NSITSP – Year One Was Amazing

Report card on where we've been with the National Society of IT Service Providers in year one.

Believe it or not, July represents the first official birthday for the NSITSP! After a few organizational meetings, a small group started a steering committee of sorts and started down the road to incorporation as a not-for-profit 501(c)6 corporation.

Two important things stand out to me about the July 4th weekend of 2021. First, as I headed out of town, I sent Kara a note to please pop up a real simple web site for the new organization. She still reminds me of how much work that turned out to be. The “real simple” web site grew within a month to include a sales module, a membership module, forums, various levels of access, integration into ecommerce tools, and more. Oooops.

The second significant thing that weekend was the Kaseya attack that affected operations of many MSPs and their customers all over the world. That attack brought into clear focus the importance of having our industry repesented when this kind of news hits the fan.

What is an MSP? What are these tools? Why would anyone use these tools? Why would you outsource your IT? How do we know that IT companies are honest, well-managed, and responsible? And on and on.

Let me offer a bit of a report card on where we’ve been with the National Society of IT Service Providers. The original steering group established a small Board of Directors who then filled additional vacancies until the desired number of seven board seats were filled. They appointed me as Executive Director. The Board sets general policies and I manage the day-to-day operations. The Board adopted a set of By-Laws for the Corporation and then created the Formation Committee (since renamed the Governance Committee).

The Governance Committee was largely responsible for setting up the framework for our organization, marshalling the Committee Charters, and defining the election process. They recommended to the Board the creation of the other committees. Going forward, they still have important work to do defining our organization as we move from “setting up” to running ongoing programs.

The Finance Committee is charged with creating our budget and organizing the financial side of what it takes for this organization to reach its goals. To date, they have defined draft budgets for 2022 and 2023. They have also created the Vendor Partner Program, which was a major undertaking. They have begun discussions of the “real” 2023 budget, and that work will continue through the year.

The Legislative Committee has defined a series of educational programs and begun work on created training videos. Programs include education for members on the legislative process and lobbying; for legislative staff on who we are and the needs of our industry; for small businesses on the ITSP industry and topics important to them; and for the media on information that will allow them to report more accurately on who we are and what we do. This committee has been very active and their work is almost overwhelming. The analogy of an ant eating an elephant fits their mission well.

The Marketing Committee has divvied up the major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram), set up our presence there, and begun promoting our activities and public messaging. They are in the middle of a contest to draw attention to the organization and engage both existing and new members. Going forward into the elections and into 2023, they will have a membership drive and generally continue to help us make our presence felt.

The Board of Directors has taken us from an idea to a fully functioning organization. This includes everything from the By-Laws to statements of Mission, Vision, and Values. They have spear-headed all the major actions of the organization, assigning tasks to committees and then giving feedback as needed. This Summer, they will complete the organization Code of Ethics and then shepherd us through elections and the transition to an organization fully-elected by the membership. Of course, they will continue to be central to all discussions of budget, membership, legislative, and everything we do.

If you look at this a bit like a report card, our committees are doing a great job. Everyone is a volunteer. Committee members over the last year have dealt with Covid as well as all the normal trials and tribulations of people and business owners everywhere. They have given their time and talent to this organization because they believe in our mission. All of them are running businesses, balancing their personal lives, and have taken time to help make the NSITSP successful.

All of these committees started out with weekly meetings and only moved to monthly or bi-weekly meetings in the last few months. That represents hundreds of hours of volunteer time. And since the year is only half over, there are hundreds of hours of volunteer time ahead. I am overwhelmed with the energy and enthusiasm that have been put into this organization. And I’m honored to work with such a great group of people.

Next Up: Elections!

July will be a month of education and preparation for our first all-member elections. We think you will be very pleased with the web site Kara has built to manage the elections. It is quite significant that every seat on every board and committee is up for election. For each body (Board or Committee), four seats will be elected to two-year terms. The remainder will be elected to one-year terms. After that, about half of each body will be up for election each Fall and everyone will serve two-year terms.

I won’t go into the details now. But I will next week! So stay tuned.

The bottom line is that we have come a long ways and set up a great organization. Most of the participants have never been involved in the “start-up” phase of a nation-wide membership association before. That includes me. We are grateful to have great deal of talent and energy.

Thank you to everyone who offered your support. I look forward to a very busy second half of 2022 and an extremely successful 2023!

  • Karlp
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