eNEAFCS-May 2014
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May 2014


Table of Contents

President's Message

Annual Session News from Our Kentucky Affiliate

2014 Annual Session Hotel Reservations

2016 Annual Session Heads to Montana

Professional Development Webinars Update

Webinars Archived for Your Professional Development

2014 PILD Conference a Resounding Success


National Urban Extension Conference 2015

Meet the Board


Important Dates

Members-only WebinarMay 16
Social Media Webinar

Affiliate President Webinar • June 4

Members-only Webinar • June 24

Enjoying Our Healthy Harvest

Members-only Webinar • July 24
Using Social Media for NEAFCS

Members-only Webinar • Aug 21
Website Update

NEAFCS Annual Session • Sept 15-18
Hyatt Regency, Lexington, KY

Members-only Webinar Oct 15
Webinar on Webinars

View All Events...



National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Science

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Suite F6-491
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(561) 477-8100
[email protected]



President's Message
Kathleen Olson (MN)

Welcome Spring ... it lightens my heart, like a new beginning, a fresh start.  It's an invitation to open internal windows, to air out those dusty thoughts and feelings we've wallowed in all winter. It's time to let in a soft breeze of positivity.

Most of this feeling of freshness and new beginnings is simply seasonal change. In Minnesota, with very distinct seasons, we welcome spring with open arms; especially with the winter we’ve had this year!  Those short days of winter, the freezing temps, the piles of snow, and the time spent inside makes us feel sometimes downright depressed. We tend to exercise less, eat more, and sleep longer.  We channel our inner bear. We hibernate!

It is time to crawl out of the cave, stretch those muscles and take a deep breath. It's amazing how the power of sunshine, warm weather, and some time outside can immediately restore a spent spirit. I find myself eager to clean out the clutter, freshen up the house, and get a little exercise.  All of a sudden, everyone in my neighborhood is outside.

With a lighter heart, cleared vision and an open mind, we can also spring clean our internal lives. We can hit the re-set button and start over with a slight shift in attitude and a reemergence of our values, dreams, and personal sense of purpose.

Here are some items for your internal spring cleaning list:

  1. Re-define your core values: These are the guiding principles of your life around which all decisions and actions are measured. Be clear on what values are most important to you.  Do your life choices support those values?  Our values often change with time. Now is a good time to clean out those old values and introduce those that are important for you today.
  2. Polish your relationships: There are people in all of our lives that we love and care for, but the relationship isn't as strong as it could be. Perhaps you've been pulled in other directions and have become neglectful. We sometimes allow relationships to slip into disrepair. Ask yourself how you can bring more communication and attention to your relationships. What do you need to change to be a better coworker, spouse, parent, or friend?
  3. Shine up your routines:  Shake up your life and create new routines and new ways of doing things. Even tiny changes, like taking a different route to work or eating breakfast before your shower rather than after, can make you feel different.  Consider some larger changes too - like joining an exercise group, learning a new skill, or visiting a new place (Lexington, KY?). Change challenges us and stretches us, allowing us to become more interesting people.
  4. Dust off your inner peace:  There are so many circumstances that we allow to rob us of our inner peace. We become so attached to outcomes that we become disturbed if we don't achieve them. We allow the moods and words of other people to hurt us, and grow defensive and angry over perceived slights. We stay in environments and situations that are too disruptive, or too draining. What might be disturbing your inner peace? How can you clear away those disturbances so you can enjoy a calmer, more content life?
  5. Buff up your emotional maturity:  Emotional maturity simply means having control over your emotions rather than your emotions controlling you. It means being able to accept people and situations as they are without needing to change them. Emotional maturity means to:
  • Think before you act
  • Show self-reliance 
  • Take personal responsibility
  • Have patience
  • Connect with others in a cooperative and positive way
  • Exhibit honesty 
  • Follow through, even when it is difficult
  • Show humility and say "I'm sorry."

Welcome Spring! Let's all take this opportunity to renew ourselves - to become the best person we can be. Give your inner self a good spring cleaning. How can you apply this personally, in your work and in your Association?  As you shake out the cobwebs, the old and unnecessary parts of your life, you may discover new possibilities and joy you hadn't noticed hiding under the dust bunnies of winter – like magic!

Kathleen Olson


P.S.  Look for the magic wand in this newsletter. The first 3 members to email me at [email protected] with the exact location of the wand will qualify for a chance to be placed in a drawing to qualify for a free Annual Session registration, drawn in August; this contest runs October through August to increase newsletter readership.  HINT - the graphic below my signature line does not count

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Annual Session News from Kentucky Affiliate
Kathy Roesel (KY), Co-liaison, 2014 Annual Session

Opening Ceremony Highlight
Last month we highlighted some of our key Annual Session speakers, including Jon Gordon, the opening session keynote. Another feature of the opening session will be the Kentucky State Police Honor Guard who will presenting the flags. The 2010 Fraternal Order of Police National Honor Guard Gold Medalists won all three phases of this event, held in Washington, DC.  They are judged by the Old Guard which is in charge of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  This event tests the skills of law enforcement honor guard units that perform ceremonial and patriotic tributes for the public.

NEAFCS First Timer’s Event
Are you a new NEAFCS member or a member who has never attended a NEAFCS Annual Session?  If so, then be sure join us in Kentucky for a great professional development meeting!  As a first timer to the meeting, you will be invited to a special First Timer’s Event to welcome you.

This year’s event will be held offsite Tuesday afternoon, September 16, 2014.  Participants will be transported to beautiful Talon Winery and Vineyard in rural Lexington for an agri-tourism experience.  Participants will tour the vineyard by strolling through Talon's lush five acre vineyard, shop for unique gifts and Kentucky Proud foods in the gift shop, enjoy refreshments, tour Talon's historical tasting house, and tour the processing barn.  Participants will also receive complimentary mementos commemorating their experience.

For more information about the Talon experience, view their website at http://talonwine.com/index.php

We look forward to seeing you in September! 

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2014 Annual Session Hotel Reservations
Sonja Koukel, PhD (NM), Vice President for Professional Development

Hotel reservations can now be made for the 2014 Annual Session being held in Lexington, KY, September 15-18. Find the link to the Hyatt Regency posted on the NEAFCS homepage.

Hotel Information:

  • The hotel rates (subject to applicable state/local taxes) are $175 Single/Double/Triple/Quad. Due to the overwhelming excitement surrounding the Annual Session, our members have reserved all of the Hyatt’s double/double rooms. However, there are still King rooms available. If you would like to reserve a rollaway bed for your King room, you may do so for an additional $10 per room, per night. You will need to make that request when you book your reservation to ensure the hotel reserves the right number.  Continue to check the Annual Session Website for any updates.
  • WiFi access is included in the room price.
  • For those driving to Lexington, parking at the hotel is complimentary. 
  • For those flying into the Bluegrass Airport, a complimentary hotel shuttle is available. For more information or inquiries contact the hotel directly: 1-859-253-1234.

Additional and in-depth information about the 2014 Annual Session is accessed by visiting the website http://www.neafcs.org/2014-annual-session

Our National Office has done a wonderful job of keeping this updated. Show your appreciation to their hard work by visiting often.

Save the Date: Early Bird Registration is scheduled to open June 1. The link will be posted on the website. We look forward to enjoying beautiful Lexington, KY, with you.

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2016 Annual Session Heads to Montana
Cindy Davies (NM), Western Region Director

Cindy DaviesI am pleased to announce that the Montana Affiliate has put in a bid to host the 2016 NEAFCS Annual Session. Start planning now to join us in Big Sky Country, less than an hour from Yellow Stone National Park!  A big thank you to Tara Andrews and Sheila Friedrich for taking the lead on the initial planning.

Having attended the last 6 Annual Sessions I have so enjoyed exploring many different parts of the country. I am certainly looking forward to upcoming Annual Sessions, Lexington Kentucky in September, West Virginia in 2015 and Montana in 2016.

See you there!

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Professional Development Webinars Update
Julia Zee (HI), Chair-Elect, Webinar Subcommittee

Greetings from the Professional Development Webinar Subcommittee! Mark your calendar and join us for these upcoming webinars:

  • May 16 (1:00 PM EDT) Jamie Seger (OH) and Sarah Baughman, eXtension Evaluation and Research Leader, will continue Jamie's March webinar with "Social Media Campaigns: Measuring, Monitoring and Evaluating."
  • June 24 (2:00 PM EDT) Glenda Hyde and Stephanie Russell, Oregon State Extension instructors, will present their curriculum "Enjoying Our Healthy Harvest."

Register now online.

NEAFCS webinars are a great deal for members – convenient, inexpensive (actually free with your membership), and an easy way to learn about programs and new ideas from our colleagues around the country. Who better to learn from than other Extension professionals? If you missed any earlier webinars, they are archived on the NEAFCS website under the Professional Development tab. And if you'd like to share your expertise and connect with others with similar interests, please apply to present your own webinar. The application process is easy and online: http://www.neafcs.org/webinar-proposal

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Webinars Archived for Your Professional Development
Sonja Koukel, PhD (NM), Vice President for Professional Development

NEAFCS members are fortunate to have access to a variety of Extension programs at no extra charge. The webinars offered through the association are FREE to members. In some other organizations, webinars are provided with a fee attached.

Current and upcoming webinars are posted on the NEAFCS website. You must be a member in good standing to access the webinars. To attend in real time, registration is required. The purpose for this requirement is to maintain the members-only benefit.

There is a space limitation for the online offerings: 100 registered members. The limited space is one reason for archiving the webinars. As we know, life or work sometimes gets in the way of attending in real time. If you missed a webinar, you can find it on the NEAFCS website:

  • Log in
  • Use the Professional Development pull down menu located on the blue toolbar
  • Click on Webinar Archives
  • Find the webinar of your choice and click on the hyperlink

It’s that easy. Watch at your leisure or download to your computer. Plus, many of the webinars include downloadable PowerPoint presentations. What a great service.

You are encouraged to take advantage of this professional development offering. If you would like to join the Webinar Subcommittee, follow the Member Resources link to Join a Committee. Feel free to contact us with questions.

And, as always, the committee is looking for proposals. Do you have a program you would like to share with the NEAFCS members?  To submit a proposal, follow the Professional Development link to Webinars. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the online form.

Thank you for your engagement. If you have suggestions or ideas to help make this service even better, please contact me via email, [email protected]

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2014 PILD Conference a Resounding Success
Theresa C. Mayhew (NY), Vice President for Public Affairs 

Theresa MayhewAccording to early evaluation results, this year’s April 6-9, 2014, Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference, “Celebrating the Past, Leading the Future,” apparently did just that. It featured inspiring keynotes, informative concurrent sessions, focused association meetings, extensive networking time, dynamic congressional visits, targeted sightseeing opportunities, and luscious cherry blossoms to boot! Your national board was able to offer twenty (20) $200 NEAFCS scholarships to first-time PILD attendees. Attendance at the NEAFCS meeting held late Tuesday afternoon was one of the requirements recipients needed to fulfill along with preparing a short paragraph summarizing their PILD experience. I’m pleased to report that I will be sharing those summaries with you over the next few months. Hopefully they will inspire those of you yet to attend a PILD conference to consider doing so next year (April 12-15, 2015) at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, VA.  Here are some reflections from this year’s group of scholarship winners:

“This year’s PILD conference was one of the best Extension conferences I have ever attended. I have been involved with Extension over 20 years and it was very educational and motivational in so many ways…I appreciated all the guidance on how to advocate for Extension. I look forward to attending next year.”  -- Karen DeZarn, Texas A&M

“It was a pleasure and an honor to represent NEAFCS at PILD. I gained the most from the presentation by Nancy Franz of Iowa State. Her discussion of articulating the public value of Extension was very relevant. It was nice to hear an approach (that) explains that what we do is not always a matter of statistics and dollars; (that) public value is the ‘so what’ that really makes a difference in society as a result of the program.” – Jayne McBurney, North Carolina State

“I had a great experience at PILD. I have always been a little overwhelmed by talking to public leaders. This conference helped me to gain confidence in this area. One message that stuck out to me (is that) planning is not an event. It should be ongoing. Always focus on your strategy. Build in capacity to be more flexible and leave room to innovate.” – Laura Sant, University of Idaho

“My participation at PILD surpassed my expectations! I felt empowered by all the speakers and encouraged by fellow Extension professionals as we celebrated our 100 anniversary. Having the opportunity to hear from our National Program Leaders was invaluable.  The visit to my Congressman was very productive. I came back to my county with new ideas, new contacts and a refreshed sense of pride for being an Extension professional.”  – Edda Z. Cotto-Rivera, University of Georgia

“By attending PILD, I learned more about how truly connected we are with NIFA and USDA at the national level and how local projects and programs can tie directly into national initiatives and priorities. However, it is up to individual educators to help make the connection between national level priorities and local level priorities. Making sure to frame the Extension message and story so it fits the priorities and goals of our elected officials is critical in maintaining our place in all counties in Oklahoma.“  – Sonya McDaniel, Oklahoma State

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Sonja Koukel, PhD (NM), Vice President for Professional Development

Sonja KoukelIn all areas of our lives, we identify and talk about leaders and leadership. From the President of the United States to public educators, good leaders stand out and inspire others to greatness. Currently, I think of Jeff Bauman, a runner in the 2013 Boston Marathon who lost both his legs in the bombing incident. He wrote a book, Stronger, that depicts his road to recovery. At the 2014 Boston Marathon, Jeff was at the finish line applauding runners as they crossed. I consider him a leader.

There are leaders in our everyday lives. I think of the community workers who strive to make lives better for the underserved and underrepresented – food kitchens, food banks, tutoring services for immigrants striving to learn English and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families, and there are many, many more. I have a quote that I’ve used for several years on my personal email account:

If you're uncomfortable then you're where you need to be. ~ Dr. Margarethe Cammermeyer

This statement reminds me that change is difficult and taking the lead in situations will force me out of my comfort zone. When I’m feeling pressure, this quote helps to bring it all into focus.

In preparation for this article, I went to the Internet and found these Best Leadership Quotes. Perhaps some will resonate with you:

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. ~ Peter F. Drucker

Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. ~ George S. Patton

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. ~ Dwight Eisenhower

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?  ~ Benjamin Disraeli

I also asked members of the NEAFCS Board to share with me their favorite quotes. Here are some offerings from our leaders (in no particular order):

Your words are among your greatest tools. They're a window into your vision, your values, your expectations and your abilities. No matter how large the group, there are messages you need to communicate constantly in order to lead effectively. ~ NEAFCS President, Kathleen Olson

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. — Jack Welch. ~ VP for Public Affairs, Theresa Mayhew

Inspiring confidence in others with kind actions, honest thoughts, and fair principles.
When a person has learned to be a good follower and wants to go further. ~ VP for Awards & Recognition, Roxie Price

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. –John Quincy Adams. ~ National Office, Cindy Rosen

A successful leader is someone who has confidence to make decisions and act on them. ~ National Office, Jody Rosen Atkins

And, in closing, I’ll share this final quote that I think is now my favorite:

Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men -- the other 999 follow women. ~ Groucho Marx

Thank you to all our members who step up and lead. Our profession is stronger because of you.


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National Urban Extension Conference 2015
Honoring the past, living the dream, embracing the future.

Urban Extension Professionals play an important role in the vigor of Extension programming across our nation.   Programming in urban areas must remain dynamic and adaptable to meet the fast pace of urban needs and provide urban communities with reliable, research-based information from our nation’s top Universities.  From May 4-7, 2015, the National Urban Extension Conference will be taking place in Atlanta, Georgia.  Plan to come join urban Extension Professionals from across the nation to share emerging issues, be inspired by Urban Extension impacts, and look to the future for ways to link urban communities with the research that continues to improve lives.

Attendees will enjoy all that the city has to offer and see Urban Extension at its finest, from dynamic programming with 4-H and youth, to innovative Family and Consumer Science programming and the latest in urban agriculture and natural resource conservation in the metropolitan area.  Atlanta links successful urban programming throughout several counties and showcases the integration of program areas.  You will be sure to experience exceptional examples of urban extension and the impact it can make in metropolitan communities.

Join us by submitting a proposal for one of the three types of presentations to share your knowledge and experience with your colleagues.  Sessions are 60 minute workshops, 30 minute road runner sessions with similar goals being paired together for a 60 minute session, and poster sessions.

For more information and to submit a proposal, go to: http://urbanextension2015.com/.  The deadline for proposal submission is October 1st.   This is a great opportunity for sharing your best practices in Extension.   If you would like to serve as a proposal reviewer visit the website and register by June 1.

Come to Atlanta in 2015 as we "Honor the past, live the dream and embrace the future" of Urban Extension.  Learn more, submit a presentation application and sign up to receive more information about the conference at http://urbanextension2015.com/.  

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 Meet the Board
Sonja Koukel, PhD (NM), Vice President for Professional Development

This is the second article I’ve written for the Meet the Board section of the NEAFCS newsletter. I’ll not expound on the personal history I shared in the December 2012 edition of eNews. For those who did not read that article or for those who would like to refresh their memories, the article can be accessed at this URL:


For this, my last Meet the Board article for my tenure as VP for Professional Development, I will share with you how I got to where I am today in my career. I’ve shared this story with others and received such positive feedback that I thought, as my swan song, I’ll share again with a few hundred of my closest friends.

It’s 1996, Las Vegas, NV. I’m working as a store manager for an independent fabric boutique that specializes in designer, wedding/special occasion, and quilting fabrics. The store is beautiful and staffed by incredibly creative and knowledgeable women.

One of my job responsibilities was to market the sewing machines since those were the source for most of the shop’s profit. In this capacity, I worked with Family and Consumer Sciences teachers at the high school level. Overtime, I noticed that these professionals enjoyed a higher salary than I while working fewer hours.  Additionally, I recognized that a few of the women employed by the fabric store (in their 60’s, single, living on one income) hovered just above the poverty line and their options for increasing their incomes were becoming scarce. At the time, our situation was such that my income didn’t really affect our household budget. However, as I looked down the road, I realized that should anything happen to my husband (the breadwinner of the family), I could be in the same situation as the women I worked with. I knew a change needed to be made.

In the past, I worked as a restaurant manager and a bartender – good jobs but not anything I wanted to go back to. So…What to do? One day, while I was in the bathroom, I noticed a newspaper lying on the floor. This was very unusual as we did not bring reading materials into the bathroom. Since I was a captive audience, I picked it up to scan. My eye was immediately drawn to an article written to Ann Landers. The submission was by a woman about her mother. It seems the mother, in her 50’s, had gone back to college and earned her teaching certificate in Family and Consumer Sciences. She was now teaching at a local high school and totally enjoying her new profession. Her message was that it’s never too late to go back to school and change your life.

Eureka! Of course! With my restaurant background and my sewing/textile skills this was the perfect career choice for me! I went to my husband and declared, “I’m going back to school to earn my teacher certification to teach FCS at the high school level.” His response, “OK, dear. Whatever you want to do.” The rest is history…

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