By Captain John Giszczak
First, I would like to thank all the MCBA members who thought enough of me to elect me as the new secretary of the MCBA. I took over the reins of secretary at the end of our annual fall conference meeting. Having a few adult beverages the night before in the hospitality suite had nothing to do with it.
I’ve got some very big shoes to fill. Jim Fenner was very meticulous, as you all know, and as secretary, very involved in things going on around the state. Jim also helped a lot of members; so if you see Jim, please give him a big thank you. I’ve got to stop here. I feel like I’m writing his obituary and Jim’s far from taking a dirt nap. Jim still owns a small boat so I’m sure you will see him on Lake Michigan chasing salmon. Jim didn’t totally escape the MCBA. I have already relied on him twice for help in the last month. First was to help me edit the minutes from our last board meeting and second, to develop an electronic survey for the fall conference. (By the way, if you’ve never attended the MCBA’s fall conference/banquet, you’re missing the boat.)
About a week after the fall Conference we normally send out a survey to all the attendees to get feedback on different aspects of the conference. We use to send the survey by ‘snail mail’ with a self-addressed stamped envelope. I had the idea of conducting this year’s survey electronically. I mentioned the idea to Jim and he jumped all over it, and wanted to get involved. So we worked on it together. I got approval to spend the $24.00 it would cost to create and send the survey for a month to all the members who attended the conference. Mailing the survey through the postal service would have cost around $30.00.
I received 75% of the survey results within three days of sending them out. After a few more days we reached 90%, which is similar to the snail mail rate. But we got the results a lot quicker and easier.
The service I used for the survey is called “Survey Monkey”. There is a free version that anybody can sign up for, and use with a maximum of 10 questions. Our survey entailed about 25 questions so I had to sign up for a fee plan to use the service. Service fees are either monthly or yearly. We used the least expensive monthly plan. The program automatically collects the results and tabulates the data in an easy to read format.
I am considering using this survey program next summer on my guests, to get a feel for where to put my advertising dollars for the 2014 season. Once again I would like to thank outgoing Secretary Jim Fenner for helping me! Just knowing Jim is only a phone call or email away will make my position as MCBA Secretary a lot easier.