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NEDA News: President's Message

Unsung Heroes - President's Messaage October 2019

Wednesday, October 30, 2019   (0 Comments)
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President’s Message ~ October 2019

Unsung Heroes!

As I look towards finishing my term as NEDA President on November 30th it occurred to me how frequently I’ve had the pleasure of hearing the praise for the wonderful programs, shows and benefits that NEDA brings to its membership. I’m fortunate to hear the accolades because I have a high visibility role within the organization. The same is true of the Competition and Education Coordinators and Managers, Beth Jenkins, Paul Cormier, Kathy Hickerson and Beth Beukema. When the event is complete, they receive the well-deserved credit for running a great show or educational event. But I’d like to take this month’s letter to sing the praises of the volunteer board members who work behind the scenes to run the largest single-chapter GMO in the country for our membership.

Beginning with Angela Prenosil, Tip Editor, because Angela was the inspiration for this letter. It’s a beautiful weekend but I thought I should write my Tip letter so, just this once, I have it in before the deadline and Angela doesn’t have to ask me for it! For ____ years now Angela has edited the Tip. This involves determining the content, chasing down articles (which can be like herding cats) and making sure you have an informative, interesting publication in your mailbox every month! My sincere gratitude to Angela for not only her fine work but her patience in chasing me down each month!

And what is a full color publication without photos! Carole McDonald has photographed practically every NEDA event for the past ____ years and provides the photography to NEDA for use in all our publications and advertising. Carole has done an amazing job of chronicling NEDA through photos over the years.
Time changes our communication methods and now many of us learn information first through social media. Krisy Nordgren, Public Relations Coordinator, almost entirely single-handedly creates and posts all our social media. Huge kudos to Krisy for staying on top of so much information.

Our website is our go-to for current information and Donna Winters has undertaken the challenge of leading the team to update such a very important communication tool for the organization.

None of these board roles would be filled with such capable people if not for the efforts of Jennifer Englund, Nominations Manager. Jennifer is always on the look-out for dedicated, capable people to fill board roles as board members move off the board to new challenges and opportunities in their lives. We are constantly amazed that Jennifer finds the perfect “fit” when we have an opening. She reaches outside her circle to bring new ideas and inspiration to the board by way of new board members.

Membership Coordinator, Jen Dillon is always balancing the best interests of the members and the organization. She spends countless hours agonizing about things like how the USDF increased fees will impact our members and can we hold dues at their current level or will that undermine the finances of the organization. While the membership role may seem high visibility much of the work is done behind the scenes to be sure we provide the best balance of programs and cost to our members.

Members at Large, Helen van der Voort and Dawn Mackenzie are the voice of the members on the board. Their role is to always advocate for the members and bring concerns and member ideas to the board. They are your voice and advocates within the board.

Rounding out the membership team is Alexandra Dane as Ombudsman. With luck Alexandra never has to perform the duties of her role which is to handle dispute resolution. But should the need arise we know Alexandra’s amazing tact and grace will help to smooth the waters to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome.

Many of you know Beth Beukema for her work in bringing us blockbuster symposia featuring Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and very soon Dorothee Schneider. But there is a whole team of board members working on NEDA Education.

The team is led by Education Coordinator, Stanley Edwards, who keeps everyone on task and communicating within the team. She is a wonderfully positive leader who has built a great team.

Sally Davenport manages our Judge Education programs. She is responsible for our having well-trained, qualified judges in the region and larger area. She makes sure the programs are filled and future judges get the best education possible, while also providing education for auditors in what judges are looking for when they are judging rides. There is a tremendous amount of coordination required to put together these programs and Sally does it so well it appears effortless, which it certainly is not!

Twice a year NEDA conducts our very popular scholarship program. In order for there to be a fair distribution of the scholarships Sam Williams leads a team who judges each application against a published grid of criteria. Sam must put together the scholarship team and then communicate with all the applicants. This program has grown significantly as it has become more well known. Sam has done a great job being sure the funds are distributed in a fair and organized manner based on the criteria.

Our sponsorship team is led by Vincent Flores and includes Kari Cincotta and Sam Yonika. They work closely together to identify companies and individuals willing to offer financial support to NEDA. Once they have a sponsor on board, they communicate with event managers to be sure the sponsor receives all the benefits and visibility they are due. It is a huge responsibility to both the organization, to bring in the sponsorship funds, and the sponsors to provide them with benefits and keep them happy so they will continue to support the organization.

Managing the flow of all the financial resources for the organization falls to our Treasurer, Iris Berdrow. Iris makes sure all the managers put together budgets for their areas each year and then handles the negotiations with the board members to get us to a balanced budget. In addition, she oversees our investments, the work of our bookkeeper and auditors. It is her responsibility to keep us fiscally responsible.

Legal responsibility is the venue of our Board Secretary, Heather Stone. Heather handles the important details of our by-laws, minutes and makes sure we perform all our responsibilities as a non-profit entity. She also gracefully fields legal questions like whether we can run a fundraising raffle when they come up for the 400th time!

Overseeing the work of the Education and Competition Committees is Kate O’Connor as Vice President of Activities. Kate’s institutional knowledge of NEDA has been helpful to so many new board members in finding their way in the organization. Kate’s enthusiasm and dedication to NEDA is extraordinary and we appreciate her years of dedicated service to the membership.

Christine Shea oversees the Sponsorship, Membership and Public Relations areas as Vice President of Services. Christine’s wealth of experience in the world of customer service professionally has been a tremendous asset to NEDA as the organization has grown and evolved over the past years. The board can always count on Christine to bring us back to the facts when discussions become passionate in our meetings! And they do because the entire board is passionate about NEDA and dressage!

Although I opened by saying this was a letter in recognition of the unsung heroes I would be remiss not to sing the praises of our more high visibility board members, Beth Jenkins as Competitions Coordinator, Paul Cormier as Spring and Summer Show Manager, Kathy Hickerson as Sporthorse Coordinator and Beth Beukema, Fall Symposium Manager all do an amazing job in their very public roles representing NEDA.

It is truly a privilege to be part of this dedicated, passionate group of volunteer board members! Personally, I thank each one of them for their hard work, professionalism and dedication in leading the organization.

It is my hope that this letter will not only recognize the board members who work so diligently behind the scenes but help the membership to better understand the workings of your organization that you may not see on a daily basis. And by all means if one of the areas in the board piques your interest don’t hesitate to reach out to Jennifer Englund in Nominations. She is always on the lookout for great people!

Best,
Phyllis

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