email Mary Mullane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I do realize that becoming Field Staff might be a big choice. You don’t have to know all the details today! If your interest is even slightly piqued, I’d reach out to Carol, Margie, Judy or Mary, and they’ll be able to answer your questions.
I hope you see where I’m going with all this. Field Staff, we are so lucky to have you on board.
Members, know when to reach out and contact your Coordinator, instead of me! 🙂
Just thought I’d make this important distinction clear, as a big lesson I’ve been internalizing lately.
Until next time!