I was excited to attend another Chapter Leaders Meeting and meet more than 85 leaders from around the world on Sunday, June 17, at the 29th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference. I always look forward to hearing about the issues affecting chapters and the solutions they provide to help make chapters succeed.
For those who were not able to attend, for the first time we were able to record the meeting. If you would like to watch the meeting, please click the link and use the password “ACF3Chapt3rs” to access it.
Robert Cohen, CFE, training director of the Philadelphia Area Chapter, kicked off the meeting with a recap of chapter activities over the past year. A key topic of this session was the best way to execute successful events. Some great suggestions came from the leaders in the room, including:
- Change the meeting time – If your luncheon meetings are not doing well, consider changing to a breakfast or an evening meeting.
- Location is key - Finding the right location that meets your budget is just as important.
- Consider surveying your members – One chapter surveyed their members and found the most important items to the members are (in order): quality speakers, good food and location. This chapter took that information and found an inexpensive training facility and catered food from a local restaurant.
We also discussed benefits that chapters offer their members. Some benefits included free membership for the first year, first event free, member benefit days and free networking socials.
Another topic we explored was the opportunity of peer-to-peer learning in the Chapter Leaders Community. This is a great place for chapter leaders to ask questions of other leaders. You can exchange ideas, solutions, documents and more. All chapter leaders have access to the site at this time. I encourage you all to log in any time you have a question or even if you just want to share a success story.
Tim Harvey, CFE, who is part of our Global Chapter Development and President of the U.K. Chapter, led a discussion about membership building strategies. He had leaders from all over the globe discuss their success stories.
The session briefly began with how to keep leaders involved and motivated. Some solutions were encouraging members to run in the election, complimentary registrations to the chapter conference and/or the ACFE Global Fraud Conference. Having member benefit days were popular amongst several chapters. Some ideas included golf days, evening socials or even full-day training events at no charge.
The South Africa ACFE Chapter holds a golf day event where chapter members also bring in their coworkers or clients that the chapter can network with and create more interest in the chapter. Many chapters also offer CFE Exam Prep Course® as a raffle item or a giveaway.
The importance of reaching out to students and working closely with universities and student chapters, where there is one, was another topic during the meeting. If there is an educator member at the chapter, they can be influential in forming student chapters. The students then can have reduced/free membership within the chapter or have chapter leaders participate at their chapter meetings.
Even if there isn’t a student chapter nearby, you can still get the students involved. The New York Chapter has students volunteer at their events. This provides students, who might be unaware of the chapter, with an opportunity to get involved. In New York, many of those students went on to become full members of the chapter.
The last block was presented by the Houston Area Chapter President, Chrysti Ziegler, CFE. She covered board responsibilities, and opened with a discussion on the makeup of ACFE boards. We learned that the ACFE Heartland Chapter has a student who is a member-at-large. His role in the chapter is to work with universities and speaks directly to the students on behalf of the chapter.
We discussed whether chapters sets goals for the year. The Rhode Island Chapter creates a plan and assigns a task for the officers in order to complete the plan. This way, the chapter can work as a team and can hold each other accountable. They’ve been very successful in implementing their goals using this strategy.
Chrysti also discussed dealing with difficult board members, separation of duties, board turnover and succession plans for new board members. This was a great session for those chapters who had some questions about best practices for their board.
If you attend the ACFE Global Fraud Conference but haven’t attended the Chapter Leaders Meeting, I encourage you to do so. It’s an investment of a few hours that could yield big dividends for your chapter. For those who are unable to attend, we do plan on recording future meetings.
Thank you to all who attended and I look forward to an even better meeting at next year’s conference in Austin.
Please click through the images below for more pictures from the meeting.