It was a pleasure seeing you all virtually last Saturday, as we gathered to celebrate our annual reunion. There were so many special moments worthy of reflecting on during our meeting, such as the spirited debate on monthly meeting lateness, the eloquently presented talk on Men’s Health by Dr. Obioma Ekeruo, capped off by our very first Heroes Award ceremony.
However, of all those moments, the most important and critical to our continued success as an organization was electing the leadership of the organization for the next two years. Remarkably, the current Association Executive Committee was returned unopposed. This demonstrates the trust and confidence this chapter has in our current leadership. As the leader of this re-elected group, I would like to express our sincere gratitude in the faith you have all shown in us to continue the work we started two years ago in Dallas.
While we did not have an opportunity during the virtual reunion to outline the progress we have made in the past two years, I would like to take a moment to briefly recap some of the pre-campaign promises we made and how we have performed against them so far.
- Association Status – We successfully registered our association as a non-profit corporation. We are now exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501c3. Members and donors can deduct contributions they make to us.
- Membership Acquisition – In 2019, our association had 48 financially active members, of which only 28 were fully active and meeting-participating members. Two years later, we have grown our financially active base to 67 members, of which 53 are fully active and meeting-participating members. That represents a 40% growth in financially active members and improved active member participation rate from 53% to 79%. We are on track to become the number 1 Chapter with the most active members.
- Membership Engagement – Monthly meeting attendance average improved from 25 in 2019 to 38 in 2021, a 52% increase in engagement rate.
- Membership Retention – To maintain an active and engaged member base, we established 7 subcommittees, redesigned and improved our website utilization rate – members can now register or pay dues on the website, network, submit articles, vote, and promote their businesses. Additionally, we established a Business Club open to all members. Finally, we established a best-in-class online election platform which was recently used to conduct our global elections, with over 300% increase in voter participation.
- Financial Growth – We improved our ending balance of $7,355 in June 2019 to a closing balance of $19,091 in June 2021, a 160% improvement to our association bottom line.
Our work is far from done. With the additional 2-year mandate we received from you, we intend to push on and accomplish the following goals –
- Solicitation of Grants – With our newly established status as a non-profit corporation, we have put the association in a better position to apply for private/public grants to help fund MBJ initiatives and welfare, as well as fostering fellowship among Alumni.
- Career Development and Mentorship Program – As our numbers in diaspora continues to grow, this administration plans to attract potential Xjays to the chapter by introducing a mentorship and career development program using our experienced membership base as resources to provide career assistance and advice to new Xjays in the North American continent.
- Increase Member Benefits – With our current growth and revenue trajectory, this administration will champion reforms geared towards improving our current member benefit structure.
- Facilitate Leadership – We have been encouraging the exploration of new ideas and active participation of all Xjays, from the oldest XJay to the youngest XJay. We have also continued to build each other up through education. These initiatives aim to instill a willingness of members to lead this organization and take it to greater heights.
In conclusion, it has been a very challenging and difficult two years, severely handicapped by the global pandemic which claimed many lives. While we struggled to contain the tragedy through hibernation and isolation, we lost a lot of loved ones along the way.
But we have come out on the other end, bigger, stronger and more determined than ever to see our single-minded mission of building our Chapter through. Our brotherly love for one another and our faith in God continues to be the pillars of our foundation.
Thank you again for your mandate, and God Bless.
Xjays US/Canada Chapter President
On behalf of the Exco