Ask the CEO: Rachel Tristano
Rachel Tristano, RCE, CAE, CEO, Plymouth and South Shore Association of Realtors, answers questions from PASS member Donna M. Frano.
How do you balance the wants and needs of the membership with those of staff?
Our staff embraces the philosophy of “members first.” Staff resource needs are clearly aligned with our strategic plan and do not typically need much justification, since in most cases the impact on member value is clearly mapped to one or more objectives. We always strive to balance “must-haves” versus “nice-to-haves” with the financial impact and return on investment. It’s key to ensure that committee and task force members and staff are familiar with the strategic plan and know how to communicate a program’s alignment with our association’s main objectives.
What are some new ways PASS can engage with members?
Keeping our website up to date, using social media, and leveraging online communities can be effective tools, but in some instances returning to an old method can also successfully engage members—and may even be considered new if it hasn’t been used in some time. Our latest member survey results indicated that the printed monthly newsletter was our most effective source of advertising. And then there is word of mouth. Asking someone to join or get involved remains essential to volunteer and member recruitment. Old fashioned? Maybe, but it works.
How do you get ready for a new volunteer leadership team every year?
I try to adjust my leadership style to the volunteers by focusing on their needs. Some volunteer leaders need a cheerleader, some need a coach, and others just need a little reassurance. Building strong relationships with leadership and members is a top priority for us.