Special Presidents Message May 2015

AlisonGRAVA’s 2014/2015 membership cycle is quickly drawing to a close, which means that our annual professional development conference is right around the corner! Looking back, I would like to believe (and I hope most GRAVA members would agree with me) that GRAVA is much stronger, more active, and of greater value than it was just a couple of years ago. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our hard-working, conscientious, and innovative board and the active support and participation of our membership, we have had great success in strengthening and expanding the package of benefits that comes with GRAVA membership.

We now offer ten monthly programs (including breakfast) that are intentionally aligned with the CVA competencies. Our roundtable meetings are designed to build upon the content provided at our workshops, with a focus on shared experiences. Every program emphasizes best practices and offers practical tools that can be applied the next day. The mix of formal and informal meetings, including the Buddy Program and Book Club, provide multiple opportunities for large & small group discussions and paired peer counseling. All these professional development opportunities are supported by a strong system of communication tools that aim to keep our members in the know, inform them of upcoming networking & learning events, and broaden their access to local, regional, and national resources.

GRAVA, for me, has always been about excellence, professionalism, and leadership, and every effort we have made as a board over the past two years has been to support, promote, honor, and celebrate those qualities. We want our members to see GRAVA as an absolutely indispensable resource and, judging from recent attendance numbers, we seem to be succeeding!

But the best is yet to come!
Online registration for our annual Professional Development Conference on July 9 will open TODAY, and we encourage all members not just to register for the conference, but to also renew their membership for the 2015/2016 program cycle (which runs from September 1, 2015-August 31, 2016). For all the reasons stated above, 2015/2016 membership dues will increase from $30 to $50, which means that the combined cost of the conference registration plus membership renewal will only be $90….still a bargain! The increased revenue will allow us to provide better breakfasts, engage more renowned speakers, increase the number of evening networking events, and provide more scholarships, which means that GRAVA is just going to keep getting better and better.

On September 1, GRAVA member and CVA Melissa Gilmore will take the helm as board president and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, GRAVA is going to reach new heights of excellence and set new standards of professionalism. I wouldn’t miss it for the world, and I hope you won’t either. Here’s to another FANTASTIC year of GRAVA!

Alison Jones-Nassar, CVA
President, Greater Richmond Association for Volunteer Administration (GRAVA)

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