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Sierra Club Florida
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Sierra Club Florida

The Group Advisory Council Wants to Help

The Group Council hosts monthly conference calls for Group Chairs and leaders.

The calls cover organization questions and help leaders share information. These conference calls are ususally the last week of the month.
If you have a topic you want covered on the next call (Treasurer job, fundraising, outings, newsletters, etc) please email John Swingle,

The Group Advisory Council

The formation of a Group Advisory Council was required by the Sierra Club Board of Directors to help build coordination with SC Groups in Florida. But the work and goals of the Council have been given that special Florida flavor, to better fit with the strong Group leadership and independence of the Florida Groups.

The 2013 Chair of the Council is John Swingle.
Members are: Linda Jones (Bradenton), Susan Kairys-Courech (Chuluota), Janet Stanko (Jacksonville) and Tanya Tweeton (Broward).
The Technical Assistants are: Betsy Grass (Miami) and Ron Haines (Loxahatchee).

The Group Advisory Council has been formed as a permanent committee of Sierra Club Florida tasked with: advising the Executive Committee on Group leadership issues and resource needs, with advising Group leaders on Executive Committee work and resouce needs, with assisting Groups with skill and leadership issues, and involving Group leaders in developing a strong, statewide organizational structure. Council members are expected to work as a team, sharing information and experience and communicating with the Executive Committee.

Group Chair/Leader Orientation

The Group Advisory Council and the Executive Committee of Sierra Club Florida will hold a meeting in the spring of each year so that Group Chairs and Leaders can get an update on chapter work, get to know the Council and the Executive Committee, and to help the new Chairs understand their new role.

We also have some userful materials for you.

The Group Advisory Council is looking for representatives from all regions of the state, who have experience with the Sierra Club, and who have some time to give to help improve the club in Florida.If you're willing to take an hour or so a month to share your leadership skills and insight, the Sierra Florida Group Advisory Committee (GAC) wants to hear from you.

The Council is planning conference calls, picnics and other activities to help Florida groups strengthen, grow, and connect with each other. We need those of you that "have been there, done that", so that we can help new volunteers with how-to questions and ideas. Most of our work is done via email or telephone. Please consider donating some of your time and valuable experience. Sharing your knowledge will help others and make you feel good too!

The Council also meets with the Executive Committee, to advise them on Group issues, and needs and requests.

Please send inquiries to John Swingle, We would love to have people from different Groups across the state join us. There is only minimal travel required, as we meet on conference calls each month, and four times a year at a face-to-face meeting.

Regional Meetings

Sierra Club Florida Group Advisory Council would like to invite Group leaders to help organize and attend Regional Meeings. We take this time for Group members and ExComs to get to know each other, and talk about outings, conservation issues, fund raising ideas, and recruiting new members and leaders.
Leaders from the Miami, Broward and Loxahatchee Groups had a wonderful time in May 2011 at Topeekeegee Yougnee (TY) Park. They exchanged ideas and agreed to meet again to tackle mutual problems.

Regional meetings give Groups a chance to brainstorm on topics and figure out how to help each other. Send an email to John Swingle if you would like to help organize a meeting in your area. Funding for these meetings is provided by the Sierra Club Florida.

Group Conference Calls

The Group Advisory Council has started a series of conference calls on the administrative issues that Groups around the state are facing. Topics have included: Being Group Treasurer, Starting your e-newsletters, and boosting outings. We are planning calls on fundraising, leadership skills, and other topics for 2012, including re-visiting moving to online newsletters. Response to these calls has been good and we keep the participant list small to promote good communication. If you missed any of the calls, and would like to see the notes from them, you can email Ron Haines (, and he will send you a copy. If you have ideas for topics of future calls, or you want information about joining the Group Council, please contact John Swingle (

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