The Proposed Merger of the AMA Alumni Association and AMA Alumni Foundation Boards
October 19, 2022
Over the past few years, it has become obvious the number of alumni that remain connected and active within the Alumni Association / Alumni Foundation is dwindling significantly, and there is much confusion today regarding the two organizations and what each is responsible for. During the General meeting held in the Big Room at the Reunion, the questions and comments from alumnus reinforced just that: which organization is responsible for doing what? I honestly think that most of our memberships believe that the Alumni Foundation and the Alumni Association are one in the same. That, in itself, does not lead to having cohesive support from our constituents.
During the July 2022 Foundation Board meeting, John Arthur (Foundation Board Secretary) presented historical correspondence (early 2000’s) that highlighted these same concerns that were previously raised by former leadership, CPA and legal teams. The “confusing duality” of the two organizations continues today, because the alumni base had to have the Foundation, and some could not bring themselves to give up/close the Association.
The merging of the two organizations has been discussed at formal and informal levels over the past several years, but nothing has ever transpired. We are at a crucial junction today, and given our successful resolution of the Museum and Foundation IRS income tax issues, and we are realizing emerging financial support for our activities.
Our AMA Strategic Business Plan, which the Foundation Board approved unanimously at our September 8, 2022 meeting, speaks to “Organization Consolidation“. This document was made public Saturday morning during our Reunion 2022 General Membership meeting, and has since been posted on our museum webpage.
I am proposing that we formally undertake the development of a detailed plan (methodology, goals and timeline) to address these issues guide us to the merging of the AMA Alumni Association and the AMA Alumni Foundation. This will allow us to ensure IRS 501(c)3 compliancy, and function as an effective organization, while demonstrating unity of effort and unity of command. This single action should remove/eliminate “organization confusion” with the alumni base.
With this in mind, I believe we have personnel on our teams with the requisite expertise in this area, to lead this effort: John Arthur and Steve Trent. John is the Secretary of the Foundation Board for the Foundation and has recently executed similar actions with another 501(c)3 organization of which he was a board member, and Steve is the long-standing President of the Association. I suggest that they be given approval to establish a small, joint working group with representatives from both organizations, and begin efforts to develop a plan to accomplish this reorganization, of which will be presented to both boards, on/before January 07, 2023.
I look forward to your ongoing support as we navigate these waters in our unwavering commitment to preserve the AMA legacy, for years to come.
Douglas W. Pennock
Chairman, AMA Alumni Foundation