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February 13, 2014

Greetings from the Alumni Meeting!

We just concluded a great meeting and I wanted to let you all know some of the details. Unfortunately, some of you were unable to join us because of the weather—we have to look at another date besides February for our meetings!! In addition, some of us are enjoying Dallas for a day or two longer, as the snow along the east coast has proved to be quite a challenge for getting home!

We began the experience with our Leadership Workshops. The Innovation Leadership workshop led us through new approaches for tackling complex problems and realizing novel solutions. The Work-Life Integration helped us analyze how we manage the boundaries between work and the rest of life. CCL provided expert facilitators for both sessions and those of us who were able to participate came out of this day and half experience with renewed insight and energy.

The timing for the Business Meeting was fortuitous. We were able to come together to discuss the Alumni Association business along with the recent RWJF announcement about the sunsetting of many of the Human Capitol Programs. The Board shared the Association's work on our Strategic Plan, our success with building the membership, and our programmatic offerings such as the Peer Consultation Calls, the revival of the Seed Grants opportunities, and our fundraising endeavors (STAR Program and the Legacy Funds). We have a call for nominations to serve on the Board (Treasurer and three Directors-at-Large) and the deadline for submitting nominations is February 24. We have many opportunities to engage our membership and NOW is the time for Alums to join the Committees that support the Alumni Association.

The Alumni and current Fellows in attendance stepped up to fundraising plate! During the meeting, we raised about $5000 in our Membership Drive and our STARS Program! The STARS Program is our invitation to "pay it forward" and acknowledge the person or persons whom you would like to honor as instrumental in your role as a nurse leader. We will send out a letter to the leaders notifying them of your gift in their names. The 2003 ENF Cohort began the Nursing Legacy Endowment Fund to provide funds for nursing leadership and to provide educational programs related to healthcare. We hope that all Alumni Association members will join us in honoring the STARS in our lives as well as contributing to the Legacy Program.

Today, we heard Dave Altman from CCL who reminded us that our journey is right now—in the middle of the road. He challenged us to think broadly about the incredible opportunity that is before us. We then heard from Sue Hassmiller who discussed the RWJF decisions regarding the Human Capital programs. There are several documents available to you now that explain the strategic decisions of the RWJF—the RWJ ENF Newsletter that was sent to you earlier this week, as well as the RWJ website (http://www.rwjf.org/en/about-rwjf/newsroom/features-and-articles/A-Bold-New-Direction-for-Leadership-Programs.html). Sue's presentation today was videotaped and we will make it available on the RWJ ENF website hopefully next week. Sue emphasized that ENFs can add to the power of RWJF funding because of our numbers, expertise, and influence by recreating a structural entity that embraces alumni from other RWJF programs. We discussed the RWJF Leadership Network Social Media website and suggested it was not meeting the needs of the members. Sue suggested that the RWJF Alumni can be used to further the message and impact of the new RWJF strategy. The ENFs can and should explore a closer connection with the State Action Coalition leadership. RWJF is hosting a meeting in April to form a "dream team" to forward the new strategic direction of the Foundation. The reformation of alumni groups needs to be an essential dream element for discussion and representation at that April meeting. We broke into six discussion groups to ask each other questions of where do we go from here and how do we get there? The report from those group discussions will be made available within the next month.

The immediate answer of where we go from here is a two-pronged approach: The Board will continue to support growth and development of the strategic plan of the Alumni Association and form a separate task force/working group to develop a plan that responds to the opportunities of creating an interprofessional alumni organization. Our second approach is to form a new Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of Nursing Action Coalitions so that the Alumni Association can keep abreast of all their activities as well as contribute to the success of the Coalitions.

The Board meets again in three weeks. We are going to send out the documents outlined in this letter. We are hoping to have a webinar in the next month or two for all Alumni to listen and discuss our response to the opportunity for creating an interprofessional alumni association.

In the interim, please get involved in this Alumni Organization! We need you to run for office, join a Committee, and work to continue the legacy of the ENF program.

Kind regards to all!

Kate Malliarakis (99)

PS. We voted on some changes to the Association Bylaws and posted the new Bylaws on my.executivenursefellows.org