National Structure: What’s Changing?
Following Convention 2017, OPA’s national structure will be changing. Transition plans include a new leadership organizational structure, member training opportunities and the frequency of the national convention. (View the slideshow presentation.)
The new multi-tiered structure has been designed to offer increased options for leadership as well as a clearer path to follow toward serving on the national executive board, where more members can benefit. The goal is to allow national officers to move up as leaders within the national team. By creating this larger and more specialized base of officers, customer service to chapters and members should improve as well.
The new NEB has been condensed to five members, making it more efficient, and enabling it to be the strategic body it needs to be. There are three main levels:
> Operational coordinators are entry-level roles, which will be responsible for performing specific duties to operate the national organization. Keeping these roles specific will allow those serving in these positions to have clear deliverables.
> Managing directors and staff will act as “middle management.” Managing directors will have their own duties and also will supervise others. As OPA grows, some of the paid staff will be on this level as well.
> The national executive board will be the top level of leadership and will consist of five members. These individuals will be responsible for strategic planning and ensuring Vision goals are being met.
Condensing the NEB to five positions (listed below) increases efficiency by focusing on strategic goals. Some leadership roles and structure under each NEB office are still being determined as position descriptions are finalized:
> The national president will oversee the NEB and several positions supporting the entire organization. These include administration director, virtual assistant, legal counselor and technology assistant.
> The vice president of communications and her team will create and disseminate all national communications to make sure they are on message and professionally presented. These positions include design, web development, social media, media relations, editorial services, photography and branding.
> The vice president of finance and her team will oversee the financial aspects of the sorority. Paid positions include bookkeeper, tax preparer and grant writer. Appointed positions will be donations director and reimbursement director.
> By merging the former membership, alumnae and expansions VP roles, the vice president of lifetime membership and her team will create the lifelong, cohesive membership experience. Expansions and alumnae become director-level positions along with collegiate membership.
> The vice president of programs and her team will promote the cardinal principles and create events that bring members together. The current roles of business operations and chapter support are being transitioned into national event director, chapter support director and chapter success coordinators (CSC). Chapters can work directly and routinely with their CSC.
Elected positions will serve two-year terms. The five NEB-level positions will be elected at national conventions in odd years. Other positions will be elected online, mostly in even years (cardinal principles director, collegiate membership director, expansions director, alumnae membership director and DAAs). The task force suggested some of the positions that work closely with the chapters be elected to provide the membership with input in who they work with directly.
Frequency of the National Convention
OPA is already strengthening district summits, and the 2016 delegates approved legislation to hold national conventions every two years. OPA would elevate the importance of this event and provide members and chapters with more time to save money to attend. In the non-convention years, members will be encouraged to go to summits and Digging for Diamonds alumnae events.
> The last annual convention will be in 2017.
> The next convention will be in 2019.
> Conventions will now be held in odd years.
Better Training at District Summits
Training will shift from the convention to the District Summits, where more members can benefit. The summits will include two workshops coordinated by the national summit coordinator.
More Volunteer Opportunities
Follow OPA social media, eNews and website for more details. Most positions are for alumnae or actives going alum this May, but some are open to all members. With the new structure, OPA needs more members to apply for these volunteer positions. The full list of positions will be online by early June, with applications due after Convention 2017. A large training session for outgoing/incoming NEB, plus some directors and coordinators, is also being planned for late summer.
More Support, Easier Communication
The new structure has more positions working to support active and alumnae chapters directly and indirectly, bringing a shift to how the national organization serves the membership. By taking this customer support approach, OPA can more easily support and communicate with chapters. For example, the CSCs should be each chapter’s main point of contact for questions.