In Memoriam Chapter


In Memoriam Chapter

It’s an uncomfortable reality. One day, we all die. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve had members of AmSpirit Business Connections who’ve passed while still active members. Some met with tragic accidents. Others succumb to ailments. But they were all contributing members until the very end. And so, this eternal Chapter is a tribute to them.

Tom Novak (Towne Centre Chapter) September 2022

Mark Rankin (North Scottsdale BC Chapter) August 2021

Don Ebner (Summit Business Network Chapter) May 2021

Becky Tylka (Hall of Fame Chapter) August 2019

Kim Davis (Buckeye Chapter) August 2019

Jacci Adams (Hall of Fame Chapter) April 2019

Rick Shantery (Arlington Chapter) September 2016

Ed Petrosky (Montgomery Chapter) August 2014

Patty Boerger (Heritage Chapter) March 2014

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Words Of Wisdom: The Chapter Sandwich

If the meat of AmSpirit Business Connections is the weekly Chapter meeting, then consider time before and after the meeting as the bread.

This bread is important to overall success in AmSpirit Business Connections. While much of the weekly meeting is scripted, the unscripted time before and after the meeting gives you a wonderful opportunity to build relationships with fellow members.

So when you are locking down time in your schedule for your weekly Chapter meeting, remember to make it a sandwich – carve out some time before and after to cohort with members and guests.

Why Would You Not?

Within AmSpirit Business Connections, we empower and encourage our Chapters to follow a system. The meeting has a structure. Officers have defined roles and scripted text. There is well-established performance tracking and reporting of activity,

including referrals, guests brought and attendance.

Those Chapters that closely follow the system do much better than Chapters that tends to “wing it.” In plain English, members in Chapters that follow the system consistently generate more and better referrals and as a result, they make more money from their AmSpirit Business Connections experience as compared to members in Chapter that loosely follow the system.

Given this, why (why, why) would a Chapter not choose to do all it could to closely adhere to the system?

NOTE: A great test as to how closely a Chapter adheres to the system is the Outstanding Chapter program criteria.

Become A Pig … Networking Group Commitment


If you consider a good breakfast – a “bacon-n-eggs” breakfast – there are two farm animals providing for the meal … a chicken and a pig. Of the two, which has a bigger participation? Answer: The pig.

No doubt, the chicken “contributes” to the feast, as she provides the eggs. The pig, however, is “all in,” giving its very life for the spread.

Attorney, David Jackson, of the Business Affinity Chapter and partner at the firm of Carlisle, Patchen & Murphy, uses this quick anecdote as a means for making a point to his Chapter. Jackson reminds his fellow members that if they want a great Chapter, they need to build the Chapter with “pigs” – totally committed entrepreneurs, sales representatives and professionals.

This is a great lesson for everyone in AmSpirit Business Connections. In the context of this little fable, to create great Chapters we should all strive to build our Chapters with committed people, aka P-I-G-S. These are people who will attend (and engage others) consistently, give referrals regularly and continually seek to bring guests to the meeting.

If you are looking for “pigs” to include in the Chapter, the best place to start is with yourself. After all, the easiest way to get the commitment of others is to commit yourself first.

Remember, while a mere contribution is nice, if you want a great Chapter you need to become a “pig’ and then encourage others to do the same.

Tune Into All Of This

Tom Anderson, Central Ohio Director and founder of Excelleweb, often asks AmSpirit Business Connections members, “Do you have cable television?” Most indicate they do. He then asks, “Do you only watch one channel?”

That usually generates an odd look and perhaps a chuckle or two. After all, with literally hundreds of programs on cable, it would be utterly silly to limit oneself to a single channel when there is a plethora of viewing options.

Tom will then ask, “If it is ludicrous to subscribe to cable television and only watch one channel, then why would you get into AmSpirit Business Connections and limit yourself with respect to all it has to offer?” That is a great question and it usually generates silent contemplation.

AmSpirit Business Connections is the networking equivalent of a full cable package. Certainly, the main line up is your weekly Chapter meeting. If you limit yourself to that, however, you are simply not getting your money’s worth. Beyond this one activity, consider all the networking options over the course of a typical month in AmSpirit Business Connections …

  • There is informal networking before and after Chapter meetings;
  • There is visiting other Chapters and attending socials (both your Chapter’s and others);
  • There are lunch assignments through your Chapter and ones you can organize on your own (with members both inside and outside your Chapter);
  • There are area wide events, Leadership Conferences and brown bag learning opportunities; and,
  • There is simply connecting with a fellow member on the telephone or e-mail (whether near or far).

In closing, remember AmSpirit Business Connections will not change your life … but you can change your life through AmSpirit Business Connections by tuning into of all it has to offer.

How Much Does Your Chapter Care?

It’s interesting to visit various AmSpirit Business Connections chapters and see how different they really are. Ideally, your experience as a visitor should be the same no matter which AmSpirit chapter you visit. I was reading a new book this evening that I just purchased, “The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence” and in just the first few pages I was inspired to compare the content in the book to AmSpirit Chapters.In the first few sections, the book details how successful restaurants almost always have the same thing in common: spotless, clean-as-you-can-possibly-get, restrooms. They pay attention to the little details to provide a great experience for their customers.What about your AmSpirit Chapter? What little things does your Chapter do to make it a great experience for your guests? (That is, if you have guests coming on a frequent basis, but that’s another story for another day.)

  1. Do you have a sign in sheet for your guests to register their contact info so that you have a tracking process in place for your membership chair to follow up easily?
  2. Do your members arrive early so that they can meet guests and make them feel welcomed before the meeting begins?
  3. Do you follow an agenda for the meeting so that your chapter is organized?
  4. Do your chapter officers provide their weekly reports in detail or do they often say ‘no report’ or give it little attention like ‘I’m the Secretary, I track referrals, back to you Mr. Vice President’?
  5. Do your members stay afterward to talk with guests and ask them if they have any questions about the chapter or the organization?
  6. Does your chapter get involved in the area wide events offered every month by AmSpirit HQ (MORE meetings) or other Chapter Socials? Does your chapter promote your socials on the AmSpirit web site?
  7. Do you as a member make an effort to get out to other chapters to meet other AmSpirit members and see how you can help one another?
  8. If you see a member struggling to give or receive referrals do you make a point to approach them in order to offer help?
I’m sure there are other ‘little things’ that I could list here but this is a great start. When you have a chapter doing none of these things or very few of them, you might as well hang a sign outside your meeting space that says, “We Don’t Care”.