YPO International Press Release.

Best of the Best in Forum: The Terry Plochman Award – Winner: Mark Bilton

This year’s winner is a Forum Officer who has made his mark on not one, but two YPO Chapters – and in the process, has strengthened his entire Region.  Mark Bilton joined the Auckland Chapter in 2001 and served as Forum Chair from 2003 – 2005, before transfering to YPO Sydney, where he served as Forum Chair from 2009 – 2010.  In this role, Mark tackled one of the most challenging situations Sydney Chapter had ever faced:  namely, how to minimize the impact of the rollback of Ages to Stages on the Chapter’s Members and Spouse Forums.

YPO Sydney had already decided to implement the Ages to Stages rollback by June 2010 when Mark assumed the role of Chapter Forum Officer.  In light of the fact that 25 members and their spouses would be leaving the YPO Chapter, Mark assessed the potential impact and acted quickly to ensure the smoothest possible transition for the Chapter’s Member and Spouse Forums.  His efforted have been lauded by his peers:  “Mark’s integrity, courage and focus have been the key driver for the strength of the Sydney Chapter Forums and the recent revitalization as a result of the rollback of Ages to Stages”, says Simon Smith, Sydney Chapter Forum Moderator.

What challenges were faced and overcome?

Working with Chapter leaders, Mark created an effective strategy for reconstructing the existing Forums to ensure that each had sufficient members to be viable Forums.  Some Forums were disbanded, others were combined to create new Forums.  During this sensitive process, Mark demonstrated great empathy and tireless commitment to working with individual Forums.  In a very short period of time, all of the Forums were reconstituted with sustainable membership numbers.

“Mark has been flexible in his approach, has been very open and transparent in his dealings with all of us in the chapter and has, above all, been incredibly authentic, in whatt can be and usually is a very emotional issue of Forum transition and reconstitution.” – David Crow, Sydney Chapter Forum Moderator.

What made this program stand out?

Mark understood that creating new Forums was merely the first step towards ensuring the long term health of the Chapter’s Forum program.  He retained the services of Jim Warner, a Certified Forum Facilitator, to lead Forum SuperCharge programs for each Member and Spouse Forum.