My very first thought this morning when Association News Chair Ellie Roberts asked me for my Farewell Post for the blog was “Oh my God, I’ve been impeached…”. But my calendar tells me something different. It’s been almost a full year since Joe Donlay passed the gavel to me and now it’s almost time to pass it on to the very capable hands of Ken Kocer. When I threw my hat in the ring for this three-year stint on the Board, it sounded like such a long period of time to commit. In reality it’s been more like a heartbeat…and truly an amazing experience I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
Here are some highlights of the year:
Two, two, two treasurers in one!! (I’m channeling an old breath mint commercial…remember Certs??) After determining that only so much labor could be expected from one volunteer individual in the Treasurer position, the NASFAA Board last year voted to split this position into two individuals, serving in overlapping two year time frames. The premise for the decision was to split up responsibilities to make the time commitment more manageable, and make the training process less burdensome for outgoing Treasurers. Hopefully Donna Carter and Becca Dobry will be able to enlighten us at the upcoming board meeting as to how the first year went and what changes may be necessary in this split going forward.
Vice-President: And in a continued effort to more fairly distribute workload between executive board members, this elected position has moved to a two-year commitment, with current VP Stephanie Covington graciously agreeing to be the first VP to serve the two years even though when she was voted in for the current year it was for a one-year term!! I’m always impressed with the service that so many of our members give to RMASFAA and their willingness to go above and beyond. Thank you Stephanie for voluntarily doubling the commitment and the fun!!
Ad Hoc Archive Committee: Out with the old and in with the new! After years of batting this topic around and not being able to answer that burning question “What should we do with all of this old stuff?”, VP Stephanie Covington and her ad hoc committee has formulated a game plan for disposal of old and archiving of new. Thank you to Stephanie and her crew for all of the crazy amount of work that went into this process! For those of you who will be at the Business Meeting in Wichita, Stephanie will be updating us all on the game plan.
Summer Institute, oh Summer Institute…wherefore art though?? Knowing that 2017 was our last year on the Colorado School of Mines contract for SI, two sets of individuals (Joe Donlay and Rob Drybread in Colorado and Beth Sisk and myself in Nebraska) set about the task of visiting several locations to see if there was a better, more cost effective location for SI out there. The end result is a move to Colorado Springs beginning 2018! We’re excited to be bringing this popular event to Colorado College with another breathtaking view and a wonderful facility. Mark your calendars people, because Carolyn Halgerson and her SI crew are already making plans for a fantastic event the week of June 3rd!!
Training: It was only a couple of years ago that RMASFAA offered its first Webinar in the training realm. Now this year, starting with seven opportunities for Credentialing and many more sessions for training outside of the credentialing realm, it’s been a crazy year for the Training Committee. The number of individuals that these training offerings have reached is staggering. Congrats to Janet Dodson and her committee for an incredibly successful year!!
NASFAA Thought Force: Participating in the NASFAA alignment thought force conversation about the possibility of aligning vision and function among the national, regional and state associations were four brave souls (Art Young, Brenda Hicks, Mary Sommers and myself). This coming together of national and regional representatives spawned some interesting and sometimes provocative conversation. Unfortunately because the needs and wants across the regions appear to be so vastly different, the conversation has somewhat stalled. But the conversations aren’t over and the work of the Thought Force is certainly appreciable, and I am confident that at least parts of the conversation will take root and eventually result in organizational efficiencies down the road.
So it is with mixed emotions that I write my final farewell post for the year. I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything, but I am happy to see what the next BOD has in store for this amazing organization. There are no better financial aid folk than RMASFAA folk, and I have cherished my trips around the region to state conferences and my interactions with this amazing Board. I hope to see a lot of you in Wichita here in a couple of weeks, but if not, I wish you a fruitful and satisfying year!!