Setting up a Workplace Alumni Association: The Cadbury Nigeria Alumni Association experience

July 18, 2019
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First, I would like to thank the Chairman, Chief Femi Dada and other members of the Executive Committee of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Alumni Association for the kind invitation extended to me to speak at this gathering.  

I congratulate all members of the CIBN Alumni Association on the coming together of former staff of the CIBN. It is indeed auspicious. 

It is an honour to have been asked to share experience on setting up the Cadbury Nigeria Alumni Association. 

The journey started about 3 years as a little mustard seed which is growing to be a tree, perhaps bigger than initially envisaged.

A few ex-Staff had the thought that wouldn’t it be nice to reconnect and relive the days working in Cadbury Nigeria? In this age of decay in civic norms, wouldn’t it be useful to provide a platform to share the values and principles whilst working at the Company? 

One of us then initiated the idea of a WhatsApp group. Once set up, we went on a mission possible of finding as many former Staff members to join the group, membership being open to anyone who worked in Cadbury Nigeria at any point in time regardless of level or position. It was nostalgic as people who hadn’t seen or heard of each other for decades reconnected. 

As the number of people increased, discussions led to formalizing the group. A board of five Trustees was appointed, and the Association formally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. 

A constitution to guide the operations of the Association was drafted and approved. 

Subsequently, an Executive Committee was elected comprising the President, Vice President, Secretary, Social/Publicity Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and ex-officio officers.  Dr Christopher Kolade was appointed as Grand Patron, and the incumbent Managing Director of Cadbury Nigeria as Patron. 

Annual dues were agreed to support the running of the Association. 

We have organized meet and greet events, and instituted an annual public lecture named after Dr. Kolade, the first of which held in September 2017. 

We support members and their families in good and not-so-good times.

We participate in Cadbury Nigeria functions to which the Association is invited to by the Company. We are careful not to position the Alumni Association as business advisors to current management, but as people with a shared experience of working in the same company. 

A challenge has been to get some former staff involved in the activities of the Association because they still hold grudges from the past. Thankfully, we are in a better place today, than when we started. 

Raising funds understandably is an aspect which would require your attention. 

Sustaining communication would be critical. The WhatsApp group is currently our main channel of general communication. 

For the future, our focus is on strengthening the bonds amongst members, supporting each other in various ways, leveraging business networks and opportunities, and being a force for good in our society. 

I would like to again congratulate the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria on starting this noble journey and wish you the very best. The more professionals like you band together, the better it would be for our dear nation, Nigeria. 

Thank you for your kind attention. 

Author – Lampe Omoyele 

Managing Director, 141 worldwide Limited. 

President, Cadbury Nigeria Alumni Association. 

18th October 2018. 

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