What a winter! In Kansas the saying goes: “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 10 minutes and it will change.” However, this year the frigid cold and unusually high amounts of snowfall have outstayed their welcome (at least in my opinion)! I’m happy to report that with the warmer temperatures this past weekend – the snow has disappeared and I hope milder days are here to stay! I know that many of you throughout the region are still experiencing lots of snow and cold – so I’ll send “warm thoughts” your way!
Turning to RMASFAA business, I wanted to share some “tidbits” as to what’s been happening as the board and committees have been diligently working over these past few months!
• The voting members of the Board of Directors have undertaken several electronic votes in the past few months which included approving the 2013-2014 RMASFAA budget (that was created at our transitional meeting in October) plus a couple of variances to that budget. In addition we approved the contract for the 2015 RMASFAA annual conference which will be hosted by Colorado and CAFAA.
• The Membership Committee has been busy as the membership drive for the current year is just winding up. If you have not already done so, please renew your membership today. In order to maintain voting privileges membership dues were to be paid by February 15, 2014.
• The Association Governance Committee updated the By-Laws and the Policy & Procedures Manual to incorporate the various by-law changes that were voted on and approved by the membership on October 22, 2013 at the annual business meeting. The by-laws changes that were approved include:
o Format and content changes to by-laws document for clarity and consistency
o Article IV / Membership: Addition of a new individual membership category
o Article V / Board of Directors: Added language that defines protocol to follow in the
event that a state president is not a member of RMASFAA
o Article VII / Committees: Removed committee details out of the by-laws and placed
within the policy and procedures manual
o Article XI / Finances: Change allows for RMASFAA to have a “financial review” rather
than an annual audit
• “Save the Date” for June 8 -13, 2014 and join us in beautiful Golden, CO at the Colorado School of Mines for the 2014 RMASFAA Summer Institute. The SI Committee has been hard at work to make this year’s event another fantastic training opportunity for both new and seasoned financial aid professionals. This year’s theme is “Financial Aid Avengers – Not All Superheros Wear Capes”. Watch the RMASFAA website for registration information in early March.
• The Association News Committee is continually providing timely information via the RMASFAA Blog with regard to our association’s activities as well as interesting articles on members (past and present) in our association. Please stay tuned in to the blog as it and the RMASFAA website are your best sources for information.
• The Diversity and Awareness Committee (DMCI) is currently soliciting applications for a scholarship to assist RMASFAA members with costs to attend either the 2014 Summer Institute in June or the annual conference in October. The application can be found on the RMASFAA website and the deadline to submit applications is April 4, 2014.
• In January I attended a meeting with NASFAA staff and the six regional presidents in Washington, D.C. This was a first-ever meeting of its kind and one that all of the regional presidents found very valuable. The meeting provided us a format to discuss similar challenges / opportunities and potential ways that NASFAA might be able to partner with us in some of those areas. We six regional presidents have also been holding monthly conference calls since last November to stay in touch with one another and to share ideas.
L to R: Frank Green (WASFAA), Sara Beth Holman (MASFAA), Deb Byers (RMASFAA), Zita Barree (SASFAA), Craig Munier (NASFAA Chair), Eileen O’Leary (NASFAA Chair-Elect), Brian Lemma (EASFAA), Justin Draeger (NASFAA President) and Andrew Hammontree (SWASFAA).
• In addition, monthly conference calls are conducted with both Art Young (RMASFAA President-Elect) and Jeff Jacobs (Past-President). This was a practice started a few years back and provides a great opportunity for the RMASFAA “presidents” to stay connected on a monthly basis regarding association business, action items and timelines.
• The RMASFAA winter board meeting will take place February 28 – March 1 in Denver, CO. I’m looking forward to this meeting and to hearing more exciting news from each of the officers, committee chairs, and state delegates as to their efforts and all the good things that are in the works for the members of our association!
Hope this finds all of you doing well as we collectively gear-up to begin the next awarding cycle for 2014-2015!