August 2001/September 2001
VVA Goes International
By Allen Green, Director of Membership
It's hard to believe the 2001 National Convention is over.
Before it becomes a distant memory, I would like to thank all the
chapters and state councils for their help in credentialing each
of the 642 delegates. It made a big difference to have more than
80 percent of the delegates pre-registered. Most problems were
solved prior to arrival in Greensboro. We had a phenomenal 99
percent accuracy rate at election time. On behalf of the VVA
Credentialing Committee, a "well done'' goes out to all.
VVA is now an international veterans organization. Joining our
chapters in Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
is VVA Chapter 887 of Angeles City, Luzon, Philippines. Air Force
and Navy veterans will remember this as the site of Clark Air
Base. Please join me in welcoming them aboard.
With the great turnout of new members who joined VVA at the
convention, the summer of 2001 was a strong season for membership.
September brings the end of summer and VVA's renewal season.
Historically, the majority of our annual VVA and Associate members
share an expiration date of February 28. Beginning in October,
when these members renew, we will validate their membership
through the next February. Each member will receive at least two
renewal reminders, with the next reminder due in early October.
Our most successful chapters get ready for the new season by
fine-tuning their member rosters and updating addresses.
Address accuracy remains the best way to guarantee a successful
renewal season. VVA and AVVA mail renewal notices using the Postal
Service's bulk mail system. Bulk mail does not get
forwarded. So, when we carry a bad address, the member never
realizes that his or her membership will soon expire. This is the
primary cause of members not renewing. It occurs most frequently
with state-level at-large members.
When a member appears lost, I recommend two search options. The
first is the most obvious. If you have the member's phone number,
use it. Often, the cause of a bad address is a transposed house
number or Zip Code. We also find many of our B-coded addresses
were incorrectly classified as bad addresses because the Post
Office returned the member's last issue of The VVA Veteran.
Second, the VVA staff uses two websites that help locate
individuals. They are http://www.infospace.com/info.abii/index_ppl.htm
The renewal season also highlights the fact that between
October and February, VVA and AVVA have a dual-track renewal
system. All new members who join during this period--and existing
members who joined between October 2000 and January 2001 and renew
their dues--will receive an expiration date one year from the
month and year of payment. This differs from long-time members who
retain their February expiration date from previous renewal
cycles. This is a carry-over from our transition to an
anniversary-date renewal program and will eventually blend into
one system. Until then, be ready to answer questions from your
One final reminder is to send dues monies immediately to the
national office for processing. Delays in forwarding dues result
in delayed mailing of member cards. Overlaps between a member
paying dues and the next mailing of renewal reminders is
guaranteed to confuse all involved.
We recommend sending all transmittal sheets and checks to the
mailboxes in Baltimore. The VVA address is: VVA, P.O. Box 64299,
Baltimore, MD 21264-4299. The AVVA address is: AVVA, P.O. Box
64732, Baltimore, MD 21264-4732. It is very important to send VVA
dues and AVVA dues in separate mailings, since AVVA now maintains
its own finance records. This will expedite processing.
Also, don't forget that AVVA renewals must submit the full $20
per member. Checks should be made out to AVVA. For states with
large numbers of incarcerated members, we recommend renewing
incarcerated chapters with one transmittal sheet. Double-check
prisoner numbers and dues, since each state has unique guidelines
on dues and mail format. All VVA and AVVA membership-transmittal
sheets can be downloaded from the VVA Membership website, http://www.vva.org/Membership/memforms.htm