The purpose of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to ensure that everyone is aware of the requirements and procedures needed to ensure that a successful reunion is executed and to understand the roles & responsibility of each person. At the end of the day weekend all parties involved should walk away with a high level of satisfaction knowing the Lovetrain will continue to grow stronger as the years get longer.
Tucker-Rhodes Next Level Leadership Team:
Founder: Dazzie Rhodes and Sam Rashada Sr.
Director - TyKiah Wright
Director of Public Relations - Na’im Rashada
Finance Manager – Ahmad Rashada
Administration/ Standard Operating Procedures - Roslyn Parks
Standard Operating Procedures/ Activities – Karla McKnight
Activities/ Scholarship Committee – Terrell Leslie
Fundraising Coordinator/ Activities - Yvette Dimmy
Historian/ Activities/ Scholarship Committee - Wanda Singletary
Senior Artist/ Graphic Designer – Dianne Rashada
Artist/Graphic Designer – Samuel Rashada Jr. and Rakeshia Rhodes
Columbus Leadership & Senior Leaders:
Wendell Tucker and Annette Tucker
Wanda Singletary and Rodney Rhodes
Once you commit to being a host you will join and report to the leadership team for the upcoming reunion year.
Here are a few reasons why the SOP is necessary for success:
• To ensure compliance standards are met
• To ensure the procedure has no adverse impact on the family
• To ensure a fun loving time during the event
• To ensure everything goes according to schedule
• To prevent financial misconduct
• To be used as training document and roadmap
SO YOU WANT TO HOST A REUNION?
Before taking on this big responsibility ask yourself are you ready to commit to long days and restless nights to ensure the reunion is a success. (If you are not a sociable person this will make you or break you). A lot of people look at the final results and say “Oh I can do that, it is easy, All you have to do is.…” But when left with the responsibility of hosting 150+ family members they realize that it is not that simple. This document has been put in place as a guideline to help ensure your journey is a smooth one.
The TR reunion is always held during the second weekend of August every year. Sometimes there are days added to the beginning of the weekend depending on whatever the host have planned. During each reunion there will be a vote on where the reunion will be held next and who will host it. After the decision is made, THE WORK BEGINS 😄.
YES, LET'S DO IT!!
FORM A LOCAL PLANNING TEAM:
Your team should be made up of people whom you not only love but like to work with as well. They should have a variety of strengths and abilities including:
Event planning - can see the big picture but also understand the details when planning events
Detailed oriented - make sure that every "I" is dotted and every "T" is crossed
Creative - Think of creative ways and new ways to engage family in activities
Good communication and follow through skills - keeping the family informed of progress and following through to ensure activities and locations are secured
Positive attitude/No drama - always have a loving and can-do spirit
Resourceful - knows how to find bargains helping the family to save money on activities
Management and Execution - can manage the local team and also execute the weekend of the reunion
Local committee meetings should be held periodically to follow up, track progress, and make sure everyone is performing their tasks. You need to mark dates in a calendar, send out reminders and ensure that everyone is meeting their responsibilities and cut off dates. As the host YOU must keep your committee motivated!!
THE ROLE OF THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
The Leadership Team is here to support the host and local committee by providing final approval on the hotel and activities, receiving and executing all payments, collecting family dues, managing fundraisers, family communication and website maintenance. As a host, you will join the leadership team for that current reunion year. The leadership team meets monthly via conference call and the host is expected to attend and provide reunion planning updates per the timeline presented below.
Family Reunion Dues
As you know, we are responsible for family dues. It is important to keep in mind that the family dues are paid once every year. Family members 18yrs and older who are currently working are responsible for paying dues. It is important to note that if a family member is not attending the reunion, they are still required to pay their family dues. The Tucker-Rhodes LoveTrain must keep moving whether you are on board or not.
Annual dues shall be submitted to the national account for the purpose of supporting family reunion expenses, governance operating expenses, scholarship funds and other activities as deemed reasonable with meaningful impact to the family.
Family Website - www.tuckerrhodesforever.com
Our family has gone digital! The tuckerrhodesforever.com features a lot of great information about the family. It is the central location to get updated reunion information and pay dues. It is a simple, convenient and secure way to get relatives to register and buy tickets online. It also enhances communication amongst relatives, before and after the reunion, by creating a private social network. As host, it's important to ensure that the most current reunion information is posted on the site. You will work with Ahmad Rashada to keep the site updated.
Remember TIMELINE is important! The more organized you are, the more relaxed you will feel and the more successful the reunion will be.
18 - 12 months before (prior to the reunion where you throw in your towel to host the next year):
You have thought about it and are serious about hosting a reunion
Check the website and review where we have been, you may want to pick a place we've been before or a new location:
Begin collecting ideas for family activities
Begin putting together a strong presentation that will sell the family on your idea
Think about who will be on your local team
12 months before: AT THE REUNION
Be prepared to make a verbal presentation during the cookout:
Having a few brochures to pass around could help your presentation but not necessary
Share what makes that city attractive and why the Lovetrain needs to stop there
Be prepared to answer questions
Make sure that the activities appeal to adult family members as well as children
Be a good sport! If there are several options the family will vote for where they want to go. If your location is not chosen but had a lot of interest make sure to pick up again next year
If your location is chosen GET READY! GET READY! GET READY!
12 months: POST REUNION
You will join the Leadership Team as the Reunion Host.
You will be invited to the leadership conference call to wrap up reunion details and discuss next year planning
12 - 9 months: POST REUNION
During the first four months the hotel and cookout location should be confirmed
Identify at least three hotel options. Things to consider:
the family has a history with Marriott brand hotels and
we typically need a block of 30 to 40 rooms with banquet hall room accommodations
Present the hotel options to the leadership team for a formal discussion
After pricing and accommodation details are confirmed the leadership team will vote on the best option for the family
Hotel should be confirmed by the beginning of December
Identify and present Park locations for family cookout to leadership team. Things to consider:
We typically need a shelter area that holds between 150 to 250 people
An area that has multiple activities to engage and is preferable
A park that has a basketball court is preferable but not necessary
Identify the major activities i.e. amusement park, city tours, casinos, boat rides
8 - 6 months
January we will send out the first save the date postcard
January we will launch the hotel reservation process
Launch contest to pay dues - if applicable
Identify caterer options for cookout. Present options to leadership team. Confirm caterer.
Things to consider - we typically pay $15 per person
The cookout is the event where everyone typically attends so the initial quote can be for 125 to be safe
Confirm cost and other details regarding family activities
Update website with link for hotel registration and details of reunion activities
Discuss fundraising options for scholarships
5 - 3 months
Confirm pricing for activities and add ability to pay online
Send out reminder broadcast emails
Continue to spread the word, promote the reunion and encourage family to pay for events
Launch scholarships application process with deadline May 30
Schedule and host JOINT FAMILY MEETING in May (the reunion host attending the meeting is preferred)
Columbus and Springfield alternate hosting
Announce fundraising options at Joint Meeting
2 - 1 months
• Cut-off for final ticket sales and registration
• Send out broadcast e-mail reminders and updates
• Finalize list of expected attendees
• Check in with committees to finalize plans
• Assemble slide show or video (if applicable)
• Inform relatives of itinerary, final updates by broadcast email
Final week before:
• Prepare final guest lists
• Give final meal count to caterer
• Confirm activity reservations
• Prepare detailed schedule of the big weekend
AT THE REUNION
Arrive early to ensure the host hotel is properly set up and ready to receive the family. Thank them for coming and love on them all weekend
Have a registration team in place for Thursday's Get Acquainted night
Pass out T-shirts and other family paraphernalia
The host and local team should be accessible throughout the weekend for family questions or concerns
Clearly communicate Reunion itinerary, transportation options and expected gathering times
Saturday ensure the caterer for the cookout will arrive to set up timely, Family committee arrives early to set up any activities or decorations
Sunday ensure that the room is set up for Sunday service
Work with Leadership Team Finance Manager to ensure all bills are closed out for the weekend
Then be ready to pass the baton to the next host