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WIPN Chapter of the Month: Southern California

Meet WIPN Southern California! Co-chairs Kim Vu and Michele Giangrande share their insights into what makes Southern California a successful chapter.

The retirement industry in SoCal delivers a close knit, family type of atmosphere. We think this culture of closeness and familiarity enables our chapter to stand out amongst other organizations in the area. We all genuinely want to see each other succeed which has produced a culture of encouragement, promotion, and collaboration amongst the members. We have always had a high standard of excellence for the topics and speakers we host. Our philosophy has been to provide quality over quantity.

Our chapter has grown to nearly 100 members over the last 5 years. We saw an increase in various roles joining where it was once mostly home office associates is now a mix of consultants, TPA’s, and recordkeepers in sales and service roles. WIPN’s Board Membership Chair, Tina Schackman was the first SoCal co-chair. Something unique to our chapter initiated by Tina was to create sub-chapters encompassing membership, events and sponsorship. With this structure in place and multiple people helping the chapter to grow and be part of its success, the co-chairs can focus on creating unique events with meaningful content. We grow membership by providing events that are fun and add value to our personal and professional lives. Our goal is to provide a more unique and fun experience away from the monotonous every day work schedule.

More recently, we are focused on existing membership benefits, demonstrating the value of being a member over being a guest. This has kept our audiences more intimate and allowed for more effective networking in the virtual environment. Our last image consulting and makeup webinar event was well attended because we offered 2 different days and times to accommodate everyone’s schedule. We completely understand some mornings may work for some folks while lunch time is perfect for others. By giving our members options and keeping to it to small groups, we have found this can lead to higher attendance and members can freely interact with one another too.

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