When I first joined the Midwest chapter of the SCC and started attending monthly meetings, it didn't occur to me that we were part of a larger group called Area II. Even after taking on chapter committee and officer positions, I'm sure if someone had asked what area I was from, I would've answered with a resounding "I dunno." The fact that we were in Area II didn't seem to have much effect at all. We could've easily been switched to Area I, III or IV with no noticeable impact to our chapter. I often wondered why we needed to have "Areas" at all.
Now, as the freshman Director of Area II, I've at least figured out a few good reasons.
First, being part of an Area helps in coordinating events. Many members attend events in their own chapter but also in those of nearby chapters. Being part of an Area that considers the schedules of other Area chapters is good for everyone.
Second, being part of an Area can help make our big events even bigger. Since most of our chapters are small compared to the behmoths like New York or California, we need each other to get scale in our Technical Symposiums, Trade Show & Educational events. As part of an Area, chapters can pool their resources and create top notch events that provide benfits to members from multiple chapters.
Finally, we need to be part of an Area to get ideas from other chapters about what's working and not. Wouldn't it be nice to know how Lake Erie and St. Louis manage to lead the whole Society in retaining members year to year? Having a director that can go to the different chapter events, learn what's working, and share that with all the other chapters in the Area can only help make us all better.
For this first column, I thought it would be a good first step to introduce you to the chapters in our fine Area II. There are 6 chapters with nearly 800 members. Here's a little introduction in random order. In future articles we'll take a more in depth look at each chapter.
1. Twin Cities: Centered in the two great midwest cities it's named for, Twin Cities is a medium sized chapter with 92 members. You can keep tabs on their latest events by checking http://tccscc.org on the web.
2. Lake Erie: One of the smaller chapters in the Area with 68 members, but also the one with the most loyal members. Lake Erie was second only to Long Island in the National Chapter Member Retention contest.
3. Ontario: With 158 card carrying members, the Ontario chapter is the second largest in the Area. They also have a significant number of student members and have done an excellent job of reaching out to the next generation of cosmetic chemists.
4. St. Louis: Another of our smaller member chapters with right around 40 members. But St. Louis has produced many recent leaders who've gone on to make a signifcant impact on the National scene. Currently, the national Treasurer is from this chapter.
5. Ohio Valley: One of the larger chapters in our Area with about 120 members. In 2006 they launched a great new website that you can find at http://www.ovscc.org to find out the latest happenings in their chapter.
6. Midwest: The oldest and largest chapter in our Area with 344 dues paying members. This group has one of the deepest pools of volunteers and continues to set a great example for the rest of the SCC. To find out what's going on in this chapter, be sure to see the website at http://midwestscc.org.
So, there you have it, a brief look at all the members of Area II. As director for this area it will be my goal to make it matter to every member in our Area that they are part of this larger group. It would be my hope that in the coming months or years when one of our members is asked what area they belong to, they quickly respond "Area Two and Damn proud about it."
For more about what's going on in Area II check out the new blog http://cosmeticchemistconnection.blogspot.com/. And for the curious see more information on the soon to be most famous cosmetic chemist. LOL