2022 – The Way Ahead/Terry Buttler

Quinte Branch OGS has a great group of council members, a great team, well-regarded within the OGS community for our commitment to the organization and our leadership on issues. We have strong and steady membership numbers. Our financial position is solid. Basically, the Branch is in great shape!

OGS and its branches are evolving with the times. As has been described in the past, the Quinte Branch Council has been composed of five executives and a number of volunteers who are team leaders/coordinators. The “executive” positions on the council were the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Secretary, the Treasurer and the Past Chair. This structure no longer fits our environment. To facilitate the needs of the branches, OGS is transitioning to a teams-based organization and as such we here at Quinte Branch are no longer required to identify a formal “branch council”. We can function with a team of volunteers all working together to the benefit of the branch. Events such as elections, audited financials and AGM are no longer required under the new format.

However, we do need to have two key team leaders: one for the branch who will interface with the OGS on our behalf and one for Finance to manage our budget, finances and reporting to the OGS. Both of these people need to be OGS members, however membership in OGS and/or the Quinte Branch will no longer be a requirement for someone to be part of the leadership team. We can have a mix of members and non-members on our team. If we wish, we can rotate the branch team lead position or co-manage it between multiple people and there are no appointment terms.

The branch has reached a “critical mass” situation regarding team leadership positions on the council –With the resignation of our last two chairs; first, Angela Johnson and now Patrick Goodmurphy, combined with the retirement of Vice Chair John Carew, we have lost our key Team leaders.

Now for that big ASK!

The Quinte Branch needs volunteers for this Leadership Team. Yes, we would prefer someone who has some sense of how your branch has been operating. However, even if you don’t think you qualify, you can sure come “up to speed” in a hurry, just as I did. I feel confident that our new Branch Team “Leader” will get all the support and help from our council as it has demonstrated in the past that they may need. But we need that leader!

I realize that the ongoing pandemic has really stressed everyone including your Quinte Branch Team. The signs of lacking basic human interfacing –that socialization requirement is really evident. As long as COVID-19 protocols are with us we, like a lot of organizations, are going to struggle. But we have demonstrated that our branch can survive –and even thrive –the number of attendees at our virtual meetings this last year has been outstanding.

I know that several of us are already fully engaged with our branch volunteer activities doing multiple roles and they are already impacting our personal time with our families but we continue to put in the work for our branch. But we sure can divide up some of these roles, so volunteers are always welcome. As the expression goes, “many hands make the load lighter”. We here to help our members with their genealogy research. That’s our reason for our existence.

Your Branch Team needs your help. From our experience, we know there are going to be times when that 2-3 hour a month commitment will roll into seemingly a couple of all day sessions. Been there, done that! But you won’t be alone –you are going to have help. The Team will have your back. We already operate as a team. We continue to split tasks and back up each other, so the role of the Branch Leader could provide less impact on any one individual. Frankly, if you want a local genealogy branch, we need your help.

With these thoughts, please use the time between now and next meeting to consider putting your name forward for our Team Leader.

If you have any questions, please send an email to quintebranch@ogs.on.ca and we will get back to you.

Terry Buttler, Past Chair of the Quinte Branch of OGS

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