The FAMU National Alumni Association (NAA) – Leon County Chapter, along with newly elected national president, LTC Gregory L. Clark, met Tuesday evening at Florida A&M’s Student Recreation Center to discuss 2016 initiatives.
Victor Gaines, president of FAMU NAA – Leon County Chapter, began by introducing executive board members, committee members and sharing his passion for creating longevity at FAMU.
Gaines then went on to proudly announce a 75 percent increase in membership. The chapter now has a total of 238 dedicated members who are actively helping make FAMU better for current and future students.
“We are also trying to find ways to reach out to alumni,” Gaines said. “If that takes stuffing envelopes so that we are able to reach individuals who are not tech savvy and able to check emails 2-3 times a day, we will do that.”
One of the plans that the Leon County Chapter has is the return of the Rattler Times. Gaines and his team plan on bringing back the monthly newsletter this February. The newsletter will be emailed as well as printed for alumni who cannot be reached via email.
In addition, the committee has put together a “4×400” Membership Drive. The goal with membership drive is to bring in 400 new members by April 4. The drive has been put in place with the hopes that a larger association will have a stronger showing at the national conference in May.
Roderick Rolle, M.S., Ph.D., a FAMU alumnus, weighed in on the importance of being apart of FAMU NAA and giving back to the university.
“It’s important to give back because of leverage,” Rolle said. “A strong alumni means a strong voice.”
Bringing in new members to the FAMU NAA will also help the chapter accomplish their goal of improving the overall visibility of FAMU in the Tallahassee community.
Newly elected national president of FAMU NAA, LTC Gregory L. Clark, is still within the first 90 days of his presidency. Clark has goaled the association to reach 10,000 members by 2019.
Clark, born and raised in Alabama, is currently residing in Birmingham. With a strong military background as a commander in the U.S. Army Reserve, Clark also serves as a part-time financial planner. His previous job in the FAMU NAA was first vice president.
“I look forward to putting a team together to get the job done,” Clark said. “A commander is only as good as the people they put around them.”
Clark feels that it is imperative to control the brand and the messaging of the NAA. This includes Facebook, Twitter and all other media platforms used by the NAA.
“I have consolidated an image committee who will help protect our brand,” he said. “I will also be meeting with potential partners and sponsors.”
FAMU now has a lucrative contract with GEICO. The GEICO corporation gives the national alumni association $40,000 for its convention. In addition, every time a Rattler gets a quote from GEICO, the university receives $10.
Clark has asked each non-life member of the FAMU NAA to not only consider being a life member, but to recruit at least one person in 2016.
“There are 11,000 alumni in Tallahassee,” Clark said. “This is ground zero and I have committed the NAA to assist the Leon County Chapter and the Capitol City Chapter by providing the resources that are needed.”