Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Posted by: Kenneth McCardle, Southern District Director
In the March meeting, your association board approved the use of a satellite chapter concept. A satellite chapter is a group of three to 10 people associated with a nearby professional chapter and members of the supporting professional chapter. Satellite chapters do not have a separate board, but they have a representative who acts as a professional chapter liaison. The sponsoring professional chapter would be challenged to assist the satellite chapter in becoming self-supportive as its own full professional chapter.
If the satellite chapter is located in a separate city from its supporting professional chapter, it is important for the satellite chapter to have its own separate identity on the association Web site. This allows people to know which cities have an active AITP presence.
Satellite chapters are useful in the following ways:
Declining Professional Chapters
Instead of revoking the charter of chapters that fall below the required minimum membership, they could be downgraded to a satellite chapter and linked to a nearby professional chapter. The goal of the professional chapter is to assist them in returning to full professional chapter status. This helps maintain the remaining members until appropriate revitalization could occur.
Startup of New Chapters
These could be used in areas that have a few people interested in AITP, but not enough members to support the role of a full professional chapter. Not only could this be used to branch into rural areas, but also to support small outlying groups within major cities that are part of a citywide professional chapter, but unwilling to negotiate heavy traffic to attend chapter meetings.
Special Interest Groups
Satellite chapters could also be used as a sub-group of a professional chapter whose members have a common interest or set of skills.