ACI member Jonathan M. Kuell is
Executive Director of the Northern New
England Concrete Association, South
Portland, ME. He has over 25 years of
experience in the concrete industry
and holds an ACI certification as a
Field Testing Technician–Grade I. Kuell
received his BA in management from
Assumption College, Worcester, MA.
www.concreteinternational.com | Ci | NOVEMBER 2019 51
meeting in Massachusetts. On behalf of the New England
Chapter – ACI, thanks for all your help, John!
Step 2: Download and Read the “Guide to
Chapter Organization and Operation”
This is your playbook; I can’t tell you how many times
I’ve referenced it and how many resources within ACI I’ve
discovered through its use. From gathering signatures for your
organizing petition to seeking direction in creating bylaws and
even running meetings, it’s all here.
Step 3: Gather Signatures
It was September of 2018 when I initially sent out an
e-mail requesting signatures for our organizing petition. Conn
furnished us with a spreadsheet of existing ACI members in
New England, so we had a database of roughly 600 members
to target. I sent the e-mail out around 7:00 a.m., and by
11:00 a.m., we had gathered more than enough support to
submit our petition to form the chapter.
Step 4: Create the Bylaws
This is not as daunting as it sounds, as again, ACI has the
resources to help. Working off a set of model bylaws provided
by ACI, we were able to review and adjust their template to
suit our needs. Being that we cover five states, we also had the
bylaws reviewed by a local attorney to make sure we were
following all state laws where we would be active.
While meeting with the lawyer, we also started the steps to
incorporate the chapter. This may have been jumping the gun
a bit, as you need to submit the petition and proposed bylaws
to ACI for review before you are granted an affiliation with
ACI. Incorporating doesn’t have to be done immediately, but
without it, establishing bank accounts is difficult, and without
a bank account it’s difficult to solicit members and collect dues.
Step 5: Announce Your Existence and Solicit
There are many, many little steps along the way that I’ve
neglected to include here, but this should cover the big-picture
stuff you’ll need to tackle. If all goes well, it’s time to go
public! Reach out to all existing ACI members in your state/
country/region and let them know they now have a local
fellowship of ACI members to meet with, learn from, and
grow friendships with. Find your leaders and who wants to be
on the Board. We were extremely lucky to have Brett Holland
fully support our effort and raise his hand early in wanting to
provide leadership for our chapter. Many others expressed
interest in helping guide the chapter as well, so we were able
to vote for our inaugural Board of Directors at our first meeting.
Bonus Tip: Use StarChapter
What’s that, you say? What’s StarChapter, and shouldn’t
there be a space there? StarChapter (one word—in what
techies call Pascal case) is a turnkey association management
software (AMS) company that hosts many chapters’ websites,
plus a whole lot more. They helped us build our website on
their platform (I had already procured our domain name),
where people can sign up for membership, register for
upcoming events, read newsletters, pay dues, and do a host of
other things that I’m barely scratching the surface of. This is a
powerful tool to help you manage your chapter that even a
nontechie like myself can learn. The best part about this AMS
resource is that it’s free to all ACI chapters that are in good
standing. StarChapter and additional chapter resources can be
found on ACI’s website under Chapter Resources. You’ll be
pleasantly surprised at how many free benefits are offered.
Lastly: Attend a Convention
Despite being involved with ACI on the certification side
for many years, I had never had the opportunity to attend a
convention. Luckily, last March’s convention in Québec City
was within driving distance for me (I live in Maine), so we
were able to fit it into our basically nonexistent budget. ACI
graciously provides complimentary registration if you are
representing your chapter and are attending the chapter
roundtable. Holland and I attended this roundtable and were
able to introduce ourselves and our newly minted chapter to
the ACI world.
We were able to interact with chapters large and small from
around the globe and it was truly inspirational. We learned
about what makes a chapter successful and brought back ideas
that we are working to incorporate into our own chapter. The
members of the other chapters’ leadership were incredibly
welcoming and supportive; I look forward to collaborating
and commiserating with them in the future. In addition, you
are exposed to so many resources that ACI offers its chapters,
such as the Chapter Officer Leadership Training, which is
held annually at ACI’s world headquarters.
I was fortunate to be able to register and attend the
Leadership Training in addition to attending the convention.
And to give you a heads-up, it offered me the opportunity to
draw on the experience of others and benefit from great
takeaways; plus being able to connect faces with the names of
ACI staff was helpful for strengthening relationships between
the chapter and ACI world headquarters. It is truly eye-opening
to realize the scope of what you’ve just become part of!
Selected for reader interest by the editors.