Sellwood, Oregon is home to the LeTip of Sellwood Chapter – a busy chapter with 31 members. President of this chapter is Bob Stephens, who holds the Contractor General seat and is the owner of Wood Workin, Inc. Membership Chair is Mike Thomas, financial advisor of the chapter. We spoke with both these gentleman on how the chapter is doing.
Firstly, we asked about goals for the chapter for 2024. When Bob took over as President, the chapter was at 25 members. He would like to see the membership grow to 35 members by the end of his term. Mike, however, would like to see 40 members by the end of 2024. Mike mentioned that the chapter had reached between 38 and 42 members at one point, so he thinks it is totally doable.
Bob and Mike spoke candidly about what makes their chapter different. The pride in the chapter was evident. They talked about what they typically look for in members that look to join and that is that they are the primary decision maker or business owner. They also require that the business be running for at least one year. They feel it sets the tone for those in the chapter and creates a strong caliber of members. Also, for this chapter to run smoothly, the current board leans on past presidents for their input due to their experience and knowledge. Bob and Mike spoke about the cohesion that the board has with the membership and how it feels like a family…with a common goal. Members can speak openly and feel supported. He even gave the example of his own family dealing with the struggle of his wife having cancer and how he felt the love and support from the chapter through that trying time.
Bob spoke about Bill McKee, Past President of the chapter, and Contractor Drywall member who recently reached the milestone of sponsoring 10 members and achieving his Silver Badge. They invited a founding member of the group, Ed Winkler, to present that badge to Bob. It was a very special moment for the chapter.
When talking about member achievements, they also brought up Joseph Henderson, Advertising Specialties member of the chapter with Shekinah Marketing, who hit 800 tips passed last year! Joseph has been a member since 2014. They also spoke about Terry Schandel who touched everyone when he announced he was retiring and stepping down. He was a member from 11/2008 – 11/2023 and was now retiring. Terry got to tell his now famous story about how Bill Gates once offered him the CFO position, which he turned down because he was focused on starting his own business and did pretty well for himself!
When it comes to any great power partnerships in this chapter, they emphasized that everyone kind of works together with each other, whether in a power partnership or not. They did say the Sellwood chapter has a strong contractor base. They are also hoping to rebuild the financial group and added that the Health power partners are doing well.
The LeTip of Sellwood chapter was virtual during Covid. They moved to a hybrid model and decided that hybrid wasn’t for them and went back to meeting in person. weekly. They usually hold 3 mixers a year – holiday, spring, and summer. They recently had their holiday mixer that
the MAC Club, with 1900 in raffle prizes, where they raised $3,100 with raffle tickets! They feel these mixers are social and rewarding to the membership, as well.
If anyone speaks with the leadership of this chapter, the passion and bond is clear. The enthusiasm is palpable and with continued focus, we are sure they will reach their goals for 2024!