President’s Message – May 2020

By Renee Hoekstra, CVS – President, SAVE International

Once again it is time to reach out to our value family members with wishes that all are safe and healthy and striving to use this very unusual time to look at the way we think and do things.  What is amazing to me is how much has changed from April’s article to this one.  All of the changes that are occurring are happening in such a rapid amount of time.

We had our first “Chat with the President” and what a great success!  I am honored that so many of you registered to be a part of this inaugural event.  We had 80 people registered from across the globe.  This was not a presentation from the President, but an opportunity to hear from our members.  For those of you who were not on the virtual call, I wanted to share some of my comments and some of the outcomes of the chat.  The focus of the first chat was what is all in the fore front of our minds and our activities.  “How the COVID issues and all of our attempts to go virtual are impacting you, your organization and the way you do business.”

My initial comments included sharing the following thoughts; “our world as a whole and the VM world has been going through some amazing and very quick changes.  Between our guidelines for virtual workshops, now our virtual conference and a pilot opportunity to deliver the VMF 1 course virtually, it only makes sense that our first Chat with the President also be virtual.”

“The common denominator here is that it has happened so quickly that much of this has been last minute in order for us to take advantage of innovation and opportunity.  The challenge, however, whenever anything is delivered quickly, specific details and impacts often get overlooked in our hurry to satisfy the needs of our members and clients.  Just know that your SAVE International Board of Directors is doing everything we can to try and stay ahead of all of these challenges, some with more success than others.”

These comments opened the door for a great exchange of ideas, comments, concerns, challenges and successes from many of our members.  A recording of the virtual chat is available on the SAVE website here.  Thank you again for all of your thoughtful and insightful ideas and discussion points!

So why is this important for SAVE?  Those of us that have been with SAVE for many years have realized that we have been stuck in our ways, processes and approaches.  We have been talking about and trying to look beyond who we are and how we deliver our services, but it has taken years of discussion, and I will say, very little movement forward.  January 2020 has, in a very quick way, challenged all of this.  I am proud of our agility and our ability to rise to the top and meet those challenges head on.

One very important aspect of all of this is to always accomplish our Basic Function of Produce Outcomes.  We must focus on helping each other by sharing successes and learning from problems to ensure that we are able to delivery the basic function.  We must remember that this is what we will be judged on and our ability to provide an effective, engaging and efficient workshop that produces outcomes.  This is all that our customers and users will see and this has the opportunity to increase the use of VM or, heaven forbid, reduce the amount that the VM is engaged.  Just imagine how many more individuals we can engage in workshops now that have never had a chance or even wanted to engage in a value workshop.  Let’s work together and focus on growing and Spreading the Word.

All of this addresses our workshops, but we are embarking upon other types of virtual engagement including our 2020 Value Summit.  There is a special article in this edition all about the VIRTUAL Value Summit.  I am so very excited about this opportunity and it fits perfectly with my thoughts in the previous paragraph.

I have very high hopes for how we can share this conference with the world.  I am asking all of you to please help me to do that.  Look for opportunities to personally invite many people to this event.  Talk with your clients, maybe even pay for a one-day registration for them to learn something about how value can benefit them.  Share this within your organization and invite others to also have a chance to attend a program or presentation that might be of interest.  We can make this event a great success!  Again, let’s Spread the Word.

We all strive to improve ourselves and learn new things.  However, if many of you are like me, one of the biggest reasons we attend our conferences is to be able to engage and network with our friends, associates and peers.  How is a virtual conference going to allow us to accomplish this?  We are going to establish some key chat rooms throughout the event whereby you can meet virtually to discuss and just get caught up with one another.

And don’t forget to attend the President’s Reception on Monday night where “IT’S 5 O’CLOCK SOMEWHERE”. We’ll have a separate room to sign in to, bring your beverage of choice, and we’ll toast to our families, friends and our success.  See you there!

There is one last thing that I would like to discuss in my article this month.  Many of you will remember the following famous quote from American politics, “Do not ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  That is exactly what I am asking of all of you.  Several of you, but not many, have volunteered to be on our Tiger Teams, local chapters, the Certification Board, the Miles Value Foundation and the international Board.  To all of you, I am grateful and thankful for your commitment to SAVE and helping us to continue to move forward.  These are few and some are duplicates all on the same boards or committees.

I need the rest of our membership, yes YOU, to be a part of helping SAVE International grow and prosper as a professional organization and one, that when someone mentions the world “value”, our organization is who comes to mind.  In order to do this however, we need more than your volunteerism, we also need you to financially support us to allow us to venture into other avenues of revenue generation, educating users, customers and clients, producing tools and videos, and much more.  Remember that our membership dues, certification fees, book purchases, virtual education and our conference revenues are all that we have to support these endeavors.  When we reach out to you to become a sponsor, a vendor, purchase an ad, support the consultant directory, etc. this is an opportunity for you to support us in our effort to grow the value industry.

We are always looking for innovative ideas and leadership to help make things happen.  Even small things like automatically sharing a post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other forms of technology helps to Spread the Word, but you have to be mindful and diligent in your efforts.  Our Boards are here to help and support you, we are all volunteers, we can’t do it alone!

I continue to feel great pride in what our members deliver to our clients and am honored to continue to serve as your President.  Pump up your bandwidth and see you soon!