NEAFCS 2015 Slate of National Office Candidates

Kathleen Olson, Past President & National Nominating Committee Chair

The NEAFCS National Nominating Committee is pleased to present the following slate of officers for your consideration. The committee worked hard to contact these candidates and provide the encouragement and information needed to secure their applications. We believe you will find them all highly qualified.

The NEAFCS National Board has approved this slate of candidates. Central and Southern Directors will be elected by National Voting Delegates in their respective Business Meetings on Wednesday, November 4, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  The remaining slate will be voted on at the NEAFCS Business Meeting on Thursday, November 5, from 9:00 -11:00 a.m. at the Greenbrier.

If you are a voting delegate for your affiliate, it is your responsibility to read through these position statements. Encourage others in your affiliate to do the same, and decide as an affiliate which candidate you support for office. Candidate applications will be available for review at the Candidate Display at Annual Session. The position statements follow: 

 President-Elect

Theresa Mayhew
New York

Theresa Mayhew

A.  Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
I joined NEAFCS just two weeks after starting my career at Cornell Cooperative Extension. It has been an integral part of my Extension work for nearly 25 years. Having been involved with NEAFCS at the local, state, and national levels, I can see the progression of how such involvement can add a richer dimension to the quality, depth and scope of your planning, programming and evaluation work. Being a NEAFCS member has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful colleagues from across the country. Being a NEAFCS member has deepened my appreciation and awe of the amazing work that NEAFCS members do in their states and communities. I have thoroughly enjoyed the two board positions I have held at the national level and have learned so much in the process. Serving as President-Elect will enable me to continue giving back to an organization that has become a vital part of my professional and personal life.

B.  If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
If elected, I will do my utmost to perform all of the duties required of the President-Elect in a timely and efficient manner and in concert with the board and national office. My top priority will be to continue learning all that I can about our organization, its members and its partners to ensure a smooth transition when I move into the office of President in September 2016. In addition to implementing the current strategic plan and serving on the JCEP Board, this will include becoming familiar with all aspects of the position pertaining to the oversight of our by-laws, standing rules, rules of order, action plans, and the administrative manual.

 Treasurer
Nancy Stehulak
Ohio

Nancy Stehulak

A.  Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
The National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Science has led me to find a group of people who are as passionate about encouraging people to make positive changes in their lives as I have been. I would like to continue on my path with the NEAFCS board in encouraging this work.  Extension professionals are a group of people searching for innovative ways to encourage growth and development through classes, programs, series, websites, tweets, smiles, hugs and words.

I have enjoyed my work for the past two years on the NEAFCS board as the Central Region Director and am interested in helping the board determine better ways to strategize their position.  As the economy improves, we are seeing greater support for NEAFCS membership; membership does indeed bring privileges.  Members are coming who are early in their careers and want to learn more about this professional organization and how it can add benefit to their position in Extension.

I am concerned about the lack of policies governing the treasuries of NEAFCS.  Although our membership base has grown in the past several years, our budget has remained quite the same.  This does put the organization in a good place financially, but it is time for the board and membership to consider what we want our money to do for us and to plan accordingly.  I believe, that if we would consider the trends across the past 10 years, and not just look at day to day expenses, we would realize greater potential for member benefits.

The certifications that I have achieved through my Extension career in facilitation and in board development should serve me well in this position serving the members of NEAFCS.  A website called ‘Building Dynamic Groups’ has been online for over ten years and is the work of this applicant in conjunction with other authors.

B.  If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
The creation of policies for use by the board for endowment dollars, and for our income and expense ratios.  I am interested in working with the existing committees to help this happen.  As well, I am interested in helping all board members recognize their part of due diligence with understanding and using the budget of NEAFCS to support member benefits. 

 Vice President for Awards & Recognition
Dianne Gertson
Texas

Dianne Gertson

A.  Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
As NEAFCS Vice President for Awards and Recognition, I would strive to recognize and promote excellence in Family and Consumer Sciences programming. I feel I could contribute to our professional organization in a meaningful way. I am willing to devote the time, energy and hard work to maintain our superb awards program. In Texas, there are approximately 200 TEAFCS members. I have been a member since joining Extension in 2007. I have been honored to serve as an officer at the district level, TEAFCS 1st Vice President (Awards), President-elect, President and past

President. I have served on the NEAFCS Awards and Recognition Training Subcommittee as a member and chair. It would be an honor to serve our NEAFCS membership as Vice President for Awards and Recognition.

B. If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
If I were elected to serve as Vice President for Awards and Recognition, I would encourage NEAFCS members to participate in the awards program so that we can continue to recognize our colleagues for outstanding programming efforts.

I would continue the work of my predecessors to utilize technology to ensure that our awards process is efficient and effective.

I would strive to communicate effectively and timely and to provide support to Affiliate Vice Presidents for Awards and Recognition.

As our programming evolves, I would ensure that awards accurately reflect programming efforts.

I would encourage sponsors to continue to support our NEAFCS Awards Program.

 Vice President for Public Affairs - Two candidates, listed alphabetically

Glenda Hyde
Oregon

Glenda Hyde

A.  Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
Years ago, before my life with Extension, I learned that you can have the best community project or program in the world but if you don’t tell your story, no one will ever know what you are doing. So, I learned how to write my own news releases to get participation in my community events.

Then, it became clear that in addition to marketing to my target audience, I found that you also need to keep your administrators and funders (the sponsors) aware of your events and results to keep their support. So, I learned how to advocate and took my high school culinary arts students to advocate for student leadership programs at the state capitol. They handed out tiny scones that they had made and told stories about their student leadership experiences to legislators and their aides.

Later, I got to take our state officers to the National SkillsUSA Leadership Training in Washington, DC. Someone had made appointments before we left, but gave us no plan, so we put together an advocacy plan where each student had a role in the presentation in our congressional visits. Afterwards, we told the story of our success on the Hill and found out the next year that our simple advocacy plan was used by every state delegation for their Hill visits.

When I started my work with Extension, I knew we had to get the legislators attention, soon. It had to take place before the legislative session or the Ways and Means Committee was taking testimony so they could better decide how to cut funding in a shrinking budget. FCS Educators, formerly Home Economists, have been unique in that we don’t have a very strong advocacy pool. When you get down to it, most of our clients, traditionally, have been housewives and poor people. We have not had an industry to back us up like other Extension programs. So we invited our local legislators to follow us around for a day and one took us up on the event. We visited programming at schools, community centers, and community gardens so he could watch and participate with the clients. It was a huge success. It was clear we had made a mark on our legislator’s heart and mind, and because it was his experience too; our legislator had stories to tell about us at the Capitol, too. We know that this effort contributed to the first increase in FCS funding in my state for almost a decade.

Three years ago was my first NEAFCS Annual Session. I was enjoying meeting people and learning new things when I went to the Public Affairs Committee Meeting. Within moments, I knew that I had found my “homies” in advocacy. Then, after editing my first NEAFCS Impact fact sheet, was completely surprised that I absolutely love putting together Impact Statements! Beyond that, at our PILD Hill visits, it was so exciting to see our legislative aides and legislators look for and find their own state featured in this national proclamation of great works in local communities. I could see their pride in their hearts when they could see the results of the Extension programs at home.

I want to be a candidate because I want to follow the leadership examples set by the two Vice Presidents for Public Affairs that I have known and worked with, Debby Mathews and Terri Mayhew. I am excited about the foundations that they have laid, and want to continue this work and take this effort to our next step. I have the skills needed to work with the three sub-committees (Education, Advocacy and Marketing and Communications) to meet our responsibilities and also find new and interesting ways to engage members in each state with Public Affairs.

B.  If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
Experience Engagement in Public Affairs: I want our members to gain confidence, use new tools or make time in their plans to market their programs to clients and tell their stories to the sponsors of Extension programming. Whether it is national, state-wide, regional or local, everyone can be a public affairs advocate for Extension Family and Consumer Sciences programs.

 Marian Ross
Texas

Marian Ross

A.  Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
I would like to encourage my fellow Extension educators to be advocates for our profession and what we do to improve the lives of the families in our states/territories. I would also like to encourage and demonstrate how to use our impact statements with elected officials for them to know what types of differences that we are making in the lives of the people we serve in our respective locations.

Recognize the first time attendees to the PILD conference by encouraging them to apply for the scholarship and working with them to provide the members back home with a report that will encourage others to get involved with the advocacy we need for our profession and association.

B.  If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
My top priority would be to engage more members on the subcommittee(s) so that others can become involved in the advocacy process and how states can use our impact reports.

  Central Region Director
Rebecca Travnichek
Missouri

Rebecca Travnichek

A. Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
I have served in officer positions and on committees in the Missouri Affiliate over the past 18+ years. I have served as the national treasurer of NEAFCS in 2004 and 2005; as well as serving as Editor of JNEAFCS, on national committees and subcommittees. Since 2009, I have been heavily involved in another professional association – Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), serving as a Board officer for the past six years. I have received additional board training and experience which I feel would be beneficial to NEAFCS.

While I was the NEAFCS National Treasurer, I was able to start the process of changing the role of the treasurer in the association. Prior to and during my term, the level of daily responsibilities with the finances was quite great—depositing all checks/cash and writing/signing every check; as well as developing the financial reports for the Board, management firm, and the membership. With the help of Robin Kuleck, who, followed me as National Treasurer for 2006 and 2007, we were able to develop a proposal to modify the financial processes of the association to where the national office and/or executive director handled the day-to-day finances. This allowed the treasurer to focus on the bigger financial picture of the association and working with the finance and investment committees.

With my leadership experience in NEAFCS, AFCPE, and the Missouri Affiliate, I am ready, willing, and able to step up to move NEAFCS into the future and further the dynamic field of family and consumer sciences.

B. If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
If I were to be elected to the office of Central Region Director for NEAFCS, my top priority will be to work with state affiliate Presidents and President-elects to develop marketing materials i.e., flyers, displays, email and text blasts to encourage family and consumer sciences coursework, degrees, and most importantly, membership in NEAFCS and state affiliates. These materials would be distributed to high school students and college students in our states; as well as to FACS teachers in our high schools and at regional and state FACS conferences.

Southern Region Director - Two candidates, listed alphabetically
Linda Combs
Kentucky

Linda Combs

A. Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
As a Family and Consumer Science professional I have a deep love for my profession and strongly believe in the association that supports my profession. I thoroughly enjoy my experience and activities with all areas of my association– at the local level, the state level and on the national level. I believe that we as professions must promote our “good” work. We are needed in our society – maybe more today than at any other time in our history. I want to help agents understand the importance of promoting a positive image of our vocation to our colleagues, friends, family and our legislators.

B. If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
“Continuous Promotion"
I believe we must market ourselves to not only our legislators, we must also promote ourselves with our colleagues, our families and our friends. If we can convince those we spend the most time with how important our work is they will tell others and our legislators at all levels – local, state and national the importance of our work. I want to help agents not be afraid to talk about their work and how to make what they do sound as important as it is. The parenting, lifeskills, nutrition, basic skills classes we teach are helping our citizens cope with the stress they face every day. The professional development our NEAFCS association provides to members is of unmeasurable value. The investment the association has provided for me has helped me develop leadership skills that would not have been possible on my own. I have used these skills with my county colleagues and clients, within the KEAFCS (Kentucky affiliate) and even in my personal life and non-extension organizations I belong to. I believe that we must continue to promote our profession so future Family and Consumer Science educators will step up and become leaders in our profession and organization.

Karen Munden
Virginia

Karen Munden

A.  Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?
I welcome the opportunity to serve as the Southern Region Director while sharing my diverse background and experiences. I have a thorough understanding of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ (NEAFCS) mission of providing Extension professionals with opportunities for professional development, recognition and networking. I possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are well suited for the Director and would like to incorporate my background to assist NEAFCS as we continue to move forward into the ever changing technological era. I have more than 30 years of managerial experience including the development and implementation of operational budgets, providing employee trainings, supervision, conflict resolution and counseling. I also have an array of experience in planning, developing, implementing, conducting, and facilitating meetings, luncheons, conferences and workshops.  I also had the opportunity to mentor college students and extension professionals.

I have served on several different executive boards and participated in “Running Effective Board” trainings. I know as a good leader you must also be a good listener. I pride myself in this area, because I attempt to tune in with others’ talents and abilities to help them attain leadership roles also. My past leadership experiences have allowed me to encourage and inspire others to make sound decisions while striving for the best possible outcomes. My experiences have also allowed me to become a better leader while assisting organizations to accomplish their mission, goals and objectives. 

I have a proven track record of being a successful leader. One example of my leadership success was while serving as the President of Virginia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the number of Virginia FCS Agents attending the NEAFCS national conference increased dramatically. Also during my term FCS Agent participation in statewide events increased.  I contribute the increased of participation to the implementation of continuous marketing strategy.  The marketing strategy included the professional and social benefits of participating in Family and Consumer Sciences events.

I have enjoyed working with Cooperative Extension professionals and professionals in other fields throughout the State of Virginia and across the nation. I am very passionate about the work that FCS Extension Agents do and also looking for ways to “think outside the box” to market the Family and Consumer Sciences field to the general public. As a committed FCS Extension Agent, I would be very proud to have had the opportunity to make a difference in the National Association of Family and Consumer Sciences by serving as the Southern Region Director.

B.  If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?
My first priority as the Southern Region Director would be to develop strategies to increase Affiliate engagement across the Southern Region.  I would establish a quarterly conference call or WebEx conference meeting with all of the Southern Region Affiliate Presidents. These calls have several possible outcomes:

  • Would allow Affiliate Presidents an opportunity to share their state’s accomplishments as well as express their concerns, thus allowing me to bring the information to the National Board’s attention
  • Would allow Affiliate Presidents who are having difficulty increasing their membership participation to be mentored by more experienced Family and Consumer Sciences professionals
  • Would allow Affiliate Presidents the opportunity to get to know each other
  • Would allow time for potential networking across states
  • Would allow me the opportunity to share the most current information from the National Board to Affiliate Presidents
  • Would allow me to continually encourage Affiliate Presidents to remind their members about taking active roles at the national level.

I believe these connections would strengthen the engagement and participation of the Southern Region’s membership.  These networks will also allow more cohesion among the Southern Region.

 

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