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Message from the executive director


A TTN Top 10: What Worked, and Frequently Asked Questions

January 1, 2013

Click here for February: February Letter

It’s time to celebrate a remarkable year for The Transition Network – replaying greatest hits that you may have missed in past newsletters.  As a bonus, I’m also sharing your best questions of 2012.  Even if YOU didn’t think to ask them, the answers are worth knowing.

First to my five 5-star Best of TTN list:

#5: Our reputation as a can-do organization.

“Wow, you’re really growing”… “TTN has been on my radar screen for a while – I’m so impressed with your work” …“What’s your secret to growth?” – I hear those positive comments when I meet anyone working with boomers, women’s empowerment or positive aging.   Only a handful of other organizations have a national presence like TTN’s, collaborate as effectively as we do and get cited as often by authors and journalists telling the story of our generation.

#4: A fount of ideas.

Why has TTN grown so successfully?  The formula is simple and powerful: we attract talented women with lots of energy, you say “I’d like to …”, and your chapter provides the support to turn your ideas into reality.  A short list of my 2012 favorites:  Retail Therapy - central Ohio’s cash mob program supporting local businesses (thank you Patsy Deerhake); our Paris Modern Art and Culture program (thank you Arlene Reiff and Clark Poling);  Washington DC’s multi-cultural programs including dialogues with Muslim women's groups and its program on intentional integration (thank you Isabelle Schoenfeld and team); Santa Fe’s Coffee Club - a weekly networking opportunity at local cafes;  Chicago’s programs supporting women veterans (thank you Del McCormick and Emma Kalaidjian); Atlanta’s MeetUp site (thank you Lynn Anderson); Long Island’s Daytrip groups (thank you Elle Kapito); New York City’s endlessly varied Explore NYC programs (thank you Sherry Dworsky and Wendy Bernstein) and Philadelphia’s BounceBackAbility: Resilience and Successful Aging (thank you Pat Snyder, Andrea Taylor, Susan Collins, Chrissa Merron, Liz Rosenberg and Elise Freed-Fagan).

#3: Making connections.

The 21st century inflicts too much of most things (information, activities, background noise) but not enough ways to meet people and get to know them.  TTN’s genius lies in bringing women together in person to talk, learn from each other and explore.  At a time when many of us are moving across the country – or saying “where did all my friends go?” – women can count on TTN to provide a stimulating and safe place for new friendships to take root.  Check out our chapter events and peer groups and mark your calendars.

#2: Talented, creative, dedicated members who power TTN.

To the hundreds of members who make TTN what we are – thank you!  And a very special thanks to our chapter leads and board members, the backbone of our organization.

#1 NEW MEMBERS, almost 800 this year.

In Long Island, Philadelphia, Santa Fe and all of our chapters, you poured in to meet women your own age, define your goals, enrich your lives and make new friends.  To all of our new members, welcome!  We hope you’ve found what you were looking for in TTN – but if not, tell us what’s missing and help fill in the missing pieces in 2013.

And on to the frequently asked questions.

Why does TTN ask for donations, since it collects dues from members?

Dues are a very important part of our income - about 70%.  To keep dues affordable we deliberately plan to raise 30% of our income from other sources.   Donations provide most of that amount, with the board donating almost 20% of TTN’s income, and each board member donating at least $2,500.  

Your donations and purchases through our affiliate programs support women moving to a new city, widows rebuilding their lives and newly-laid-off employees figure out their next steps.  To see a list of our 2012 donors, click here.

Why should I join TTN when I can go to a few meetings and pay less than the membership dues amount?

Here are four reasons to join: 1) you can take advantage of member-only activities like peer groups and special programs in your chapter and when you travel; 2) you’ll make stronger connections with TTN members if you’ve joined than if you just come to a few meetings; 3) you show your support for TTN’s mission of helping individual women through transitions and being a voice for women over 50; and 4) your dues are tax-deductible.

Is there a Transition Network-like group for men?  I know some guys who could really use it!

There aren’t any national organizations focused on men (or couples) in transition.  There are more and more local men’s groups, some organized by synagogues, senior centers or community organizations, others organized by men who knew each other in a previous life.  The best way to get started is to ask around in your community.  It takes a lot to organize and manage a community of people -TTN is still the only national nonprofit for women fifty and forward and our transitions.

When is the next national conference?

Stay tuned.  Our first conference, in Washington DC last November, was a big success and we look forward to planning the next national gathering.  We expect to get started in the first half of 2013.  If you want to join the planning team, please let me know.

I can never remember my user name and password!

Your first stop is the Forgot User Name and Password? box on the home page. Your user name and password will be sent to you immediately – and remember, your user name is always your first initial, last name, for instance mine is Bwerley. If you have a common name, there will be a number depending on whether you were the first, or fourth who joined (i.e., JSmith3).

Once you retrieve your password, change it to something easy to remember – just click the Go To Your Account link and enter it here.

It’s been a great year for TTN and we’ve done so much for women in our communities.  Thank you all for demonstrating that this stage of life is full of opportunity, learning and friendship.  I wish you a very happy New Year and look forward to celebrating more successes in 2013.