Webinar Covers
Updated Chapter Guidelines

Attend the Chapter Leadership Webinar "New Chapter Guidelines for 2016" on November 20 to learn about the new addition of Chapter Event and Marketing Guidelines to the Local Chapter Guide.

If your chapter did not attend the Board of Advisors Regional Meeting, please invite all chapter officers, leaders, and future officers to attend this webinar. Board of Advisors members John Lestock, CPP, and Mary Brumm, CPP, will present the new guidelines that go into effect on January 1, 2016.

You won't want to miss this informative webinar.

Earn Chapter Recognition
With Prestigious COTY Award

The prestigious Chapter of the Year (COTY) contest gives chapters the opportunity to share their developments, accomplishments, innovations, and activities. From the COTY contest entries, four Gavel Awards are presented. The Gavel Awards recognize specific achievements, activities, or aspects of a chapter's COTY entry in four separate categories: Innovator, Mentor, Facilitator, and Communicator.

Now is the time to look back on 2015 and show off your chapter's successful enhancements, events, and community service by participating in the 2016 Chapter Contests. This is the perfect opportunity to share with APA your chapter activities and conduct your own evaluation for future enhancements. Each chapter has its own unique way of sharing its creative ideas and showcasing achievements. All chapter contest information can be found on the Local Chapter Contest section of APA's website.

Your chapter's entries will not be judged on the size and volume of your chapter's activities, but on the quality, creativity, originality, enthusiasm, and service your chapter has provided to the payroll profession over the past year. All awards will be presented at the 34th Annual Congress in Nashville, Tennessee. Start your contest entry preparations now and enter by February 5, 2016.

To help out with the Chapter Contest entries, the Chapter Relations Department wants to give you some helpful tips on how to answer the questions, how to prepare for the contest entry, and what the judges are looking for to better your chances at winning:

  • Be proactive -- The COTY contest guidelines are posted on the APA website. Start collecting information from all your chapter events that happened in 2015.
  • Know the contest rules -- Read the Chapter of the Year Questionnaire and the contest's guidelines to make sure your chapter completes your entry correctly.
  • Contact Chapter Relations with any questions -- If you need help, just ask! This project could be assigned to one individual, but it is better to make it a group effort. Form a committee or a group dedicated to gathering information and creating the entry.
  • Brag about your accomplishments -- This is your time to let your chapter shine! Make certain to show your chapter's accomplishments, and achievements.
  • Give your entry a second look -- Proofread the entry for grammatical errors. Make sure all of the contest guidelines have been followed, all questions have been answered, and check for any confusing statements. Don't lose points for missing questions or not providing clear details. Multiple pairs of eyes will help your entry thrive!

Chapter President Profile
Tammy Downey
Greater Cleveland Chapter

By Caren Bennett

For Tammy Downey, becoming President of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the APA was a natural progression after becoming more and more involved with the chapter. As President, Downey focuses on growing the membership, fostering an environment of education, networking, and community service, ensuring quality meetings, and providing guidance to members.

Since becoming President, Downey has made valuable contributions to the chapter. Along with the board, Downey worked to make significant changes to the Chapter Constitution. She created a social media presence for the chapter on Facebook and Twitter and also created an email address for the chapter. Downey also is working with the board to create a sponsorship model for the chapter. This allows the chapter to host more membership drives and networking events.

"We are currently working on ways to encourage the growth of chapter membership, and we have some great ideas," Downey says, "We have been in touch with other chapters in Ohio to share ideas on how to improve our chapters, and we are now taking a look at best practices that other organizations, such as SHRM, have in place."

For Downey, the most enjoyable part of being Chapter President is working with members.

"It is rewarding working with a great group of people who are volunteering their time and talents," she says. "When I talk to members of other chapters, they are often impressed by the size of our chapter, as well as the number of members who regularly attend our meetings. We have a great group of individuals not only on our board, but chairing our committees as well. They have a lot of ideas on how to improve our chapter and are willing to step up to make them happen."

Serving as Chapter President has been a valuable networking opportunity for Downey.

"We have a long history of great leaders within our chapter, and many of them are still very involved. Having so much support from past leaders really makes a difference in your confidence as a leader," she explains.

Because of the opportunities Downey has as Chapter President, she is also able to find out about potential opportunities in the payroll industry for both herself and her fellow payroll professionals.

"I am in a position where I can share best practices and ideas with others, and in turn, others share with me," Downey says.

Like many others, she "fell into" her career in payroll. With a background in HR, Downey joined the payroll department of a large company where she was able to increase her knowledge and skills.

"The best advice I could give to new payroll professionals is to keep up with your education and knowledge of the industry," Downey says. "We live in a world where new regulations are being created all the time, and nothing is status quo anymore. With technology growing exponentially, being a payroll professional is more than just being able to process a payroll. It is important to stay abreast of the current trends, new technology, and changing compliance. The best way to stay current and continue your education is to be involved with the American Payroll Association!"

In addition to her payroll career, Downey owns a cupcake business. She hopes to one day own a food truck and take her cupcakes on the road! She also enjoys decorating cakes when she can find the time.

For Downey, her greatest achievement is her family.

"I raised my son as a single mom while continuing on with my education, eventually obtaining my master's degree and growing within my profession to eventually be considered a subject matter expert. My family is the thing I am most proud of. We are a blended family that just keeps growing!"

Get Publicity, Support
for Your Next Statewide

Is your chapter organizing a Statewide or Regional Meeting? If so, complete the Statewide/Regional Conference Registration Form and submit it to the Chapter Relations Department. Your Statewide or Regional meeting will be advertised on the APA website and PAYTECHonline. Plus, you will receive free promotional materials from the APA.

View the most current list of Statewide or Regional Conferences.

Receive Free Materials
for Your Chapter Study Group

Register your study group with Chapter Relations today by submitting the Study Group Registration Form and your study group will be advertised on the APA website and in PAYTECHonline. Plus, you will receive free study materials (see form for details).

View the most current list of Chapter Study Groups.

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