Earlier this year, I volunteered my time to help with my state chaper's public relations committee. It was a small group with two people and a chairman. The chairman told me there was a whole list of things he had planned for the spring as well as helping another committee prepare the upcoming fall conference downstate.
Apart from proofreading the Annual Report, nothing else came through. A week ago, he resigned saying he couldn't devote enough time to his duties. In the e-mail attachment, there was a list of uncompleted tasks.
This committee chairman also told me earlier this year that the Conference Committee was in dire of need of help. My mentor wanted to present at the conference as a speaker. I contacted that committee chair by e-mail and voicemail (BTW, I went to school with this guy). No returning phone calls. Nothing.
I contacted the Chapter President. I only did this because she is an independent consultant with my firm, and I have worked with her on a few projects. I explained to her the situation about both committees. The Conference Committee Chairman (classmate) finally e-mails me back saying they don't need any help right now and the speaker list is full, but the are hoping that my firm goes to the conference as an exhibitor (more money in their coffers).
Bottom line. this is just outright unprofessonal. I can't really say it's unethical (although two of the three above are AICP). No one is asking me to volunteer. I decided to do it because it was the right thing to do, I wanted to give back to my profession, help my mentor out, and indirectly promote my firm at the conference. If they don't want my help, it's their loss. I'm glad I'm moving out of state in a few years and don't plan on coming back soon to deal with this garbage.
Has anyone had similar stories with their chapters? Maybe you have had better experiences.