Baking with the Cool Cats on Sweetest Day

October 15, 2011

Quota led the Cool Cats in another class in the kitchen. This time it was baking, perfect for Sweetest Day!

We made Rice Krispy Treats, Chocolate Scotcheroos, Oreo Truffles, Apple Crisp and Cinnamon brownies.

Here are a few photos.

Sanel gets caught licking the bowl!

Grace carries the Oreo Truffles to the fridge.

Marsalais carefully measures out ingredients for the Apple Crisp while Martel and Sanel watch.

CJ helps tie Miss Cindy’s apron.

Anna adds the oil for the Rice Krispy treats while Summer watches.

Nicole, Grace and Amy read through the instructions for the brownies.

A big thanks to the Cool Cats for coming and being the best students. A big thank you to Kath for her generosity and hospitality as we took over her kitchens. And a big thank you to all the Quotarians for your time and donations!

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Getting to know… Lisa

She’s one of our newest members, let’s get to know Lisa!


Name two accomplishments you are most proud of:

Married for over 26 years and raising 2 great kids and earning my degree from Davenport University

Where do you work?

Robert C. Shaver Co. in Wyoming

Name a guilty pleasure!


A favorite pastime


Favorite color

Hunter green

If you could choose any job in the world, what would you rather do?

Write a novel

Pet peeve


Why did you join Quota?

At Elaine’s recommendation, help the community and network with other business women

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DHHS 2011 October Fest Fun Raiser

This is a reminder about the October Fest Fun Raiser at Pietro’s Italian Restaurant on 28th Street in Grand Rapids on Thursday, October 20 from 6 – 9 p.m. : )  The cost is $35 for all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, breadsticks, salad, spumoni ice cream and free wine tasting courtesy of John Russo!  We hope to sell out the place with 200 seats!  Interpreters will be provided.


We have wonderful silent auction items such as ski passes to Cannonsburg, golf or ski packages at Crystal Mountain,  Four Winn’s Casino, and tickets to Griffins or Whitecaps games, an autographed stamped Detroit Lions football, and an autographed Red Wings hockey puck!


Proceeds go to support DHHS’ ADAPT Program (Awareness and Distribution Assistance for Persons with Technology) to help any people with hearing loss that need adaptive equipment, technology and consultation. For more information about Pietro’s or to purchase your ticket, call (616) 732-7358 (v) or (616) 828-0186 (vp) or


To purchase your ticket,  you may do so through DHHS, John Russo, or at the door at Pietro’s.  Thank you for supporting the program by purchasing a ticket or making a donation. For more information click here.

Katie Prins

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Proposal for Quota’s Future Structure and Governance System

Presented at 2011 Area Meetings

For reasons including increasing the membership satisfaction and organizational effectiveness of a non-profit of Quota’s current size, and to attract future generations of members, in July 2011, the 2011-2012 Quota International Board of Directors approved a first draft proposal for changes to Quota’s future international structure and governance system. The decision by the board was unanimous. A by-product of the proposal is some cost-savings for  both QI and members. This proposal is being presented at 2011 Area Meetings. Feedback obtained will be discussed by the board at their February 2012 meeting. A final proposal will be unveiled at 2012 District Conferences. Bylaw changes required to implement the final proposal will be voted on by delegates at the Convention 2012 Bylaws Session, Thursday, July 12, 2012 in Honolulu Hawaii, U.S.A.


Reason 1

Quota’s structure is complex and costly and no longer makes sense in the age of technology.

  • 40 years since the last structure change (districts added in 1933; areas added 1971)
  • Current 3-tiered organization (clubs, districts, areas) and 9-member board complicated, no longer appropriate or effective for organizations in the 21st century.
  • Increasingly difficult to fill district and area leader positions. Serving as a leader increasingly more expensive, more labor-intensive. Expectations of leader responsibilities need to be more realistic and appealing.
  • Communicating through leaders in “tiers” in inefficient, labor-intensive, not always successful. Doesn’t make sense now that technology connects members to Quota instead of layers or leaders.
  • Areas and districts vary widely in geographic and membership size. Areas and districts provide boundaries that divide members, not connect them.
  • Not all clubs, districts are located in an area; not all members have leadership path.
  • Area directors elected by area members, but represent all Quota members on board.
  • Quota’s structure not sustainable without change. Too expensive to administer. Every level requires support by members, volunteers leaders, staff.
  • Reducing complexity will help members; members currently pay dues at every level, pay to travel to meetings. Most expensive part of Quota affiliation often NOT international dues.


    Reason 2

    New generations want a simpler, more flexible Quota experience. Many current members do, too!

  • Want to ensure a welcoming experience for all generations of Quotarians – current, new, future.
  • Every year, lose more members than we gain. 2010-2011 fiscal year – organized 8 new clubs but lost 8 clubs. As become smaller, lose significant amounts of momentum and revenue.
  • 2010-2011 fiscal year – ended with net gain of 4 branches. Reaffirms organizing smaller groups doable.
  • Learned from Listening Tour: younger generations of members want significantly more flexible experience; do not want rules/regulations; not interested in attending meetings for a get-away; meeting needs a purpose; care about making a difference in their community and want impact on world – but want to do it their way when convenient for them. Learned term “community service” has negative connotations.
  • Bottom line: Quota’s future dependent on offering experience valued by current and future members. Existing structure NOT providing that experience to potential members and some current members.

Proposal for a New Structure and Governance System

  • Positive, bold, exciting, and invigorating
  • Keeps Quota connections in place
  • Offers flexibility
  • Good News: There IS something we can do about it – a plan that keeps Quota connections solidly in place yet offers flexibility future generations (and probably, some of you!) would appreciate.
  • Three-part plan makes participating in Quota more affordable experience.

Proposal Part 1: Create Regions, Eliminate Districts and Areas


  • Start in 2014
  • 20 Regions – approx. 300 each
  • Board determines composition
  • Existing districts combined, where possible
  • Will continue with districts, areas through 2013.

Regional Director

  • Elected by region – begins 2014
  • Appoints own leadership team
  • Serves one 2-year term coinciding with biennial Convention
  • Who can run? Past club presidents, past district governors, and past area directors
  • Board will create basic guidelines for regional director in operating, creating team.
  • Because regions larger than current districts, leadership pool larger.
  • Past governors will continue to be honored as past leaders in Quota, invited to past leader events.
  • Current district and area funds: District/areas distribute as they wish in 2013.

Regional Director Position

  • Encourage development & growth in region
  • Communicate with/encourage members within region
  • Plan annual regional meeting (with host team)
  • No club visits, no club officer installations
  • Regional director duties streamlined, reduced version of area director and district governor.
  • Regional directors will be encouraged to follow the “Lazy Leader” model of leading.
  • Costly, time-intensive leadership tasks currently carried out will be eliminated (club visits, installations).

Regional Meetings

  • Self supporting
  • Held March, April, or May
  • International representative assigned by president attends meeting/gives international message
  • Meeting registration fees cover cost of meeting.
  • Quota will pay international representative’s travel to meeting.
  • Tradition of club (Circle) serving as host, assisting with logistics, to be continued.
  • March added and June eliminated as months available for meetings; June difficult for international representatives, particularly in a convention year (Convention held in July).

Regional Dues

  • U.S. $10.00 per year, per member
  • Dues fund:
  1. Region’s communications costs
  2. Regional director’s convention participation (attend training, vote)
  3. Upfront costs of annual regional meeting
  • Dues set at U.S. $10.00 – lowest amount to accomplish region’s goals.
  • Replaces current district, area dues and assessments.
  • No public fund-raising activities planned; therefore regions will not need to be incorporated.

Proposal Part 2: Create Quota Circles

  • Need 7 to charter
  • Minimal rules/requirements
  • Meet in person and/or virtually
  • Members pay full QI/regional dues
  • Pays full advance convention fee
  • Has one vote in elections, bylaws
  • Must elect/select president & treasurer
  • Known as “Quota Circle of _____”
  • Currently have 3 ways to belong: club member, branch member, member-at-large.
  • Circles equal in stature to clubs; operate with minimal requirements; meet in person, virtually, or both.
  • Benefit: fewer members needed to start. Can serve as host team for future regional meetings.
  • Circle members pay same dues, liability insurance as club members; circles pay same fees as clubs.
  • Why “Circles”? It’s a forward thinking and innovative approach for the future and a familiar concept to older generations (i.e., groups with like interests).

Create Quota Circles

  • Circles start chartering August 2012

-Only circles can charter; no new clubs can charter

-Branches must become circles

  • Your club can choose

-Continue permanently as a club… OR

-Become a circle

  • The training of Club and Circle Presidents beginning in 2014 will be determined by the board.
  • The process of branches transitioning into circles will begin in August 2012. QI will work with all branches in existence at that time in electing officers, collecting and paying dues, setting up bank accounts, insurance. Mentoring clubs no longer will do those jobs for branches.
  • New club organization efforts underway as of August 2012 will result in new circles only.

Proposal Part 3: Restructure Quota International Board of Directors

  • 5 board officers: president, president-elect/treasurer, 3 at-large board members
  • All board officers represent all Quota members
  • All board officers serve 2-year terms coinciding with biennial convention
  • Elections: (1) held biennially at convention; (2) permit absentee ballots; (3) use preferential voting
  • Reduced board size increases effectiveness, reduces costs.
  • President retains current role – as president of board of directors and primary liaison with staff.
  • President-elect/Treasurer (one person, one position) oversees development and growth and finances – doable according to past leaders who have held both positions.
  • 3 At-large board members assigned specific responsibilities by president; may include service, communications, strategic planning, or other areas president views to be most pressing.
  • At-large board members (and all board members) represent all Quota members, not specific constituencies.
  • Title of at-large board members still under consideration. Under consideration: Board Member, Vice President, Board Director.
  • All board members take office at the same time; all serve two years. Continuation of 2 of 5 board members sufficient to provide experience needed during board transition.
  • All Quota members in every Quota country will have a path to Quota board leadership.

Transition of Officers – 2012-2014

  • 2012-2013 president & president-elect serve TWO years (2012-2014)
  • 2012-2013 treasurer serves ONE year; treasurer function incorporated in president-elect position in 2013-2014 year
  • 2011-2013 area directors (East, Central, South Pacific) serve one extra year (2013-2014)
  • 2012-2014 area directors (Canada, South, West) serve normal 2-year term
  • President and President-elect installed at Convention 2012 serve 2-year term.
  • Treasurer installed at Convention 2012 serves only one 1-year term, 2012-2013. President-elect assumes Treasurer responsibilities in 2013-2014.
  • 2011-2013 Area Directors will serve one extra year; all have agreed.
  • 2012-2014 Area Directors serve normal 2-year term.
  • This transition provides the greatest support to QI during the period that it is moving to a new way of operating.
  • Board members who participated in creating the proposal for Quota’s future structure “on board” to see transition through to completion.
  • At 2014 Convention:

-2012-2014 president-elect/treasurer automatically becomes 2014-2016 president

-Elections held for 2014-2016 president-elect/treasurer and 3 at-large board officers

  • Who qualifies to run?

-For president-elect/treasurer: past area directors and, in the future, past at-large board members

-For at-large board members: past governors and, in the future, past regional directors

  • Transition completed at Convention 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. All officers installed at convention will serve 2-year terms starting and ending at the same time.
  • Election held at that convention for four positions: 2014-2016 President-elect/Treasurer and three 2014-2016 At-large Board Members.

Proposal for a New Structure and Governance System

  • Board of Directors UNANIMOUS in its support of proposal
  • Quota’s situation requires a bold move NOW
  • The proposal…

-protects YOUR local Quota experience

-opens up Quota in new ways for new members

– takes down boundaries that divide members

-opens doors to a more flexible & sustainable future

  • Enormous thought and discussion went into proposal creation by both 2010-2011 Board and 2011-2012 Board. Many different scenarios considered.
  • THIS 3-part proposal considered superior to all others.
  • Quota’s situation requires a bold move.
  • Proposal protects your local Quota experience while at the same time opening up Quota for new members (and current members) who want to experience Quota in a new way.
  • Proposal enables your club to continue as it always has – if you want it to.
  • Proposal provides for a regional connection for members who value that.
  • Time for Quota to move forward, to take down boundaries that divide members AND open doors to more flexible, sustainable future that benefits all members.
  • These changes are not “nice to do”; they are “need to do”.


This proposal will be published on the QI website after all the 2011 Area Meetings are completed. Please direct any questions to President Chris Tracey-Patte and Executive Director Kathleen Treiber as follows:

Quota International

1420 21st Street NW

Washington DC




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October 2011 – President’s Message

October President’s Message    2011

Summer is officially over!  Emily and I welcomed the first day of FALL (hooray!) with our visit to the Central Area Meeting in Dubuque, Iowa.  We left on Friday September 23, drove for six hours through purely Michigan, then urbanity and, finally, hill and dale. It was a nice drive; the weather was lovely and the conversation about, what else, Quota.

Dubuque was pleasantly surprising—a main street USA town on the Mississippi River. There are many very good restaurants and the people are friendly and attractive.  The Julien Hotel where we stayed was wonderfully refurbished and very comfortable.  Overall, it turned out to be a really nice venue for the meeting. (I don’t want to sound too much like Prairie Home Companion here though.)

We were fortunate to have the current and most recent International Presidents as well as President-elect and Treasurer.  As usual, the Australian members added much to the conversation and camaraderie.  We shared meals and activities such as an outdoor elevator ride and a river cruise.

Meetings were interesting, well-organized, and informative so the weekend seemed to fly by. Some of you may have seen Emily’s Facebook entries with information about the proposal that was made to us.  It is all about restructuring our organization in a major way.  We divided into groups of 6 so that each member could give her reaction to the proposal; we recorded each of those, and they were collected to be read by the International Officers and Board.  These changes would take place in 2014 after a discussion /vote at the International Convention in July 2012.

While the proposal is a big leap, it was very well received.  In fact, most were excited about the prospect of these improvements for the future.

I encourage you to read the proposal in its entirety on our blog then come to hear our verbal report at the October meeting.  See you then!


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