2016 Ellen Colangelo, Ph.D.
As 2016 began, Keny Leepier Friedman, our Office Administrator, returned after being on medical leave for 8 months. Krystal Knott, our office intern, assumed Keny’s responsibilities during her absence. It soon became clear to the board that our budget did not allow for two staff members. The last few years had seen a time of change for professional associations, with numbers of new members decreasing and late career members retiring. The Board recognized that steps needed to be taken to reduce our expenses, stabilize our membership, and to redefine the position of Office Administrator. A Mission and Vision task force was formed, chaired by Cynthia Cotter, with Annette Conway, Janet Farrell, and myself as members. It became clear to the committee that we needed to reevaluate the administrative component of the Association.
The Mission and Vision Task Force worked hard to develop a long range plan to present to the Board at the June retreat. At this meeting the Board accepted the committee’s proposal to eliminate the position of Office Administrator and to contract with an employment agency to provide office personnel. Furthermore, the Mission and Vision Committee proposed a restructuring of Board member responsibilities in order to encourage the Association volunteers (committee members, Board, etc.) to take over greater responsibility and not to rely on office staff to do their work. The major achievement in accepting the Task Force’s recommendations is that the budget has been stabilized and monies have been freed up to allow for more more of our resources to be used to create and carry out programs for our members. One of these benefits is a new website to be inaugurated in 2017.
This year we have seen an active Early Career Professionals Committee (ECP) chaired by Erica Wollerman and Michelle Carcel and a growing Graduate Student Committee chaired by Bridget Asplund. As last year’s fundraiser honored the Past Presidents, this year’s paid tribute to our early career and student members . The Board has recognized that the future of the Association lies with these groups. I am thrilled to report that many of our new Board members for 2017 are ECP.
My vision for the Association this year was to stabilize the office functioning while making it more user friendly, to begin transitioning to a new website, to free money in our budget for member benefits vs. administrative expenses, to stabilize membership and to create a welcoming professional association. Thanks to a wonderful Board and our dedicated members, I believe this has happened and will continue to in 2017.