Our new website went live on Sept 29, and it’s been a busy month of testing, debugging, and cleaning up the content transferred from the old site.
Major shout-out to our web developer, Sean from Chromaside Graphics, who has put in countless hours, evenings and weekends, making this fully customized site work for our needs! We now have a properly-integrated website, store, and membership management system that allows us to fully control access to member-exclusive content and merchandise, as well as eliminate the need for you to have separate store and membership logins.
We’ve managed to import all the member accounts from the old system, but passwords could not be transferred, which means everyone will need to use the “Forgot Password” link the first time they log into the new system. If you’re not receiving the password reset link, please email email@example.com, and we’ll reset it manually for you. In some rare cases, you may find the reset link doesn’t work or your account is marked “inactive”; let us know, and we’ll get you squared away.
One of the challenges we’ve run into is that some mailing addresses didn’t transfer over either, so we really need everyone to log in and check their account to make sure their contact info is all there and correct. This is especially important as our 2023 calendar is nearly ready to send out to all active paid members, but we can only send it to people for whom we have addresses! (This is also an important reminder to check your status and renew if necessary!)
Your membership card is revamped now as well – it’s no longer a PDF and will display differently in a desktop browser vs. mobile, but all the necessary information is there (including the Lordco account number!). You can still print it out or screenshot it for easy access, or just create a bookmark to link directly to it (you need to be logged into your account to see it, of course).
We know a lot of you are frustrated with the slow delivery of membership packages. Pete has been spending long hours going back through your emails to the beginning of last December to make sure that everyone who’s missing a package, gets one. This has delayed some of the more recent mailings, but he IS now getting caught up on current accounts.
The move to the new membership system has further delayed things as we get the exports tuned to our needs, but once that’s sorted, things can get back on a regular schedule. Soon we’ll have the backlog cleared up and be back on a monthly mailing schedule… we just need your patience while we get through it.
And once again, please please please log into your account and ensure your mailing address is up-to-date, so your membership package gets to where it belongs, and if you have any questions or problems with your account, don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
A lot of people may be trying to log in at the same time over the next couple of days, which will affect site performance. If you find the site unresponsive, or if you get an error message, please try again a bit later.
There’s a known problem with Microsoft email services (@hotmail.com, @live.ca, @outlook.com addresses) rejecting automated or bulk emails. If you have one of these addresses and you’re not receiving the password reset email, we may need to process it manually – again, please email email@example.com, and we’ll look into it.
A few people have been getting renewal notices despite having recently renewed: it appears they were the ones who renewed on the old system at the end of September, probably in the short window between the final export of data from the old system, and the new system coming online, which means the imported data still shows their previous expiry date. If this is you, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it fixed. If possible, include a screenshot of your payment receipt (not that we don’t believe you, it just makes it a lot quicker and easier if we don’t have to go digging for it).
What benefits the Okanagan? Let’s face it, it is a fat cat group for the coast.
It has been years of screwups with membership pkg being sent out. Really if you cannot solve this issue, you need some housecleaning.
Most of the membership is in the Lower Mainland area, yes, mainly because that’s where most of the population is.
Over the past few years though, we’ve expanded to have a presence throughout the province, including Boulder Lake and Windfall Creek rec sites in the Peace, Mt. Lavina Lookout in the Kootenays, Lac du Bois ORV park in Kamloops, Cornwall Lookout in the Thompson-Nicola, and portions of the Alexander Mackenzie Trail in the Cariboo. We have several rec sites on Vancouver Island that we’ve been offered by RSTBC to take over maintenance, but we need to get local members who can put in the time and labour on a semi-regular basis.
Representation on the Board of Directors has also expanded, with our VP residing in Pritchard, Director of Regions and Director at Large/TreadLightly trainer both in Enderby, and our Secretary/Historian in Prince George.
We have some very active regional officers in the Okanagan area, including one in Vernon who has been pushing hard with RSTBC to get us into collaborative agreements with other user groups for the maintenance of Mara, Sugar, and/or Eureka fire lookouts.
All of these are made possible by the efforts of local volunteers because let’s face it, the BOD is only nine people, and despite being scattered about BC, we can’t know everything that goes on in every corner of the province; that’s where local members come in with their knowledge of their area, getting involved.
As far as membership: yes, it became something of a mess in the past couple of years. We grew so fast, it was hard for the membership director at the time to keep up with mailing things out (at one point she was handling an average of 300 per month). We moved that labour to a mailing house, but our process for exporting a mailing list needed some tweaking that didn’t quite work properly with the system we were on. In particular, with the old system, if a member didn’t select their home or work mailing address as a default, the system would spit out a blank address for the list going to the mailing house. That alone caused a good number of people to not receive their packages, unless the director spent a bunch of her time looking up those members in the system and forcing the default.
Now we have a new membership director who, as noted, has spent the past several weeks going back through literally hundreds of emails, looking for everyone who was missing a package (assuming they ever emailed about it; many didn’t), and working to make sure everybody gets one. Those have started going out and will continue to get caught up over the next couple of months.
We’ve also moved to a new website/membership/e-store system that gets around a lot of the limitations of the old system… but because of the export issues with that, some accounts in the new system are missing mailing addresses. So that’s the basis of this post: members need to ensure their mailing address is correct and up-to-date if they want to receive their packages, 2023 calendar, and Backroader magazine (whenever the next edition is ready).
So yes, the housecleaning is well underway… but keep in mind, we’re still all volunteers, doing this for free, trying to fit it into our regular lives – family, friends, work, vacation… sick days too.
I’m more than willing to help with mail outs as I am on short term disability and am at home everyday right now. Just need a way to get the stuff to me to mail out.
That’s very much appreciated, Kristin! The last couple of years though, we’ve farmed out the work to a mailing house, so we just get a year’s worth of stickers and brochures to them and then send them a list once a month of where to mail them – we leave all the manual labour to the professionals. Most the work at this point has just been Pete trying to determine who was still missing theirs, whose emails went unanswered, and get those caught up, as well as getting the current packages out (nearly) on-time. It’s been a LOT of work in front of the screen.
Maybe you could volunteer so time to assist and relieve some stress from these volunteers!!