News & Press: InSider

Executive Director's Message: Received Any Gold Stars Lately?

Friday, September 6, 2013  

Pete Tinsley, CAE
AIS Executive Director

I grew up in the southern part of the United States (Georgia to be specific) in a fairly typical environment…mom and dad…younger brother and sister... and a dog! This was in the early to mid-60s when having a TV (yes one only) was considered pretty cool and of course Game boys, Xbox, personal computers, were not even a vision yet.

During the summer months, when school was out, I had a number of options to keep us busy including the local swim team, Boy Scout camp-outs, baseball, and just riding my bike around the neighborhood. And, so as not to allow us to get bored, my mom thought it would be a good idea to have a "chore chart" to make sure things got done around the house during the summer; glamorous tasks like vacuuming, washing the windows, making our beds, dusting, cleaning the toilets, etc. 

And it wasn't just a way to keep us in servitude, but it also had a reward system complete with a reward chart. The chart would actually be posted on the refrigerator and whenever we completed one of the tasks, we got a gold star. At the end of the week we would count up the gold stars earned and receive some type of nominal prize.  Something like an ice cream cone from the Dairy Queen or money to spend at the concession stand at the pool, or maybe a special dinner. It was a fairly effective device since we didn't have real jobs and I was still too young to cut the grass.

For me, while the rewards were nice, I gained the greatest satisfaction from just seeing my name and the number of gold stars by it. And since it wasn't a competition, my brother and sister were also able to earn as many gold stars as they could. That childhood experience got me thinking recently about how we might be able to create a similar recognition program for AIS members (sans the chore component!) 

At our staff retreat last month, I proposed the idea to our talented and innovative staff.  Actually, I set it up as a brainstorming session to find as many ways as we could to recognize members. It was a lively session and, while not all ideas will make it to production, it was very creative. See a complete list of the brainstorming ideas here.

Here is where you come in. We’d like to ask all members to review the list and vote on those items that would really mean something to you. Also, you have the opportunity to add to the list. We're looking for all the meaningful ways in which your membership in AIS can be rewarding; ways in which we can provide recognition for what you are doing in your career.   It may be for ways in which you are involved as a volunteer for the association or just for things you are doing around your school, not directly associated with AIS, but related to promoting IS as a discipline. 

Tell us what you think.  Perhaps there’s a gold star in your future! 


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