It is an extreme honor be represent the North Carolina State Elks Association Inc. as State President for 2017-18. I want to thank all of those who have put their faith and confidence in me to give me this opportunity.
I am very passionate about the wonderful services we as Elks provide to our communities with our various local programs. It is only with an organization like ours that we are able to identify the needs in our specific communities and have the backing and trust of our Grand Lodge to provide resources to us through our Community Investments Program to fill these unique local needs.
Our local programs, combined with our national and state projects to include youth, veterans and active service military personnel, fill many needs our local, state and federal government simply cannot fill. Without us Elks, these needs would go unfilled. We cannot solve all the problems but without us there would be many needs left unfilled.
We are a diversified organization in the areas of need that we fill. As such, we have no single iconic program that people can point to and say that is what Elks do. We do very well with our veterans and youth programs, many of which are nationally know and recognized, but most of what we do directly supports our local communities. I personally feel strongly in my heart that this local community investment is what makes us the greatest organization in American and is why I am truly proud to be an Elk.
We have historically been hesitant to brag about or publicize our great deeds of charity and assistance we provide. We need to find partners in our local media outlets that will learn what we do and report these activities so those outside of Elkdom will know and appreciate what we are about.
My theme this year is “Changing Minds – One at a Time”. Not only do we need to have our wonderful deeds broadcast widely but we need to talk individually to people so they better understand what Elks do. Educate the person(s) in your local media and once they learn what we are about they will willingly publicize our works. Talk to friends, neighbors and family members about what we do. Change one mind and they will change many more in return.
Again, it is an honor and a privilege to work with the NCSEA, our state committees, local lodges and individual members, this coming year. I invite any ideas you feel may assist us in making us a stronger organization in our local communities.
Michael B. Bryant
President NCSEA 2017/18