Get to Know the Membership Committee
One of the red-letter days on our calendar this month is the Annual Member Cocktail Party, at which established NYWIFT members reconnect with each other and mingle with those who have recently joined. The event, which is organized by NYWIFT's Membership Committee, also offers everyone the opportunity to find out about joining one of this organization's many committees — participation that is certain to enrich their NYWIFT membership experience.

Recently, NYWIFT Board of Directors Vice President of Special Events Janet Stilson, asked Anna Gerb, Vice President of Membership, to describe what the Membership Committee is all about. In addition to her energetic service on the NYWIFT Board, Gerb is Head of Production for Washington Square Films, where her many responsibilities include oversight of commercial, film, television and documentary productions.

Exactly what do members of the Membership Committee do?
Our goal is to keep NYWIFT strong and diverse. For example, we discuss ways to increase our membership by holding events for niche groups of potential new members and by encouraging affinity groups, where women with common interests or intersecting careers can meet and network. We also seek out new benefits for members, and find ways to spread the word about them. We plan to poll the membership on a regular basis and discuss what members tell us is working and what can be improved. We also support the Special Events and Programming Committees by encouraging all members to join in on the fun.

What's the most rewarding aspect of working with this committee for you?

It’s rewarding to bring women in our industry together and show those who aren't yet in NYWIFT that there is this really amazing, strong, supportive community for them.

The membership is currently around 2,000 strong, and it’s made up of the smartest, most energetic and talented women I know. I want our members to be inspired, to enhance their careers, make a difference, hone skills, expand their spheres of influence, preserve their cultural legacy, mentor the next generation, save money, keep informed and stay in the job market! Being part of NYWIFT helps in all these areas.

What kind of people have joined your committee?

The women on the committee come from all areas of the business. They’re filmmakers, financial experts, fundraising executives. We love diversity. Mostly they’re people who want to give back, and being on my committee allows them to do that.

Do you need certain skills to be useful as a committee member?
Committee members need to be accountable for tasks they take on, contribute ideas at the meetings. It’s easy stuff.

On a monthly basis, how much time does it take to participate?

Very little. There’s some brainstorming, some e-mailing around during months when certain initiatives take place. There’s some research at times. Mostly it involves attending and contributing ideas at the meeting and following through on assigned tasks.

If you’re interested in joining the membership committee, please contact Anna at annagerb@gmail.com, or membership coordinator Josefa Jaime at membership@nywift.org.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts