History of IMA Mid-Atlantic Council
By: Paul Kuhns - Council Historian
Talk of forming a Council was begun at the Dallas International Conference in June 1973. Seven chapters met as an Ad-Hoc committee on September 26, 1973 to discuss forming the Delaware Valley Council. Each chapter was to have a representative on the organizing committee. The name Mid-Atlantic Council was adopted at a meeting on January 30, 1974. By-laws were accepted and presented to chapters for approval.
The first official organizational meeting was held April 17, 1974. Cal Deininger of Philadelphia was elected the first council President. By this time North Penn, Delaware, Philadelphia, Valley Forge and Delaware County chapters had voted to join the council. It was decided to assess dues to each chapter for funding of council activities. Later in 1974, council discussed sponsoring the Chapter Management Seminar (CMS), in the spring of 1975. They did arrange for facility locations and set a date of May 2, 1975. In the early years, the CMS was held on Fridays and ran all day.
Other chapters joining in 1974 included Lehigh Valley, East Jersey and Raritan Valley. In the early years, Washington D.C. and Baltimore chapters were members. In 1980 they withdrew to form the Potomac & Chesapeake Council (P&C). The minutes of July 1975 showed that 12 chapters had contributed $410 to the council treasury. Chapters were assessed dues based on membership. In 1975-76 year, committees were established to organize a Professional Development Seminar (PD) and a CMS in May 1976. The PD & CMS were held on May 6 & 7, 1976 at the Host Farm in Lancaster, Pa. on a Thursday and Friday. So it started Council's successful sponsorship of spring and later, fall Professional Development Seminars.
Another early activity of council was having a Hospitality Suite at the Annual International Conference of IMA each June. This has continued since the Detroit Conference of June 1974. Council also sponsored a Regional Conference on November 10 & 11, 1977. It was held at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA. The Council minutes of January 25, 1978 reported the Conference a success except for finances. Senator Ed Muskie spoke at the Friday luncheon. This Conference was one of MAC's largest undertakings and flyers advertising the event had been sent to over 19,000 members from New York to the Carolina's.
The Council proceeded to sponsor the Chapter Management Seminar, CMS and one, later two, Professional Development Seminars every year. York chapter joined in late 1976, bringing total membership to 13 chapters. In 1979 the M.A.C. Report was first issued, intended to be the newsletter of Council.
In order to get the chapters more involved in Council; a point competition was started in the late 1970's. This was dropped after a couple of years because “Council is becoming too highly structured”. The minutes of March 27, 1980 noted, “Some chapters may withdraw to form their own council”. Lehigh Valley did depart “for various reasons” in July 1979, but later returned. The Chapter Management Seminar was made a half-day affair in 1980, ending after lunch. The chapter development committee was quite involved in a proposed “Pa Anthracite” or Schulykill County chapter in 1981-82, but no chapter was formed. However, South Jersey Shore was welcomed as a member on October 29, 1981.
Consideration to drop dues from chapters followed the spring 1981 PD Seminar that netted $3,300. Dues were continued a while longer and by January 1982 the Treasury balance was $10,500. In 1983 the Council donated $2,000 to the then NAA National Building Fund for the headquarters now located in Montvale, N.J. An Ad-Hoc committee was formed in late 1982 to recommend uses of the Council's excess funds. At a meeting on January 27, 1983 seven possible uses of excess funds were suggested. Also during 1983, Council was asked to propose having the Annual International Conference in Philadelphia around 1988-89. Plans were also underway to hold a 10th anniversary bash.
Suburban Northeast Philadelphia Chapter was in danger of folding in 1983 and was lost to Council when its Charter was withdrawn in 1984. Jack Loew established a Chapter Assistance Committee problem hotline, but had no requests for help. The year 1985 saw the plan to have 3 Vice-Principals under the Council Principal (President) and this was approved.
1986 was the year plans to distribute excess funds began to take shape. Some of the reimbursement programs to chapters were CMA tuition & expenses, student meals, chapter advertising (other than regular publicity) and MAC professional education attendance. Most of these programs remain today in some form. Chapters were asked to comment on funds use and it was a few years before significant chapter use was evidenced.
In 1986-87, a Principal was elected that later disappeared. Ed McCracken of Delaware was then voted in to fill the term. The Chapter Management Seminar (CMS) held the spring of 1987 began the tradition of starting with a breakfast instead of ending with lunch. The Hospitality Suite Committee for the Annual Conference began to solicit Corporate Sponsors. This committee also welcomed members of the Potomac & Chesapeake Council (P&C), to join us in our hospitality suite (some were former MAC members). Beginning in 1993, Keystone Mountain and Virginia Councils joined forces with P&C and MAC in a joint Hospitality Suite Adventure.
One of the main strengths of our council has been the ability to provide high quality professional development seminars on a regular basis. In fact, our council historically provides a minimum of two seminars each year. The proceeds from these seminars have been used by the council to fund its many activities for the membership.
The year 2000 was special to MAC as we had the privilege to host the IMA annual conference, which required several years of preparation by the council. To spearhead the activities was John Fusco as the Conference Chair and Jack Wright as his assistant along with a host of volunteers. The conference was a huge success as attendees rated the city and us as the host council as one of the best. Even the volunteers were excited to be a part of the team as each member received three complimentary shirts (red, white, and blue) and a special vest to identify them as part of the Philly team. You had to be there to truly appreciate the moment.
More recently, our council, like so many councils, underwent a few changes. Beginning on July 1, 2002, the Delco and Valley Forge Chapters merged into The Main Line Chapter. Then beginning on July 1, 2004, The Main Line and Philadelphia Chapters merged into the Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
In addition, we have experienced some losses. The Harrisburg Chapter (dating back to 1931) was terminated in 2004; the South Jersey Chapter (dating back to 1961) was terminated in 2007; and finally the Trenton Chapter (dating back to 1961) was terminated in 2007.
But the good news is that a new chapter was born at the start of 2008. Yep, the West Chester Chapter is organizing under the leadership of Ali Naggar.
As a result of all these changes, MAC now consists of 9 member chapters (or approximately 3,300 members).
Paul Kuhns prepared this historical record of our council in preparation of the 15th anniversary celebration and it has been updated by some of Council faithful. On behalf of all, we thank you Paul for all your hard work and dedication to Council.