Membership categories now focus on members’ role in the industry and members voted to support a recommended dues increase after more than 25 years. In June members were asked to select their new membership category and to renew their membership at the new dues rate. So far it appears the Pi Chi Omega members were ready to step up to the plate to ensure the longevity of an organization that means so much to the pest management industry.
Pi Chi Omega has grown from a Fraternity originating with 7 members in 1950 into a multi-faceted organization supported by more than 450 members. Just as the pest management industry has evolved since those early days, Pi Chi Omega has adapted and changed to stay in step with the industry. In May, Pi Chi Omega made two important steps to ensure the Fraternity’s long-term operability as a professional organization.
First, the membership voted to shift our membership category structure away from a person’s level of education, and to instead focus more on their role within the industry. Pi Chi Omega has a diverse membership. We are made up of entomologists, PMPs, manufacturers, consultants, researchers, professors, students, and many others who are dedicated to the technical side of structural pest control. All of our members bring important perspectives to our organization as a whole. Our broad membership categories are Student Members, Active Members and Long-Standing Members. Each category is comprised of sub-categories. Click here to see a full list of membership categories.
Second, after taking a hard look at the current operations of Pi Chi Omega the Board realized that additional income would be necessary to enable the organization to effectively operate and meet our mission and goals. To be specific, non-designated operating funds would be needed in order to continue to operate as a modern, not-for-profit organization. Today, Pi Chi Omega utilizes a paid, professional association management firm to administer the operations of the organization. Customary insurances have been secured, like Director’s & Officers insurance and liability insurance, and professional services from a CPA agency and legal counsel have also been contracted. In short, to evolve and grow the organization has shifted away from a volunteer operated group into a full-fledged, professional organization that does incur overhead expenses.
To be clear, significant funds exist to support the scholarship program for decades into the future. Those designated funds, however are restricted for scholarship program use only. So, while Pi Chi Omega’s scholarship program is well funded, monies to operate the organization were growing slim. The Board brought this to the attention of the membership during membership meetings at PestWorld 2017 and at the Purdue Pest Management Conference 2018. The concern was discussed in newsletter articles, e-blasts and a web-based member Q&A session was also held in April. During each discussion, the Board clearly communicated why these funds were necessary and asked for input from membership on how best to implement a dues fee increase.
In May, the membership voted on Bylaw changes that put into place the new membership category structure. The Board, after taking the recommendations from membership into consideration, installed a new dues fee system that would generate needed operational funds, while also considering each member categories’ financial investment into the organization.
In June members were asked to select their new membership category and to renew their membership at the new dues rate. Members responded immediately to the call, and renewals have been coming in strongly. The Board was hopeful that the changes wouldn’t deter members from renewing and so far it appears the Pi Chi Omega members were ready to step up to the plate to ensure the longevity of an organization that means so much to the pest management industry.