October 26, 2014

October Meeting with Our New Members

We knew that our meeting was going to be different, but how different we did not know until our meeting started. Even Tim was caught off guard. Sue and her husband were absent because Sue's mother had passed. However, the number of new members more than made up the difference. We had expected six new members, but were in shock when 14 people showed up.

Jerry said that four were others that he had unable to contract for our prior meeting with the nutritionist, and four of the six had brought another person with type 2 diabetes. After introductions, Tim asked each of the potential new members to think of a nickname to use. Tim then explained that we use the nicknames to keep tabs on each other and allow them to talk to other members without letting others around them know whom they are talking about.

Then Tim opened it up for questions from the new members. Most wanted to know how often we meet. Barry told them that this varies. We try to meet once a month, but this can be upset by other events. Barry continued that we normally do not have meetings in June, July, and August. However, this year, we had two meetings in August, but not for everyone. We had two meetings in September and now two meetings in October. In addition to our November meeting, several will be making a presentation to another group.

Jerry spoke up then and said two of the meetings were for him and those seeing his dietitian wife. He continued that they take things as they happen and try to make the most out of events. He said if they need three meetings to accomplish something, they will have three meetings. Tim said that is right. Sometimes it is only five or more people that can have a special meeting, but we have one meeting per month for everyone. Brenda said this happens because we are not secretive about our diabetes and different numbers of us can be working on different projects.

Allen said that this happened this year as we had three meetings on interventions to help us know how to help other people with type 2 diabetes. James said that he was the subject on one intervention, but not by this group, but during a meeting of several groups. Tim said Jerry was an intervention project of several of the members and those that Jerry was able to contact were brought to a meeting not requiring an intervention.

The next question was about membership and would we be limiting membership. Jason spoke and said this is something I think all of us have thought about. At one time, we were at almost 20 members, but because we like our somewhat informal nature, a few split off from our group. Greg is the leader of that group now. They wanted formal officers, meetings on a specific day each month, and other set rules.
Tim said that he was elected as group leader, Barry was program chairperson, and A.J is group historian. We don't have a treasurer because we don't collect dues and or other officers because we don't need them. Two of us send out meeting summaries after each meeting, with one waiting until the other has sent out an email and then that person adds other points if necessary. Bob generally blogs about our meetings so we have several reminders of what transpired. This way if someone needs to miss a meeting, they don't feel like they were left out.

Tim stopped then, and said for all those new people present, to be sure he had their email address and telephone number given to him. Email addresses for meeting notices and summaries. The phone numbers in case they were needed for something special. He stated that all those new to the group would be sent the email addresses and phone numbers for the rest of the members.

The meeting continued for another hour with more questions from the new members and some from our group. Max said we have a question that needs a vote or thought until the next meeting. Tim said yes, do we want to limit members or add more members. The group agreed that for the present, we would not limit membership, but would take up the question again when we were near 45 members. Everyone present did want to become members. The vote was unanimous and we went from 17 to 31 members that quickly.

A couple of the new members asked if they could attend the meeting when we presented the program. Tim asked if they knew the place and the one answered that he had grown up there. Tim said he would ask and let them know if they had room for visitors. This brought several more requests and Tim took the count (9 wanted to go) and said he wanted emails to be able to contact everyone. This ended the meeting and Tim collected email addresses and phone numbers.

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