What CAN You Do? NJALA Opportunities Available to All Members

By Elli Albert

For the past couple of years, some of you may have read my column, “What Would You Do?” in the Jer-Z-Journal.  I would now like to suggest a twist and ask NJALA members, “What CAN You Do?”

You are probably scratching your head now, trying to figure out where I’m going with this.

Like most organizations, the NJALA is comprised of a board of trustees as well as our general membership.  Recently, a few members have approached me in my role as VP/Membership and have asked, “Okay, I know the board does most of the stuff for NJALA, but how can I get involved?  How can I decide if I maybe want to be on the board someday?  What’s involved?”  Great questions that deserve an answer.

Most, but not all, of the committees of the NJALA are chaired by a board member.  There is no question that we not only want our general members to get involved on committees, but that we need involvement of our members to help move our programs and our organization forward.  

Without a doubt, all the current NJALA board members started out—just like you—as a brand-new member of the NJALA, and somehow got involved on a committee to get their feet wet.  Maybe it was a small or limited task.  Maybe it was something ongoing.  After getting involved in one committee, it then became another committee.  And, suddenly, we are “involved” in the running of this great organization.  

My personal involvement started with an article-writing contest in 2000 (yes, I’m that old).  I won a scholarship to an ALA conference because of the contest, and then I was asked to join the newsletter committee.  Some 17 years later, here I am having served numerous years on the board, on many committees and hopefully moving toward NJALA presidency in a couple of years.  Who knew back in 2000 where I’d be today.

I’m no different than any of you.

So, what’s available?  How do you get involved?  Here is a sampling of some of the many committees that assure the success of NJALA.  WE WANT YOU.  Develop a voice in the NJALA.  Give input and opinions.  It is all welcome from new members and from longtime members, even if you’ve never participated before.  So here goes, in no particular order:

Newsletter Committee: The newsletter committee meets 2-3 times per year, over dinner, and plans the electronic newsletter that falls into your mailbox every other month.  Responsibilities vary.  Some members are writers.  Some members know other great writers.  Some members just have good ideas.  All are welcome.  Contact Elyssa Goldstein at [email protected]. 

Business Partner Expo Committee: You know that great Expo that we all attend each year?  Well, it takes a lot of work to make it a success!  Members will work with the Expo chair on organizing the event, scheduling the venue and related details, soliciting business partners, advertising, pre-Expo workshops, assisting at the Expo itself and other tasks.  This is a shorter-term commitment, as it is focused on the single event each year.  Contact Mary Ellen Dolan at [email protected] and Michelle Cohen at [email protected]. 

Business Partner Committee: Members of the Business Partner Committee interface with our existing business partners on sponsorship opportunities, as well as pursue new business partners.  The committee handles the administrative aspect of our business partners (providing information to business partners and to NJALA members), in addition to other tasks.  This is an ongoing committee during the year that does not typically require meetings, but which does require attention to detail and follow-up.  Contact Kurt Brown at [email protected] and Mary Ellen Dolan at [email protected].

Membership: Remember your first NJALA meeting when you didn’t know anyone, didn’t have anyone to eat dinner with and didn’t know what to do?  The Membership Committee is tasked with engaging members, particularly our newer members.  The ability to attend most monthly meetings is helpful, since the responsibilities include meeting and greeting our new members, introducing them to other members and generally making them feel comfortable.  Additional tasks may include brainstorming to come up with new ways to engage our existing members and to expand our member base.  Contact Elli Albert at [email protected].

Website/Social Media: These related committees need additional help.  Website activities may involve posting announcements and photographs, keeping the site up to date and working with our website chair and web developer.  Social media tasks may include regularly posting photographs and/or activity updates.  Contact Teri Siegle at [email protected].

Bar Relations: The bar relations committee develops opportunities and relationships between the NJALA and other NJ professional associations (e.g., New Jersey State Bar Association, Paralegal Association of New Jersey).  This may include developing programs to be co-sponsored by the associations, attending meetings with representatives of the associations and other means to develop relationships with their members.  Attendance at occasional meetings and/or local events may be required.  Contact Kathy Dart at [email protected].

Survey Committee: The NJALA produces several surveys, including the annual Compensation and Benefits Survey, the bi-annual Equipment and Services Survey and a Member Engagement Survey.  These surveys are short-term activities that involve reviewing prior-year surveys, updating surveys and working with the third-party vendor who creates the final online surveys and results.  Contact Elli Albert at [email protected]. 

Social Committee: The social committee plans and directs the social events of the NJALA, including our holiday party and our year-end party.  Anyone who enjoys planning events will enjoy this committee!  Contact Audrey Serban at [email protected].

These are just a few examples of how you can get involved and make a difference!  Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the individuals in this article, or e-mail any of the board members with questions about committees or anything else concerning your membership.  (All e-mail addresses are listed on our www.njala.net website on the Officers & Trustees page under the About NJALA tab.)  We look forwarding to getting to know you and working with you!

Elli Albert is the Office Administrator of Fox Rothschild LLP in Morristown, New Jersey.

Share this post:

Comments on "What CAN You Do? NJALA Opportunities Available to All Members"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment