Chapter President Profile:
Amy Duffer, Greater Nashville Chapter
"I never dreamed of being the Chapter President," says Amy Duffer, who is now President of the Greater Nashville Chapter.
While Amy was serving as Chapter Treasurer, the Chapter President position opened and needed to be filled due to unforeseen circumstances. Amy was nominated and decided to step up to the role.
"Although my path was untraditional, I am so thankful to be able to serve our chapter well," she says.
In her role as Chapter President, Amy has worked to provide leadership and to energize the Greater Nashville Chapter.
"When other officers see that I am working to lead the chapter with new ideas, implementing needed changes, and working to promote the chapter by being the face of the chapter, they are energized and excited to help the chapter grow," Amy said. "Instead of just filling the role, I'm working to redefine the role in order to revive our chapter."
Recently, Amy has worked with a local hotel to move chapter meetings to a more desirable location. This has doubled the chapter's average monthly meeting attendance. She has also worked with chapter officers to complete "much-needed" revisions to the chapter bylaws to bring them up to date and more in line with both national and chapter goals.
"During the bylaws review process we have greatly utilized the Local Chapter Guide to help ensure we are in alignment and providing consistent information to our membership in partnership with APA National," she said.
Amy has also worked to increase the quality of communications, and the chapter is now distributing a chapter newsletter. They are also working on improving the Chapter website, which includes a "members only" section to inform members of job openings, chapter news, minutes, and chapter contest submissions. The chapter is planning and promoting a one-day seminar to promote fraud awareness and improve management skills by partnering with payroll vendors, the FBI, and Dale Carnegie of Tennessee.
"These are just a couple of examples of how we are consistently working to improve our chapter to provide the greatest benefits to our membership and help attract new members," Amy says.
The Greater Nashville Chapter is an active presence in its local community. The chapter has partnered for many years with Hope Lodge, where members volunteer to prepare and serve meals to individuals and their families who are seeking cancer treatment in Nashville. They have also donated and volunteered with 2nd Harvest Food Bank, Toys for Tots, Wounded Warrior Project, and the American Heart Association.
"We also partner with local schools to provide Money Matters education and training as a part of our NPW celebrations and events," Amy says.
Amy works hard to ensure that the Greater Nashville Chapter is a valuable resource for all local payroll professionals. The chapter offers study groups, open to all payroll professionals in the area. It sends surveys to the membership to help ensure that monthly meetings are held at the correct time and location and that the educational opportunities members seek are fulfilled. To reach potential new members, the chapter encourages board members to use their personal social media accounts to post about upcoming chapter events.
"Some of our friends may not be in payroll but may know someone at their company who could benefit from what the chapter offers," Amy said. "The power of social media is unlimited."
The chapter also partners with vendors, sponsors, and the local chamber of commerce to reach out to potential new members and spread the word about chapter events.
"We also work closely with APA National to review monthly notifications of new members within the area and notify those APA members of the local chapter calendar, the website, and other upcoming events," Amy said.
For Amy, the strength and success of her chapter come down to successful communication between all of the officers and members. She is proud of the strong sense of community in the Greater Nashville Chapter.
"The members and officers are an extended family, and I feel we all truly care about the well-being of both one another and the payroll profession," Amy said. "The sense of community and support I receive from the other members and officers is my greatest reward. I am so thankful for the people I am serving."
To encourage the sense of community, the chapter also offers group outings such as attending local baseball games together, serving with a community service project, or conducting an occasional officer retreat to tackle difficult tasks such as revising the bylaws.
Serving as Chapter President has been a positive experience for Amy.
"Being Chapter President has definitely helped me network and build connections with other leaders in the community and payroll industry, and I am so thankful for that opportunity," she said.
Amy has also seen improvements in her public speaking ability.
"In the beginning, I was very nervous about speaking at chapter meetings, and now I may talk too much," she joked.
Along with her achievements as Chapter President, Amy has some wonderful personal achievements. She recently lost 165 pounds and ran her first half marathon, Rock 'n' Roll Nashville, earlier this year. Amy loves to read and listen to audio books on her daily commute and whenever she can. Her favorite audio book recently was "Option B" by Sheryl Sandberg. Amy has two daughters and a husband who is "remarkably supportive" of her role in the APA.
Chapter Leaders Blog
Have you subscribed to the Chapter Leaders Blog? Covering topics from Statewides to promoting your chapter, the blog provides a number of useful articles that can help benefit your chapter. Is your chapter celebrating an anniversary or conducting a Statewide/Regional Meeting? Does your chapter have any advice or accomplishments they would like to share with other chapters? Publish it in the Chapter Leaders Blog! Submit an article to the Chapter Relations Department today.
We cannot wait to see your submissions! Happy blogging!
It's Never Too Early
to Prepare for Chapter Contests!
Has your chapter considered entering the 2018 Chapter Contests? Many chapters view the contest questionnaires as a formidable mission, but approaching the questionnaire with a little preparation can go a long way. Let your chapter's spirit, support, and dedication shine by participating in the 2018 chapter contests! By entering the contests, you can unleash your creativity, prove your chapter's hard work, and show off the many amazing traits that encompass your chapter. Payroll professionals often underappreciate their sparkling creative sides. The annual chapter contests provide all local chapters an opportunity to be recognized for their dedication to the world of payroll.
CHAPTER OF THE YEAR
The Chapter of the Year (COTY) award is the most prestigious award a chapter can receive. The American Payroll Association recognizes a tradition of excellence among its chapters through the Chapter of the Year award. This competition gives all chapters the perfect opportunity to share their successes and the steps they took to accomplish their goals. By completing the Chapter of the Year Questionnaire, you are taking a positive step toward not only improving your chapter but also inspiring other chapters with your successes, ideas, and creativity.
Participating in the COTY contest is an opportunity to reflect on all of your chapter's accomplishments, meetings, community efforts, and statewide participation. It does, however, require dedication, attention to detail, and creativity. Photos are important to include with your entry as they can provide the judges with a sense of what your chapter is all about.
All chapters that enter the COTY contest will receive a report card with judges' comments and advice to better your chapter's submission for the following year.
The 2018 Chapter of the Year Questionnaire will have a number of questions covering all aspects of the chapter. The categories include: APA National, Chapter Documentation, National Payroll Week 2017, Education, Chapter Operations, Membership, Chapter Technology, and Social Networking.
Gavel AwardsIn addition to the Chapter of the Year award, four Gavel Awards are presented. These prominent awards are designed to encourage participation in the Chapter of the Year competition and are intended to recognize specific activities or aspects of a chapter's entry. Below are the Gavel awards and what each award entails:
Don't be afraid to show off your chapter's new ideas, new government projects, a novel membership campaign, or a novel meeting topic or project
Highly notable guidance and assistance of individuals or groups, assisting a new chapter, educational program excellence, successful CPP/FPC study groups, community service, statewide conference, inter-chapter activities Facilitator: Show off your chapter's government liaison activities, CPP/FPC study groups, dynamic meeting topics, job lines, hotlines, and the spectacular results of chapter projects
Communicator: Tell the judges about your outreach program by including information about your chapter's membership campaign, new member package, newsletter, stationery, member hotline, letter-writing campaign, chapter brochure, chapter meeting notices, and chapter website
WHAT WILL I WIN?
All contest entries will receive an award or Certificate of Excellence. All contest winners receive an award at the 36th Annual Congress Chapter Exchange Reception, web banners for their website or chapter newsletters, and are highlighted in PAYTECH magazine. Of course, all winning chapters have bragging rights for one full year!
Have fun with the 2018 Chapter Contests! Show the world your chapter's individuality and creativity!
2017 Chapter Study Groups
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 PAYTECHOnline. Plus, you will receive free study materials (see form for details).
For the most current list of 2017 Chapter Study Groups, please visit the Chapter Section of APA's website.
Has your chapter re-affiliated yet? The APA requires chapters to re-affiliate every year in order for chapters to receive support from APA such as free advertisements on our website, free materials for events, and an invitation to upcoming chapter events. Turn in your chapter's Application for Chapter Re-Affiliation (located in the Local Chapter Guide) and the chapter's membership list in Excel format to the Chapter Relations Departments.