For very many association members, ”engagement” will include experiences at the local level (frequently through a chapter/component) and at the national level, through the national association. There are obviously a LOT of issues wrapped up in the national/component relationship, and I’m not attempting to address them all here. But I want to pull out an important point, since it relates to culture.
When it comes to how associations manage the local/national split on engagement, we tend to divide and conquer. National does its thing, and the Chapters do their thing. I think in most cases, the chapters are separate legal entities anyway, so this makes some sense. And historically, you tended to go to your local chapter for the networking events and local study groups for the certification, but relied on National to provide the big annual meeting and the certification standards. Fine. But this divide/conquer approach led to the development of distinctly different cultures at National and the Chapters over time.