Everybody wins at Branchopoly!
In early June 2020, the executive leadership from APEGA’s 10 branches came together for a two-day, online conference to discuss new and innovative ways to connect the branches with their membership.
Being an APEGA branch executive involves a willingness to work hard, to be engaged, and to have fun. And there was no short supply of those three at this year’s annual APEGA branch leadership event, held on June 12 and 13. The two-day, online conference brought executive leadership from APEGA’s 10 branches together to find new and innovative ways to connect the branches with their membership.
Although the event theme changes every year—this year’s theme was board games, and the event was dubbed Branchopoly—the goal is always the same: make the APEGA membership experience the best it can possibly be. To accomplish this goal, APEGA’s Membership Services team briefs branch executives on what’s happening inside the association, and then the executives connect with each other to learn what members are doing at the grassroots level.
Each branch executive position is filled by volunteers, so respecting their time is always a priority. By shifting Branchopoly online, the event included representation from all 10 branches at the same time—an event first—and allowed attendees the flexibility to come and go throughout the weekend without leaving the house.
What happened at Branchopoly?
Speed networking between branch executives and APEGA staff was a highlight of the weekend. The branch executives met with APEGA staff members and senior leaders to learn more about how APEGA is keeping Albertans safe and promoting self-regulation. And APEGA staff learned what the branches are doing at the local level to maintain public trust.
Breakout sessions that riffed on the board game theme challenged branch executives to come up with creative solutions to volunteering challenges. As you know, when you give a professional engineer or geoscientist a problem, the solution isn’t far behind. Here is one scenario:
It’s the first day of your term as branch chair and you just found out that the financial tracker needs to updated by the end of the day for the auditor. Then you notice that someone has posted confidential information on the branch’s Facebook page. And if that’s not enough, your luncheon sponsor calls to demand a refund due to unsubstantiated rumours. You only have time to solve one of these issues. Which issue do you choose, and how do you solve it?
We won’t give you their answers here, but it’s a fun exercise to try.
The biggest take-away
A good portion of the discussions over the two days involved finding ways to keep APEGA members engaged and safe with their communities post-pandemic. This was a hot topic, as branch executives oversee lunch-and-learn sessions and events that require volunteers.
Many branch executives shared success stories of shifting their luncheons online and opening them up to members across the province—a decision that increased attendance and enabled a wider variety of speakers.
Stay in the know
Learn more about what’s happening in your community by reading your branch newsletter. And keep your eye out for opportunities to learn and volunteer—they may help you meet your Continuing Professional Development Program requirements.