At the 2019 ROC Leadership Institute, a new committee was formed to serve as a peer-to-peer support network for Resident Owned Communities. Two years later, the ROC Association Outreach & Education Committee is well underway – in the past year alone, they have hosted sessions at the ROC Leadership Institute, have run sessions at regional trainings, and have provided first-hand knowledge about resident ownership to resident groups considering purchasing their own communities. In today’s episode, we’re joined by committee chairs Bobbie Grubb (Pammel Creek Estates, Wisconsin) and Carol Hodgkins (Wardtown Mobile Home Cooperative, Maine) to learn more about what the committee has been up to.
Episode: 14: Catching Up with the ROC Association’s Outreach & Education Committee
ROC USA, started in 2008, works with homeowners in resident-owned communities.
0:12 Episode introduction and ROC News
Hosts Paul Bradley and Mike Bullard share news with listeners about ROC USA’s upcoming election for a New England Director. Anyone interested in learning more about the position may do so here. Turning to today’s interview, Mike and Paul introduce their guests, Carol Hodgkins of Wardtown Mobile Home Cooperative, and Bobbi Grubb of Pammel Creek Estates. Carol and Bobbie are the two founding co-chairs of the ROC Association’s Outreach and Education Committee.
1:48 Introduction to the Guests
Carol introduces herself to listeners, sharing that she and her husband have lived in their Maine community for over twenty years – since before it became a co-op! Bobbi lives in Wisconsin, and has resided in the same community for about twelve years. She rented there before the community transitioned to a co-op in 2016.
4:04 Lessons from ROC Leadership Institute
Both Bobbi and Carol have experience with the ROC Leadership Institute, and they explain how attending the conference has been helpful to them. For Carol, the conference provides an opportunity to get out of her comfort zone, make friends, and network. Bobbi’s experience has included classes that have built up her confidence in her leadership, helped her with public speaking, and even helped her in her career with a local grocery store chain.
8:26 Transition to the formation of the Outreach and Education Committee
In 2019, ROC Association directors fostered an interest in developing some national committees, including the Outreach and Education Committee. Bobbi and Carol stepped up to be the first co-chairs of the new Outreach and Education Committee, and have been actively getting the committee up and running. They overview activities of the committee thus far, which include speaking engagements at RLI, calls with potential ROCs, navigating secretarial and technical support needs, and planning to participate in an upcoming NCF conference.
11:45 Common Questions
Paul and Mike wonder what questions commonly arise from people considering transitioning their communities to resident ownership. The most frequent questions center on finances and security. Through answering such questions, Carol and Bobbie can convey how liberating it is for residents to take over the ownership of their community.
13:04 Other Members of the Committee
Besides Carol and Bobbi, the committee as it currently stands includes three ROC directors and four or five regular ROC Association members. From ROC 101 training to small group meetings including a mix of ROC presidents and other residents, committee members have been actively involved in the life of the association – most of the time collaborating in joint efforts.
16:14 Reliance on Zoom
The most recent ROC Leadership Institute was, unsurprisingly, held on Zoom due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom worked well for small group engagement, but larger talks and peer-to-peer interactions were not as fluid. Fortunately, future conferences should be in person!
18:16 Committee Members Attending Membership Meetings
One function of the Outreach and Education Committee is to be available to speak at ROC membership meetings. You can reach out about a visit to your community meeting here.
19:23 Take a Look to the Future
In the immediate future, Bobbi and Carol want to get the word out about the benefits of being ROCs, correct false ideas, and expand the reach of the ROC Association. Looking even further down the line, they can see the possibility of members training members, and maybe even of presidential candidates wanting to address the ROC Association!
23:43 Concluding Thoughts
To conclude the interview, Mike and Paul ask Bobbi and Carol to share what principles or core beliefs undergird their leadership. Carol explains her commitment to treating all people on her committee and ROC board as she wants to be treated. Bobbi urges being unafraid to ask questions. Finally, Mike and Paul tell listeners that the Outreach and Education Committee is looking for new members, and they can explore joining the committee by clicking the link for new members at the bottom of this page.
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