Early on, the founders of CWRT Congress realized that one of the best ways to promote and to achieve CWRT sustainability would be for the Congress to develop an attitude of providing value. But, at the time, we were simply holding annual conferences that emphasized the experiences of our own CWRTs. It wasn’t until the Harrisburg conference that we decided to develop a website and to fill it with ways to achieve sustainability.
We started by asking CWRTs for nominations of their “5-Star” speakers. The response was fairly brisk. But, when it was learned that the nominating CWRT was also being recognized, the response accelerated. And, rather than the usual suspects, many of the nominees were not nationally known. They have all proven to be of the 5-Star variety! (A number of ECW speakers are on that list, btw!)
Inasmuch as our tagline is Improvement Through Education and Networking, it became apparent that developing an up-to-date list of CWRTs, their meeting schedules, locations and social media could help to emphasize networking. That part of the website has taken a little longer to grow. Additionally, we added a list of CWRTs that have closed their doors.
Our next project was to understand the diversity of thought and organization of CWRTs. That has become a most interesting endeavor. Surveys seem to be an excellent way of discovering more about CWRT organizations, their priorities, why changes have been discussed and implemented and how they have been received. We continue to develop survey instruments, and to add to your Proven Practices. You can expect we will continue to survey you.
With the coming of the pandemic, we realized that CWRTs would find it difficult to maintain monthly meetings. And, we feared that some might simply close their doors for good. So, we contacted the 5-Star speakers and proposed they consider delivering online lectures. An early discussion with David Dixon revealed the risk of “live” presentations and how recording them could help eliminate that risk. Well, the rest is history, so to speak. The lecture series has proven very successful. And, it has morphed into a YouTube Channel that is growing in popularity.
Finally, we thank all of those who have donated to our fledgling 501(c)3. Their suggestions and encouragement have helped to make these trying times better for everyone.