NEAFCS 2016 Slate of National Office Candidates

Dr. Peggy Ehlers, 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. Eastern and Western Directors will be elected by National Voting Delegates in their respective Business Meetings on Wednesday, September 14, 8:00AM-10:00AM. The remaining slate will be voted on at the NEAFCS Business Meeting on Thursday, September 15, 9:00AM-11:00AM.

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

President-Elect

Lora Lee Howard
Kentucky

Lora Lee Howard
Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?


NEAFCS has provided me with many enriching educational and leadership opportunities, helping create the Extension Professional I am today.  I believe in our Family and Consumer Science profession and the positive impact we have on families and communities.  Being an active NEAFCS member for over 34 years, I have performed many state and national leadership roles strengthening my professional development with each while serving the organization.  It is now time for me to “pay it forward” or to give back to my association. Our future and current NEAFCS members deserve recognition for excellence in programming, scholarship and leadership as well as innovative professional development opportunities.  As President Elect, I would use my leadership skills to promote our association, work with other board members and members for our association and utilize an open door policy for all.

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?


If elected President Elect for NEAFCS my goal would be to utilize open communication with the NEAFCS Board, state affiliates and individual members to apply the best solutions for the continued viability and sustainability of our association in these changing times.  I would work with your board to continue providing excellent programs, opportunities for leadership and recognition for our membership.   Working for you and with you to move our Association forward.  I believe in Extension and our impact in our communities and I believe in our association and the impact it can have on our leadership development. 

I would perform the duties of President Elect to the best of my ability continuing to empower NEAFCS members and our great association.

Secretary

 Jovita Lewis
Alabama

Jovita Lewis


Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

As a candidate for national office of NEAFCS, I would like the opportunity to serve the Family and Consumer Sciences profession while growing in confidence and leadership.  The office of Secretary is an integral function of the Executive Board. I have the utmost respect for the value and importance of official records, organization history, and proceedings.  My oral and written communication skills coupled with my attention to detail will help to continue moving NEAFCS toward excellence.

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?

If elected, my top priority/goal for my term would be accurate, clear, and concise recordings of meetings.  Also, a goal for serving on the Executive Board is to network with a diverse team of officers to lead and guide NEAFCS in educating its professionals to empower individuals and families to make informed decisions.

 Vice President for Professional Development

Karen DeZarn
Texas

Karen DeZarn

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

I have worked for Extension and have been a member of NEAFCS for 23 years.  I’ve worked in a variety of positions like county agent/educator for 4-H, FCS, Leadership & Community Development, County Director, Assistant Program Leader and Interim Program Leader. I coordinated 8 state conferences for the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association and helped plan seminars, annual conferences and trainings for Extension Educators. I also recently served as Affiliate President from Texas. Working for Extension and serving in a leadership capacity has allowed me to help co-workers and residents of my communities, counties and states. At this time in my career I believe I have the experience and fortitude to give back to our professional organization in a positive way. 

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?

If I were elected to serve as Vice President for Professional Development, I would like to work with the current members of the committee to continue the great work they’ve done over the past years and recruit new members, too. I would poll current members to get input for improving the Annual Sessions and webinars. I would strive to work with the host states to help them offer diversity in the general and concurrent sessions and offer the highest quality Annual Sessions possible.  I would encourage discussion on how to make the best decision regarding the feasibility of annual session sites.  I would strive to communicate effectively and timely with the National Office and the Executive Board. I would encourage sponsors to continue to support NEAFCS at our Annual Sessions and encourage new sponsors to support us. I hope you will allow me the opportunity to give back to our great organization.

 Vice President for Member Resources

Edda Cotto-Rivera
Georgia

Edda Cotto-Rivera

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

I would like to be considered as a candidate for VP of Member Resources because I believe in the mission of our organization, and am excited about collaborating with others to strengthen the organization and increase its impact on both its members and the communities we serve.

I attended my first national meeting in 2007, when our organization gathered in St. Paul, Minnesota.  In the years since then, I have had the privilege of participating in numerous other national experiences with the organization, and have come to discover the immeasurable value of being a member. I have participated in concurrent sessions, experienced showcasing and award opportunities, and have played an active role with the local affiliate, and as a member of the national diversity sub-committee. I have also established long-lasting relationships with Extension educators from my state and other members with diverse backgrounds involved in programming across the country. I strongly believe that members should be involved in providing leadership while supporting the organization in developing and accomplishing new goals.

As a candidate for the VP of Member Resources position, I hope to provide support to other members by encouraging the utilization of the resources available to all, fostering long-lasting professional collaborations amongst the members across state lines, and inspiring members to work towards the development and publication of scholarly work. 

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?

My top priority will include paying special attention to the continuation of our committee’s objectives and strategic plans. I will promote the formation of mentoring opportunities between seasoned members and new members, the development of multi-state collaborations, and the identification of future leaders for our organization who could serve at the local, regional, and national levels – after all, we are the best resources our organization has. 

 Eastern Region Director

Diane Whitten
New York

Diane Whitten

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

I’ve been a member of NEAFCS throughout my entire Extension career (17 years), and have served at various positions for the NY State Affiliate, so I now feel that it’s the right time for me to offer my experience at the National level. With Terri Mayhew from NY being our NEAFCS president-elect I know that I can support her and visa-versa in our leadership positions.

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?

My goal will be to communicate with the state officers about important matters, including PILD applications and various deadlines to ensure engagement with our organization on a national level. Being the NY Affiliate VP of Awards and Recognition for several years taught me the value of awards, so I will work with the state VPs of Awards to encourage award applications. I also believe impact statements that are reported to the NIFA are vitally important to Extension FCS professional, so I  will encourage state VPs of Public Affairs to submit these on a timely basis.

 Western Region Director

Julie Cascio
Alaska

Julie Cascio

Why would you like to be a candidate for this office?

Through my Extension career, I have benefited from the experiences and education I have gained with the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. I want to serve members and encourage the mission of NEAFCS. NEAFCS builds leaders for the future and provides innovative professional growth and development opportunities. As Western Region Director candidate, I look forward to working with the Western state affiliates and the NEAFCS Board. Also, I look forward to promoting Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences.

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?

As Western Region Director, I will strive to facilitate the flow of information between the Western state affiliates and the NEAFCS Board and National Association. I will also encourage leadership and member involvement of Western Region Extension FCS agents in NEAFCS. Additionally, I will encourage members to attend the Annual Session at the location or via an Internet option.

 

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