The association world is difficult to understand and even more difficult to explain. This is apparent when anybody asks what you spend your time volunteering for and an easy response explaining our CAI organization does not present itself immediately. There are many things that trade associations offer, but the main value comes from legislative aid, educational resources, and building a community of peers. Our focus moving forward is to make sure we are providing value that fits into one of the aforementioned categories.
Legislative aid is always working on your behalf even without your active participation. While we would love to have the entire membership actively involved, this usually only happens when we strongly oppose a legislative act such as SB323. Having already created resources to respond to such proposals is one strength you benefit from in merely joining an association such as ours.
While we are always trying to grow both personally and professionally, resources may not be readily available. However, if you belong to a trade association, part of your investment should be going toward the creation and maintenance of such resources. Whether you are self-employed or a large corporation that invest in other forms of professional development, your association works for you to become a better version of yourself.
Not all people will agree that the most valuable resource of a trade association is the community, but I beat the drum and sound the horn for it. We are only as strong as our relationships and the collective group of CAI-Greater Inland Empire is only as valuable as the community we have built. I have heard from so many members that this is the strength of this chapter and it is the reason I believe we will flourish. Building our community through active participation on committees, consistent attendance of events, and engaging others outside of our group to join will ultimately decide the direction of this chapter. If you don’t know how to reach out to somebody you think would benefit from what we offer, just take it from this list! I look forward to continuing to grow with you all.