Here are some bits of advice for the next co-chair.
- Call members. I'd suggest setting aside an hour every couple weeks to call people on the UCAIug corporate representatives list. Chat about why their company is a member. Find out how they really feel about that. help them recognize the tools at their disposal. Get their input on what they'd like to see changed.
- Refuse to be a meeting planner. This is a hard saying, but every hour spent on meeting details is an hour not spent on more valuable contributions. The Processes WG has tried to change this, and hasn't succeeded. Yet. I think we all agree that change is needed.
- Expect board and executive committee direction and help. This year's smart grid uptake has been so severe, many things are left undone. I could have asked for quarterly plan adjustments, which would in turn help others discuss the changes affecting UCA and each group.
- Keep good boundaries. Every volunteer organization will take as much time as you will give. I had several occasions where I discovered I had somehow volunteered to solve problems outside of CIMug. Teach others to fish, before you start fishing for others.
- Don't be afraid to rock the boat. Some issues definitely must be handled delicately, but that doesn't mean they should be left alone. You represent the utilities; speak for what they would want.
- Build on what has been done. If you can come up with something better - go for it. But before you invent something - check to see if it has been attempted already. I've tried to make everything I know searchable on the site.
- Beware of the Thursday night syndrome - at every CIMug meeting I hit a point of exhaustion on the evening before the last day (usually that is Thursday night). Look out for landmines. Pull back and take a break.
- Enjoy the ride. These are some of the most seasoned professionals I know, and they are a pleasure to work with.