County Magazine | February 13, 2023
Meet Membership Coordinator Ron Morelli
Membership Coordinator Ron Morelli maintains TAC's membership database, which contains more than 75,000 records and a wealth of data about counties, county officials and staff members. He describes his job as part detective, part editor and part welcome wagon.
Throughout the year, Morelli makes thousands of changes, including adding new records, purging old data and cleaning up error-ridden entries. But what makes him so valuable in his role is that he never loses focus on the people behind the data.
"Our customer service is about relationships," he said. "How do we build or maintain relationships when we don’t know how to reach them?"
In December, hundreds of newly elected and appointed county officials attended TAC's Preparing to Take Office workshops. These regional events cover essential legal topics every new official needs to know, and attendees leave with new contacts and a new-to-office kit of essential resources. Their attendance at the workshops is a triumph, as it sets them up for a successful transition to county office, and it helps TAC establish a good relationship with new officials.
Morelli’s detective work is critical to the success of the initiative because after the general election, it's a race to acquire contact information for incoming officials to invite them to a workshop.
In fact, Morelli's support for the initiative began months in advance with the primary elections in May. He led a team of volunteers to collect county election returns for the primary and general elections and made them available via the County Elections Database.
Knowing how many races will be contested helps TAC plan for the training and the number of new-to-office resource kits that may be needed. It also means TAC staff members can begin to make new connections and build relationships with presumptive elected officials who will be running unopposed. "One of TAC’s strategic initiatives is relationship building," said Director of Education and Member Services Haley Click, “including how to better support new officials. Ron’s creativity and reliability have been invaluable as we explore new programs and process improvements.”
"Our customer service is about relationships. How do we build or maintain relationships when we don’t know how to reach them?"
— Ron Morelli, Membership Coordinator
Since Morelli joined TAC in 2021, he has made other improvements, too, such as implementing a system to help TAC identify newly appointed officials throughout the year much more quickly. He proactively reaches out to each one to welcome him or her to county office and to share contacts and resources from TAC that will help them succeed. Often, the first contact an appointed official has with TAC is Morelli. He sends a weekly report to the rest of TAC about the newly appointed officials so that every TAC employee is prepared to offer support within their respective roles.
He said, "We’re a membership-based organization, so we need to be up to date on changes and who is coming in so relationship building can begin."