October 19, 2017
Squadron and Ship Commanders,
I am sure that some of you have heard my name already. If not, I am Bryan Spangler. I have been appointed by the National Commandant, Toshio Mills, to be your National Data Base Officer for the 2017-2018 Cruise. It’s a convoluted story on how I came to this position and I believe that most of you are aware of some of the issues that have occurred during the last couple of years that have come to light since the Convention in PA. Luckily, my predecessor, Bob Currier, left me with a pretty clean slate to start with on the Data Base. It is unfortunate that he did not get the same courtesy from his predecessor as the NES for this cruise. Enough said on all that.
I need to notify you on a change regarding the Dues Notices responsibilities. This was a recommendation made by myself to the Executive staff at the September meeting in Van Wert, OH. I proposed that the Squadrons and Ships be responsible for doing the Dues notices to their Ship Members.
My logic was three-fold.
- One: It puts the responsibility on the Ship to engage with their members. I look at a computer screen and only see names and totals for your Ships. The Ship has an opportunity to actually physically contact the members that you have not seen in a while. I know from experience that if I am just treated as a number, then I am not truly valued. I have worked with Jim Zeszutek, our National Public Information Officer, and we have created a tool for you to be able to use to check all the way back to 2009 to see who you are missing from your rolls. If we don’t get the membership back up, WE are going to be in trouble. That is just the truth of the matter. How you get people back and retain them is going to be an individualized process for each Ship. We all have our own issues and no two Ships are going to be a like. Best of luck on that. The start is Ship self-accountability.
I have made it possible for those, that you have made responsible for data base entry, to be able to access reports and to access the dues notices. The report that will be most beneficial to you is called the mailing list. You can pick years to look at and it will open up an excel sheet that you can save and manipulate anyway that you want. If you need help on this, or need someone added to do this for your Ship, give me a call or send me an email.
- Two: I looked at the mailing and printing costs to mail all the dues notices out from my residence. One (1), go around would cost right at $900.00. The way that it was set up. This would cost NCUSA $1800.00 a year just to send out dues notices. If you are not aware, the Database budget is only approved for a total of $500.00 for the year. That $500.00 covers postage and basic office supplies.
* Three: Comradeship. Yes, this is a restatement of my first point but more to the point. If the Ships engage with their members, you have a better chance of getting them involved and retaining them. Trust me, our Ship 1812 has the same issue and we all have to work on it. Inclusion and a Mission are paramount to our survival.
- The Executive Staff listened to me and voted to amend the appropriate guidance manual to implement this new process. I don’t know when the actual change in the manual will take place, but the minutes are published. Therefore, I need to implement this change with all of you. I have asked that this letter be published on our National Web page for your reference at http://navyclubusa.org/.
I hope this does not put an undue hardship on anyone.
National Data Base Officer
Navy Club USA