ESOP Association Blog
TEA Chapters Are Expanding!
ESOP & Member Growth Driving Expansion, Creation of New Chapters
For the first time since the 1990’s, The ESOP Association Board of Directors has voted to add new Chapters, including an all-new Rocky Mountain Chapter and a re-instated Florida Chapter. The Board took action based upon the unanimous recommendation of the State and Regional Chapter Council (SRCC) Executive Committee. Factors driving the decision included regional ESOP growth, demand for Association events and services in areas that otherwise would have limited Chapter opportunities, Association membership growth, and local government initiatives to promote ESOPs such as the Colorado Commission on Employee Ownership established by Governor Jared Polis.
As a result of adding the two new Chapters, the existing Chapter structure requires a reconfiguration as well. At the request of Chapter leaders, the existing Carolinas Chapter will join the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. The result of the additions and reconfigurations means that the net number of Chapters will increase from the current 18 Chapters to 19 Chapters in total. TEA’s Chapter program is a vital part of the value members derive from the Association, with many of our core services provided at the Chapter level.
The previous configuration of 18 Chapters has been in place for more than two decades. As TEA’s membership has grown, so have our Chapters and participation in Chapter events, with some areas in the U.S. growing faster than others. As a result, over the last few years TEA has been evaluating how to continue strengthening the Chapter system and best serve both current and future TEA members.
You may be asking, why now? As noted above, TEA has experienced membership growth over the past few years that is being driven by new member services as well as new ESOP formation. But that growth has been geographically unequal, resulting in some areas being underserved. This was a key driver of the decision to expand the Chapter system. Also, since TEA’s in-person, post-pandemic education and networking events at the State and Regional Chapter levels restarted last year, we saw unprecedented participation across all Chapters. However, many members also provided feedback that the previous Chapter configuration was a barrier to attending Chapter events due to geographic factors such as distance, cost to travel, and infrequency of events that resulted in scheduling conflicts. Since providing opportunities for TEA members to gather in-person remains a key priority, we wanted to be sure this issue was addressed.
TEA’s new Chapter configuration was carefully weighed by the State and Regional Chapter Council (SRCC) and was deliberated and voted on by The ESOP Association’s Board of Directors. It was done with considered input from chapter officers throughout the process.
This “rebalancing” of TEA’s Chapter network will create more opportunities for participation for more of our members, and allow Chapter teams to service all Chapters and regions more efficiently and effectively.
These changes will be implemented over the course of 2023 as Chapter leaders are recruited for new Chapters, inaugural events are scheduled and planned, and programming established. If you are located within one of the new or reconfigured chapters and are interested in serving as a volunteer leader in this exciting new opportunity, please reach out to Chapter Development Officer Dan Marcue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can look forward to state and regional events in newly formed and restructured Chapters beginning this spring and continuing in the fall. In the meantime, please stay tuned for more announcements and next steps coming soon. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Chapter Executives or TEA’s DC headquarters.
We hope you’re as excited as we are about the improvements in our Chapter configuration! Growing from 18 to 19 chapters, and repositioning several states to Chapters that better encompass their geographic region, will allow for greater participation in events and enables Chapter Executives and teams to serve you better.
How is this going to affect you?
Chapters that remain unchanged:
- Heart of America (Kansas, Missouri)
- New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, & Rhode Island)
- New York/New Jersey
- Mid-Atlantic/Carolinas (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, D.C., & West Virginia)
- Northwest (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, & Washington)
- Rocky Mountain (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, & Wyoming)
- Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, & Tennessee)
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