REGIONAL BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
Can you share how and why did you become a member of ACHE?
In 2011, we submitted a program for an award to ACHE South and we won! My colleague and I flew to San Antonio and immediately felt at home. Everyone was welcoming and a lot of fun. We learned about Continuing Education programs, leadership opportunities and saw how everyone enjoyed being together. We were wholeheartedly committed by the end of that conference.
Tell us the story. What got you engaged with ACHE? Why do you stay engaged in ACHE?
In San Antonio, ACHE South leadership said they needed a host for the 2013 Regional Conference. At that moment, I jumped into the deep end and raised my hand to serve as host. In 2013, I was elected as Member at Large. I continued to serve as Secretary, Chair-Elect, Chair and Past Chair. I stay engaged because of the people who give me opportunities to grow. Being a part of an incredibly dedicated group of professionals gives me great satisfaction and a greater sense of belonging. We stay committed to each other and to the organization by offering ourselves possibilities to stretch and grow. ACHE is where I try new skills and ideas before bringing them to my university. Working in this safe space with supportive colleagues makes all the difference in my professional and personal life.
What is the greatest leadership lesson you’ve learned from your experience with ACHE?
There are so many! From maintaining a vast network with professionals all over the country to presenting at my first conference to serving in roles I never would have anticipated have given me many opportunities for growth. Watching other leaders succeed gives me confidence to try these opportunities for myself. The biggest lesson I have learned is to say “yes” often and rely on the team to help me through any situation.
How has being a part of ACHE enhanced your professional competencies and career progression?
Trying new roles and implementing ideas at ACHE gives me practice before I try these ideas at my university. I gain confidence and can see how new programs may or may not work well. In an unusual twist, my current UWF President heard about me from my ACHE South colleague (Dr. Susan Elkins) who said wonderful things about me. Later, when I met my UWF President for the first time, she said I was “legendary” as she had already heard many positive things about me and my work. That was a big advantage!
What is something unique or special about your ACHE Region that you would like to share with others?
The South region is special because of the remarkably dedicated individuals who remain involved over the course of many years. When I have a question, my ACHE South colleagues answer the call in no time. Even when they retire, they return to present or participate in conferences. They are lifelong friends and people I rely on to give me advice and guidance. Plus, I love the big dance party during the conference! So much fun!
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your experience with ACHE?
Say “yes”, jump into the deep end, try new ideas, grow in ways you never expected. You will be greater for the experience and so will ACHE.