During the NATA board meeting Jan. 26, the Board of Directors voted to approve a proposal to subdivide the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association (District Four) into two districts, District Four and District Eleven. This change will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.
District Four will now consist of NATA members from Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, while the new District Eleven will be made up by members from Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. GLATA will still cover both districts for grants, scholarships and the annual meeting, but member dues will now be accounted for in each respective district.
The proposal was structured from the NATA Bylaw (Article 5.2) that stated if the voting members of a district constitute 20 percent or more of the total voting members of NATA that district may submit a request to subdivide into two districts to the NATA Board of Directors. Prior to bringing the request to the NATA Board of Directors a full membership vote was taken within District Four with 77 percent of voters supporting this initiative.
According to 2017 data, the average district had one leader per 3,286 members. In stark contrast, District Four had one leader per 7,539 members – more than double that of the average district. The subdivision would allow for the new District Four to have one leader per 4,100 members, and District Eleven to have one leader per 3,439 members.
“First and foremost this split will bring equitable leadership opportunities to the members,” said District Four Director Craig A. Voll Jr., PhD, LAT, ATC. “This will help us engage more members in leadership opportunities within NATA. Prior to the subdivision, we were frequently put in situations that risked disenfranchising our members because we had to tell them ‘no’ to volunteer positions they were seeking due to the volume of applicants we would get. We really risked disenfranchising our younger members who make up over one-third of our membership because they had difficulty getting starting opportunities in leadership roles due to large number of applicants.”
This split in districts will not have any financial impact on individuals, and there will be no increase in dues to support the new district, Voll said.
“For the average NATA member they will see no difference in the membership benefits provided to them by NATA,” he said. “What we think will happen, however, is that this subdivision creates 27 new formal leadership opportunities within the association; 27 more leaders who will get the opportunity to hone their leadership skills and bring new ideas to current discussions; 27 more members each year who may catch the ‘service bug’ and continue to give back to the association by chairing a committee, serving on task force or work group or running for elected office at the state, district or national level.”
As more information about the new district becomes available, the NATA Now blog will update members. Be sure to follow NATA on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) for breaking news coverage that may develop.