July 2019

Table of Contents

President's Message

Nominating Committee Report: Slate of Officers

Update: Member Resources

Update: Eastern Region

Update: Western Region

Share Your Extension Work Internationally

PILD 2019 Reflections

Top 10 Reasons to Attend NEAFCS in Hershey PA!

85th Anniversary – We have a Story to Tell

Meet the Executive Board: Southern Region Director

Important Dates

NEAFCS 2019 Annual Session Registration
Opened Thursday, June 6, 2019

NEAFCS Annual Session Early Bird Deadline
July 18, 2019

Minnesota Affiliate Professional Development Day
July 30, 2019

Webinar: 2019 Annual Session 1st Timer's
August 30, 2019

NEAFCS Annual Session Advanced Rate Deadline
September 12, 2019

Affiliate Leadership Complimentary Annual Session Registration
Deadline September 1, 2019

Webinar: Celebrating 85 years:  A History of Extension FCS
September 5, 2019

Webinar: Highlights of the Developmental Disabilities Training Series 
September 11, 2019

Minnesota Affiliate Extension Program Conference
September 23-25, 2019

NEAFCS 2019 Annual Session
Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2019
Hershey, PA

Minnesota Affiliate Annual Meeting
October 8, 2019
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

University of Illinois Extension Annual Conference 
November 19-20, 2019
Champaign, IL 

NEAFCS 2020 Annual Session
September 14-17, 2020
Snowbird Resort, UT

Celebrate the 85th anniversary of NEAFCS! Attend the fall 2019 NEAFCS webinar:  85 Years, History of the Profession!  Presented by historians Jan Scholl and Carol Schlitt, it is an unusual account with over 100 photos, portraits, artifacts, clippings, cartoons, and quotes.  Date:  September 5.  Time:  2-3 PM Central Time.  Participation is limited, so sign up when you receive the announcement.   (We guarantee your coworkers and staff will want to watch with you!)  Sponsored by the NEAFCS 85th Anniversary Committee. 

Download the 2019 NEAFCS Annual Session App today!

2019 Impact Statement Infographics
Click image to enlarge.

 Visit https://www.neafcs.org/impact-statements for more Infographics.

President's Message - NEAFCS 2019 Annual Session Is Coming
Karen Munden (VA), President 

Early Bird registration for the 2019 Annual Session is ending soon. If you have not registered, you have until July 18th to receive the lowest cost for registration.  Annual Session registration closes on September 12th

I have taken a non-scientific survey of individuals and asked why they do not attend our Annual Session. The number one responses have been, “I cannot afford the conference” or “my state does not pay for out of state travel”.  I know we refer to our Annual Session as Professional Development, but I would like you to take another look at the session as Personal Development.  The things I have learned over the years while attending the Annual Sessions have been invaluable in my pursuit of improved personal development.  I have learned how to balance my heavy workload and my personal life; in other words, I work hard and play harder.  I have learned techniques for self-preservation during difficult times. I have also developed life-long friendships to assist with objective decision-making in various situations as well as help me to view the world with a wider scope.  If I had not attended the National Extension Association Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Sessions, I may not have had the courage to run for Southern Region Director and later the NEAFCS President. Thus, attending the Annual Sessions has given me a broader perspective on the things I am capable of accomplishing. If you are looking for ways to improve yourself (personal development), I urge you to attend the 2019 Annual Session in Hershey, PA from September 30 to October 3, 2019; you will gain more than you expect. Even if your state does not assist with funding your trip to Annual Session, this would be an investment in you. So ask yourself, "Am I worth the investment?" 

Congratulations go out to all members who applied for the Annual Session First-Timers' Registration Scholarships. The committee who judged the applications stated it was a very daunting task because the applications were excellent.  However, after several deliberations, the committee could only select five members for the scholarships. Please join me in Congratulating Erin Carney, Maryland; Rhegan Derfus, Arizona; Gina Lucas, Missouri; Latonya Ramsey, Mississippi; and Maren Write Voss, Utah as the 2019 Annual Session First-Timer Scholarship recipients.

Remember to look for the Hershey Kiss in this newsletter for your chance to be entered into the drawing for a FREE Annual Session Registration. Email me the location at [email protected] and please put Kiss in the subject line.  Good Luck! Congratulations to June winners Latonya Ramsey, Lori Hendrickson, and Sandy Stoneman.

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Nominating Committee Report: Slate of Officers
Lora Lee Frazier Howard (KY), Immediate Past-President

I would like to thank the Nominating Committee for their excellent work this year in securing the best possible slate of candidates for NEAFCS officer positions. They worked diligently from January through April to secure your slate of officers.

A special thank you to

  • Glenda Hyde (OR) and Gisele Jefferson (CO) Western Region
  • Linda Law-Saunders (NY) and Joanne Kinsey (NJ) Eastern Region
  • Kathy Dothage (MO) and Peggy Ehlers (IN) Central Region
  • Molly Alexi (NC) and Cristin Sprenger (VA) Southern Region

One of the responsibilities of the Immediate Past Presidents is to chair the nominating committee and it has been a pleasure to work with this committee.  I am pleased to present to you the candidates for office for 2019-2020.

President-Elect: Dianne Gertson (TX) and Ellen Bjelland (ND)

Treasurer: Barbara Wollen (IA)

VP for Awards and Recognition: Julie Garden-Robinson (ND)

VP for Public Affairs: Mary Liz Wright (IL) and Melanie Hart (OH)

Central Region Director: Vanessa Hoines (ND) and Lisa Barlage (OH)

Southern Region Director: Lorrie Coop (TX)

Please look for the candidate’s display which will be displayed by the NEAFCS registration area and Exhibits and will have their nomination documentation available for you to view.   You will be able to view candidate’s information on the NEAFCS website and by clicking here.

If you are a voting delegate for your Affiliate, it is your responsibility to read through the position statements and review each candidate’s dossier.  Encourage others to do the same, so you can decide as an affiliate which candidates you support for these offices.  *Position Statements will be in the August edition of the NEAFCS Network.

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Update: Member Resources
Cindy Schlenker Davies (NM), Vice President of Member Resources 

Now that registration is open for the Hershey PA Annual Session, the Member Resource committees are working hard to be ready!

The Membership Committee is planning the 1st Time Annual Session Attendee orientation and lunch event, which takes place this year just before the Opening General Session. It will be a lunch event this year and we hope all of you first timers to Annual Session will plan on attending!

The Life Time Members event planning is also moving along, the event is scheduled for Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

This year both the Diversity Committee and the eNEAFCS Journal Committee will be presenting a workshop at Annual Session. The Exhibit Committee and Elizabeth Lane the NEAFCS conference planner has been securing Exhibitors for this year's Exhibit Hall.

Roxie Price and I will be offering a Leadership Workshop.  We are excited to have several past and present NEAFCS Board members join us for this two-hour session.  Board members will be sharing about all the offices and the committees under each office. We hope this will inspire many NEAFCS members to get involved both with their state affiliate offices and on the national level.

If you are not a member of a national committee please consider joining, we need you and would love your help to keep NEAFCS strong!

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Update: Eastern Region
Sharon McDonald (PA), Eastern Region Director 

Our members are busy preparing for the annual session in Hershey in September and look forward to your visit!

The beginning of June members from Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Delaware affiliates met at the Hershey Lodge to familiarize ourselves with the location. Planning committees also met to iron out details. In the afternoon we held a professional development session at Hershey Medical Center and heard about their Pro Wellness initiative and toured the community garden located on hospital grounds. As you can see from the picture Mandel Smith from PA and the KitKat Bar are getting ready for your visit!


New Jersey member Michelle Brill and the State 4H Agent Jeannette Rea-Keywood received the Regional ESP Multi-Cultural Diversity Team Award as well as the Rutgers Extension MaryJane Willis Diversity Award. You will be able to hear more about this award-winning program on the September 11th NEAFCS webinar, “Highlights of the Developmental Disabilities Training Series.” Congratulations Michelle and Jeannette. 


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Update: Western Region
Mary Ellen Fleming (CO), Western Region Director

Hello from the West!  Utah is busy planning for annual session 2020 at the Snow Bird Resort outside of Salt Lake City.  The Western States, plan to bring give-away items from your state to give out at the hospitality booth in 2020!

Colorado reports a successful Professional Development Retreat held on May 29 -31, in Denver.  Seventeen FCS agents attended from around the state.  Agents toured the Federal Reserve Money Museum in downtown Denver and viewed the history of currency in the United States.  A morning tour of Johnson and Wales University showed the breadth of degrees available from this university.  This was a good contact for those who work with youth.  Along with these tours, a session on mindfulness, a business meeting, and work on a nutrition education kit on healthful cooking in an instant pot were all completed during the retreat. 

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Share Your Extension Work Internationally
Luann Boyer (CO), International Federation for Home Economics World Congress Treasurer

If you do not already have August 2-8 on your 2020 Calendar, put those important dates on now.  The International Federation for Home Economics World Congress is hosted by the United States Affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia.   For many of us, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to present at an international conference.   And, the deadline for submission is August 31, 2019, and acceptance of proposals will be made on December 15, 2019.

For information on 2020 World Congress and Call for Abstracts can be found at www.ifheus.org by selecting IFHE World Congress 2020 Atlanta Georgia at the top of the page which will then take you to a page where you will click on IFHE World Congress 2020  with complete details about Congress.  Select the Call for Abstracts for information on the various options.

Abstract submissions can be for posters, workshops, or symposiums in different categories so lots of opportunities to share your outstanding Extension programs.  Extension work is replicated in many of the countries where Congress attendees work.  Around 500 Congress attendees will be from outside of North America.  What a great opportunity to network with the attendees and also learn about their education efforts.

The first author of the submission must be an individual member of IFHE-US when the proposal is submitted as well as in 2020 if accepted.   Membership information is on the www.ifheus.org website or email IFHE-US Director of Finance Luann Boyer at [email protected]. If you are selected to present you have to be a member, but anyone can attend Congress although there is a lower registration rate for members. 

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PILD 2019 Reflections
Julie Garden-Robinson (ND), Vice President of Public Affairs & PILD Planning Team Member

The Public Issues Leadership Development conference occurred a few months ago, but we can be inspired by what our NEAFCS scholarship recipients gleaned from the speakers and the experiences of being in Washington, D.C.  Please check out their reflections.  

Naomi Brower, Utah State University Extension

PILD was an excellent opportunity to interact with individuals across multiple program areas and discuss challenges that impact all of Extension. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to network with other FCS professionals from across the nation to learn about programs in their areas and strategize how to best share our impacts with stakeholders. The highlight of the conference was having the opportunity to visit our legislators to highlight some of our state impacts. This conference was an excellent opportunity to learn from other Extension leaders from across the country and how our individual programs and reports weave into the tapestry of Extension as a whole.

Shana Withee, Oregon State University Extension Service

My experience as a first-timer to the 2019 PILD was amazing. I wish to thank NEAFCS for the scholarship that helped to make this possible. I especially enjoyed the opportunities to network and gain insightful information and knowledge about possible resources from the many knowledgeable guest speakers. Paul Hill's presentation on "Innovation through Lean Experimentation" was all about being adaptable in our jobs. He did a great job adapting to the lack of electricity and the use of his PowerPoint. What a fantastic, inspiring speech he gave.

I learned and enjoyed the networking at the breakout sessions, especially the ones that dealt with community health. The PILD conference provided an opportunity to network with co-workers across program areas and across the nation. I also gained a better understanding of where our funding comes from. The acronyms were familiar – NIFA, APLU, AFRI, USDA, EFNEP, etc. – but learning about federal funding gave me a clearer understanding of why we do the work we do. The sessions were of benefit to me professionally as well as personally. I found the volunteer session especially insightful. It was such a phenomenal experience to educate and advocate for Cooperative Extension Service on the hill. Talking with our senators and congressional representatives was my highlight of the conference. Being able to share success stories with them and connect coworkers with them for upcoming projects was very rewarding. It made me proud of the work we do.

Jay Christiansen, Purdue University Extension

My experience as a first-time attendee at PILD was great! I greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet with and learn from Extension Professionals across the country. I found the theme for this year's PILD conference – "Enhancing Leadership Capacity for Emerging Issues" – to be an excellent choice for me professionally. The speakers and panelists provided us with thoughtful remarks and challenged us to be more innovative. I especially appreciated the remarks from Paul Hill and specifically when he said, "We can't apply our old way of thinking to new issues and problems." Our capnote presentation by Dr. Doug Steele reminded us to be effective communicators, deliver meaningful outcomes, become a "people-centered" organization and challenged us to become leader-advocates. 

I also gained a better understanding of where our funding in Extension comes from, insight into Family & Consumer Sciences from a Federal Perspective and why advocacy is so important. The conversation with the Congressional Staffer gave all of us insights into how we can use our time wisely when we get the opportunity to meet with our congressional representatives. Thank you, NEAFCS, for giving me the opportunity to this year's PILD Conference! 

Sara Richie, University of Wisconsin Extension

I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the Public Issues Leadership Development (PILD) Conference this year. I am currently the President of our Wisconsin Extension Association of Family and Consumer Science (WEAFCS) and have only been in my county-based position for 4.5 years. Attending PILD early in my career has provided me with an extensive overview of our national funding structure and how we compare to other states.

I believe having this knowledge, and the experience of sharing my story on Capitol Hill with our state legislators office has better positioned me to advocate locally for support from my communities and local elected officials that I serve. The opportunity to network and learn from colleagues from around the country is invaluable. My big take-away from the conference was the activity that NEAFCS did in our meeting to help build our story. It is a strategy that I have already shared with colleagues in Wisconsin! I can't wait to share it again at an upcoming meeting! 

Dorothy Nuckols, University of Maryland Extension 

Transcendent is the term that comes to mind as I reflect on the 2019 PILD experience. Transcendent, defined by Miriam Webster as, “surpassing the ordinary; exceptional,” aptly describes all the PILD conference components: plenary and concurrent sessions, program area gatherings, state meetings, networking breaks, and of course, Hill visits with congressional influencers. The experience illustrates Extension’s ability to excel and to impact communities, transcending limitations of county and state lines, demographic designations, political affiliation, Extension state structure, funding, and even electrical power! As the conference opened, we were in the dark, literally, when a storm disrupted power to the conference hotel and surrounding area. How appropriate that the opening plenary session was entitled, “Innovation through Lean Experimentation.” Paul Hill brought his presentation to life with a real-time demonstration of flexibility, and who will forget the live long jump demonstration? 

The culmination of the conference was the opportunity to visit our Maryland congressmen, promote the work of Extension throughout our state, and offer our services as a resource. Throughout the conference, the true impact of Extension’s work came to life in a new way. The exuberance and camaraderie of colleagues from across the United States was unforgettable. But that would have been less meaningful if unsupported by data detailing our collective impact, the millions of Americans we touch from every state, and the ways we leverage our federal funding through our partnerships and collaborations with local and state support and the army of energetic volunteers who work with us. 

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend NEAFCS in Hershey PA!
Lynn James (PA), Tri-Liaison 

Now is the time for NEAFCS members and guests to register for our 85th annual conference in Hershey PA. In case you need more reasons to attend, here are the top 10! 

Get your flight into Harrisburg International airport, only 20 minutes from Hershey. While you are there, see our beautiful State Capitol, and enjoy a stroll along the scenic Susquehanna river at City park. Hershey Lodge has an airport shuttle (call ahead, fees may apply), and there are taxis, Uber/Lyft, car rentals and limos available at the airport. Or drive and experience the beautiful bucolic mountains and valleys of Pennsylvania. 

Our Welcome Event at Hershey’s Chocolate World will tempt your taste buds. Register early to attend your first choice: creating your own candy bar, the Hershey chocolate tasting experience, or the chocolate mystery tour. 

Hershey Lodge is our outstanding venue. It includes indoor and outdoor pools with a water park, fitness center, golf, free parking and shuttle service to all Hershey attractions, and within 5 miles (contact concierge), and more. 

Exceptional dining can be found: six dining choices at the Hershey Lodge, and five at the four-star Hotel Hershey, just a few minutes drive. Check out the Circular dining room at the Hotel for a five-star experience. 

Really outstanding speakers will enlighten, energize and inspire you: from pre-conferences on intergenerational finances and adventures, health benefits of chocolate, to opening session Dr. Karl Pillemer from Cornell on "Advice for Living from the Oldest and Wisest Americans," the plentiful concurrent sessions, and closing general session speaker Dr. Ann Albright from the CDC, "We Got the Chronic Disease Blues," to learn about ways Extension can engage in CDC interventions. 

Shopping at the Hershey Outlets, who doesn’t love a good deal? Just minutes from the Lodge, you will find all your favorites at great prices. Our Marketplace on Thursday at the conference will also have local unique arts and crafts vendors, so be sure to stop by. 

Hersheypark will be open only through September 28-29, so come early with your family and friends if you want to attend.  ZooAmerica, a renowned zoo featuring North American animals, is open throughout our conference.   Admission is included if you purchase park tickets, or you can purchase separately. 

Experience one of the outstanding 12 In-Depth sessions (again register early to obtain your first choice) or 40 Ignite sessions Tuesday. 

You can also “Nurture the Richness of Lifelong Learning,” at the #NEAFCS2019 by networking at the Exhibitor Hall, State’s night out, and attending the regional and national awards events. 

Pennsylvania “Pursue your happiness” is our new state logo. Come early or stay late and visit the nearby historic and modern towns of Lancaster, Lebanon, Lititz, York, Gettysburg, and Allentown or the bustling city of Philadelphia, all within a one-two hours’ drive. Check https://visitpa.com/  

Awesome hospitality awaits you in Hershey. Stop by the conference Hospitality table daily for fun prizes, free raffles of northeast wines, and participate in daily morning Wellness events. Download the conference App for the most up to date information, or check #NEAFCS2019. 

We look forward to seeing you in Hershey, PA September 30-October 3, 2019, the “sweetest place on earth!” 


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85th Anniversary – We have a Story to Tell
Debby Mathews (AL), 85th Anniversary Committee Chairman

If you have been an Extension FCS Agent any length of time, you have stories to tell. Some are simply funny, others perplexing, and then there are those that touch the heart. Have you written these stories down? We admonish others to journal and keep good records, but do we follow that advice?

Jan Scholl (PA) has an article on our 85th anniversary webpage “Biographies of FCS Educators in the 20th and 21st Centuries”. In it, she tells of reviewing 263 short biographies of FCS educators found in four books while she was preparing for our 85th anniversary. Sadly, fewer than five percent of those biographies were about Extension educators. Let’s fix that problem!

On behalf of the 85th-anniversary committee, I want to challenge you to get busy writing about the history you are making now. I challenge YOU to write at least one short story about your Extension FCS work before September 1 and send it to me at [email protected]. I will print all the stories and put them in a binder for display at Annual Session 2019. After AS, the binder will be given to our NEAFCS Historian, Carol Schlitt.  Do not let your stories go untold. Even if you have just been on the job for three months, you have experiences worth sharing with others.

After you have written these stories, I challenge you to write a brief autobiography of your contribution to Extension FCS. Jan Scholl is accepting those at [email protected]. Jan is also accepting biographies of other Extension FCS Educators. She is quite the historian! You have probably done this already for memorial services, so find those files, review them and send them to Jan. 

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Meet the Executive Board: Southern Region Director
Dianne Gertson (TX), Southern Region Director

HOWDY! I am so excited to be serving as a member of the NEAFCS Board.  A little about me…I come from a small community in Texas about 50 miles from Houston.  The community of Lissie has 53 houses.  I know, I counted them.  I live not very far from where I grew up.

I have been with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension since 2007.  I started in my home county of Wharton and transferred to Fort Bend County in 2012.  Prior to joining Extension, I worked for the State Health Department and area hospitals as a Registered Dietitian.  My programs focus on nutrition and health education, food safety and food preparation.    As a member of the Texas Affiliate, I have served as District Treasurer, Associate District Director, and District Director.  I have also served on the TEAFCS Board as 1st Vice President (Awards), President-elect, President, and past President.  Thanks to one of my Texas colleagues, I joined the Awards and Recognition Training Subcommittee and served as 2015-2017 NEAFCS Vice President for Awards and Recognition.    As Southern Region Director, I am honored to be representing the AWESOME Southern Region!! 

NEAFCS offer opportunities for us, as members, to grow both professionally and personally.  I encourage our members to join committees, look for leadership opportunities and be ACTIVE ENGAGED members!! 

Away from work, I enjoy being outdoors, baking and spending time with family, friends and my sweet dog Abby. Abby was valedictorian at obedience school.

I hope to see all of you in Hershey at the 2019 Annual Session!




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