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Getting Started

The longest journey always starts with a single step, and the start of a statewide adult nightclub association begins with the interest of a single club owner who can share their vision with like-minded club owners and operators in their state. Below are some resources club owners can use to rally owners and operators in their state to form an association.

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GET THE FACTS
Make sure you are receiving the industry’s trade magazine, ED Club Bulletin, with the latest industry news, legal updates, and pending legislation reports. The magazine and the weekly e-Newsletter that comes with it are free for club owners and operators. Get on the mailing list for the bimonthly ED Club Bulletin at www.edpublications.com/subscribe.

Aniversery-logo9 ATTEND THE EXPO
Attend the industry’s only national convention and tradeshow. The 2017 Annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners EXPO will be held Aug. 27-30, 2017 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It is an excellent opportunity to meet in person with the executive directors and officers of successful state associations, as well as the board members of ACE National. For EXPO 2017 details go to www.theedexpo.com.

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CONTACT CLUB OWNERS IN YOUR STATE
Call or email the club owners in your state and gauge their level of interest in supporting an association. Start with club owners and operators who have attended the Annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners EXPO since their attendance indicates an interest in working together. Invite them to an informal meeting to explore the possibility of starting a statewide association. Contact us at ED Publications for a mailing list of clubs in your state, including each club’s mailing address, phone and email. Call or email Caroline Ashe at (727) 726-3592 caroline@EDpublications.com to request the mailing list.

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CONTACT A STATEWIDE ASSOCIATION
Check the list of existing statewide associations at http://www.edpublications.com/teamstate/associations-list and see if there is an association in a neighboring state. Ask if you can attend their next membership meeting to see their association in action. Invite the executive director of that association or one of its officers to attend a formation meeting in your state to answer questions about how their association operates and to motivate your state’s club owners.

spokesperson CONTACT AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Several existing statewide associations have professional Executive Directors who run their association for a fee. Call them for tips and suggestions on getting your statewide association started. You can even inquire to see if they would like to be the Executive Director of your statewide association.

Jill Chambers, (404) 229-1202, jillchambersCID@gmail.com
Greg Flaig, (614) 208-9113,
greg.flaig@yahoo.com

Larry Kaplan, (313) 815-3311, acemichigan@gmail.com
Jeff Levy, (954) 253-6511, jeff@ks-law.com
Angelina Spencer, (239) 248-1016,  aspencer@empowermentpr.com

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START A WEBSITE
Build a website for your statewide association, even if it is just in the planning stages. It gives club owners and operators in your state a central point to go to for information and a way to track the formation of the association. Most clubs have a graphics/internet person who builds their club website, so find the best IT person and have them build an association website for your state.

 

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FIND SPONSORS
Part of the success of ACE National has been sponsorship monies from the industry’s top vendors. Also, membership dues for participating clubs can often be a sticky area, particularly in the initial formation stage of a state association, so you can augment your association’s coffers by soliciting sponsorship monies from key vendors in your state who want to see your clubs stay open and continue thriving as much as you do. Think beer and liquor distributors, ATM companies, CC processing companies, limo companies, etc.

 

ACE logo redraw CONTACT ACE NATIONAL
Call or email ACE National Executive Director Angelina Spencer to advise her you are trying to launch a statewide association and ask for her assistance. She can provide additional resources and also suggest other key players in your state that might want to be involved. Also, join ACE National to take advantage of the benefits offered by the national association, such as pending legislation reports. Ms. Spencer can be reached at Office: (202) 220-3019, Direct: (239) 248-1016, aspencer@empowermentpr.com. For more details go to http://www.edpublications.com/teamstate/ace-national.

ACE provides the following check list of items to get started on an ACE state chapter:

Write a letter to fellow club owners in your state sharing your intention to form a state chapter (ACE National has a template and sample letter available to share). The letter should include:
1) Why you are forming a state chapter.
2) The date, time, and place of the first meeting; preferably a non-threatening hotel conference area in the middle of the state or major city.
3) The speakers you will host (ACE members, advisory attorneys, vendors, local lobbyist etc.).
4) A brief synopsis of what you hope to accomplish with a state chapter and/or issues and challenges faced (i.e. state legislation, Community Defense Act, local ordinances).
5) The names and signatures of any club owners who share your interest.
6) Include a copy of the ACE welcome packet with your letter.
7) Directions to your event.
8) An agenda or schedule of events;
9) An ACE Membership form which ACE will provide.

Send this letter approximately three weeks in advance of your meeting. Follow up one week prior to your meeting date with a phone call to the club owner. Pick a nice place to host your meeting (other than your club) to show your professionalism. You will need a registration table at your meeting to:
1) Take a business card from everyone who attends.
2) If they do not show a business card, make sure they write down contact information on a legal pad.
3) Name tags.
4) Copies of the Agenda.
5) Copies of the latest ACE Newsletter.
6) ACE brochures and ACE National membership forms.
7) COAST brochures.
8) Vendor information and a thank you if they help fund your initial meeting.
 
Do not close your meeting until you have voted to formally start a state chapter and have scheduled a second meeting date. Once you have agreed to form a state chapter, you will need to:
1) Set your annual dues.
2) Will the state chapter hire: lobbyist, advisory attorney, bookkeeper?
3) Website and/or newsletter?
4) Elect officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Trustees.
5) Hire a reputable attorney to write yours articles of organization, bylaws, and form your federal 501-C6 trade association status so you will be tax exempt & register with your secretary of state as a trade association. Annual nonprofit tax returns need to be filed.
6) Set up committees: Membership, Legal, Sponsorship, Political Education/Legislative etc.