I’m pleased to bring you an update from your neighbors to the north and your friends at NDASFAA!
First off, we’re pleased to have just wrapped up our annual spring NDASFAA conference at the beautiful campus of University of Jamestown where the theme was “Life in the Fast Lane”. The theme is certainly very fitting for all of us professionals in financial aid since we always have to be quick to keep pace with changes in our industry.
Our conference committee did a wonderful job of keeping everyone ‘up to speed’ as our meeting hall was filled with the tunes of ‘Little Red Corvette’ and ‘Pink Cadillac’ and our ‘pit crews’ led by conference committee co-chairs Judy Hager and Marcia Pritchert who kept the conference driving ahead.
We were honored to have an informative and entertaining visit from the ‘King of the Road’ Art Young from RMASFAA and Rick Renshaw was ‘On the Road Again’ visiting us from the Department of Education. NDASFAA also raised a record donation amount for our annual conferences for this year’s philanthropy partner, the Anne Carlsen Center!
At the conference, we held our annual business meeting to discuss our committee updates and the direction of our organization moving forward. We were pleased to present to two of our members a scholarship to attend this year’s RMASFAA Summer Institute: Dakota Kidder and Danton Hein. We also selected the recipients of our NDASFAA Scholarship for students who will be attending college in ND.
NDASFAA also selected its President-Elect Janell Thomas, and was greeted by President Scott Lingen and Past-President Janelle Kilgore (pictured below left to right).
Our final evening together was capped off by a banquet in which we honored our retirees and years of service milestones.
Now that the conference has concluded we have some very important issues to look forward to this coming year. We look to continue to strengthen and grow our committees. NDASFAA has always been blessed with individuals who go above and beyond their traditional duties and work together to make this organization great. We take pride in showing that while we have one of the smallest contingencies in the region, simply due to the population of our state, the strengths of our efforts and solidarity is second to none!
NDASFAA, like all other state organizations, is working together to help each other through some difficult challenges associated with financial aid such as PPY & early FAFSA submission and gainful employment, to name a few. We also have had a unique opportunity to work with our U.S. Senate representative from ND to ensure that our voice is heard in Washington.
The NDASFAA Executive Board is also looking at reviewing its bylaws and policies & procedures this year. The challenge as always is balancing how those principles guide us as an organization without burdening ourselves with too much regulation. An organization needs to be nimble enough to navigate changes while remaining grounded in its principles in light of remembering its history.
We will be holding a fall professional development conference this November in Bismarck, ND and the planning committee is busy with the preparations. We’ve also selected the location of our 2017 annual spring conference which will be held in Dickinson, ND April 5-7.
NDASFAA certainly has a busy year ahead and I can say as President that I have full confidence in this organization to meet its challenges and I couldn’t be prouder to serve such a great group of professionals.
NDASFAA is also looking forward to hosting the 2018 RMASFAA conference in Fargo, which will be the 50th Anniversary celebration for RMASFAA! We look forward to seeing you there!
Bismarck State College