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Board election 2018 - Ann Rootkin

 

Name: Ann Rootkin

Region: West Midlands

I joined Mensa in the mid 80’s and in 1999 I joined the West Midlands committee as Regional Treasurer, becoming the Regional Officer in 2001. 

I stepped down when I joined the Board in 2007, but still continue my involvement regionally as Deputy RO, Local Secretary, Treasurer and Web Officer.  Over the years I have organised numerous regional weekends including two Annual Gatherings (Birmingham in 2003 and Coventry in 2011) and many full day events including family friendly days out and more intellectual events involving speakers. 

I have arranged visits to places of interest, Escape Rooms, boat trips, zoo trips, Christmas parties, theme park visits and many other activities. I also hold local meetings at restaurants every month around Coventry and Solihull and have been a Test Administrator since 2004.

I have been running my own Computer Consultancy business since 1996 and consequently have familiarity with all the responsibilities of being a director.  My work is varied and has given me good experience of working in teams at all levels and having to produce results of a high quality, often with tight deadlines to meet.  This experience has been very useful in my interactions with my fellow directors on the Board, as has my understanding of the issues encountered when running Mensa at a regional level.

I have held a number of roles since joining the Board, including Treasurer, Regional Liaison Officer and National Representative to the International Board of Directors.  When we recently made the decision to upgrade and redevelop the British Mensa website, my Board colleagues selected me to manage the project from the membership point of view.  This has involved liaison with the developers, input into the design of various features (not least the events calendar) and coordination of test volunteers.

The new site has a much more modern appearance, events are easier to access and it is fully compatible with mobile devices, something I consider essential in the 21st century. I want our next step to be the development of a mobile app and I would like to continue on the Board to be involved with this project.

I believe that the most important challenge facing the society today is to halt and reverse the decline in membership.  Although we may appear to have an aging profile, over half of our membership is under 50, while many are under 30, and the younger members feel a need for more immediate interaction than has historically been available.  Our new national Facebook group, Brightspace, is proving very popular, however, we still need to provide more face to face events that will be of interest to the “not so old” and family events suitable for our youngest members and member parents with young children. 

On the new website, anyone can enter details of an event at short notice and although this makes it available to anyone who logs on to the website, an app will provide the mechanism to push these details directly to members’ phones.  With a Mensa app we could also offer puzzles and games, allowing competition between members and potentially also non-members, hopefully with the result that more people will both want to join Mensa and having joined, stay in the society.

During my time on the Board I consider that I have been making a valuable contribution towards improving the member experience and would welcome the opportunity to continue to do so for another three years.  Please give me that chance by voting for me.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at mensa@annrootkin.co.uk or phone/text/WhatsApp me on 0777 3799937.

A selection of some of the events I have been involved in: