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Got Millennials? Embrace Their Association Leadership Potential

It’s a word sometimes said with disdain – millennial.

Millennials are those born anywhere from the early 80s to mid 90s who grew up with cellphones and internet, who understand the terms “screen time” and “YouTube celebrity,” and who may appear to be social media wizards. They’re often referred to as entitled and impatient and deemed incapable of carrying on an in-person conversation.


Well, not exactly. Even if there is some truth to the less-than-savory perception of millennials, there are plenty of positives to embrace. They’re tech savvy, often financially stable, innovative and willing to take risks, to name a few.

And they’re buying homes... or they plan to soon.

As people live longer and continue their career past the traditional retirement age, the modern workforce has become multigenerational. Naturally, so has the demographic of many communities.

This means a possible shift in your association’s leadership, as well. Before your board disregards the idea of having some younger people as members, consider the benefits a multigenerational association board could bring to your community:

  • A fresh perspective – Millennials may have a different way of looking at things that could bring some much-need changes to your board. This doesn’t have to be a “new broom sweeps clean” kind of situation – a different viewpoint won’t overhaul the leadership but it could possibly get your board out of  rut and put a new spin on things.
  • Digital marketing – As mentioned above, millennials tend to be well-versed in all things internet and, as such, are great resources for association boards. Think of all the free marketing efforts they could head up, whether it be through e-newsletters, well-crafted social media campaigns or an updated website.
  • Local focus – “Local” has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, and we have millennials to thank. Locally sourced produce, locally owned businesses, locally made products are all important to a generation that grew up against the rise of big-box stores. So, how can it help your association? There’s nothing as local as where you live. Millennials may become tireless advocates for supporting and growing your community.

Supporting your community is what matters most to us here at CAMS, as well. And we know it takes a united effort from a team of diverse members to make it happen.

So, before you scoff at the thought of those mid-20s to late-30s folks becoming board members, think about what he or she could bring to your meeting-room table. You’re likely to learn a thing or two from each other.

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