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Happy Spring to All!!

At long last, this winter has come to an end! And what a winter it was!!! I think it has made this spring all the more lovely. The Cherry Blossoms are at their peak in DC—so beautiful!

The Alumni Association Board has been very busy since our meeting in Dallas. We welcomed Tener Veenema and Jerry Mansfield to the Board of Directors and Vickie Niederhauser was re-elected. We offered thanks for a job well done to Debra Toney, Ann Cashion, and Joyce Batcheller who are leaving the Board. As you know, we had a computer glitch over the election for Treasurer and resent the ballot out last week. My sincere thanks go to Kathy Sullivan and Joy Reed for their patience with this error. We are happy to welcome Kathy Sullivan as our new Treasurer.

The work of the Strategic Planning Group is continuing. Mary Kay VanDriel and Jerry Mansfield agreed to co-chair the group. Members who agreed to serve on the working group include: Joyce Batcheller, Ann Cary, Paula Lucey, Kate Malliarakis, Tener Veenema, and Kristen Swanson. I have been in touch with Mary Joan Ladden who suggested to the Foundation "that the ENF alumni association is ready and eager and prepared to lead the way." Once they have come to an internal agreement, they will be in touch with us regarding the next steps. We are grateful to Mary Joan and Sue Hassmiller for their support and for keeping us in the loop. Jerry Mansfield and Mary Kay VanDriel are holding their first meeting with the Strategic Planning Group this week so we are moving forward!!

For those who were unable to attend the Dallas meeting, Andi Williams did a wonderful job setting up the video of Sue Hassmiller's talk and interaction with the alumni. We invite you to view the video at Part 1 - and Part 2 – and Part 3 - I offer our sincere thanks to Andi and CCL staff for their hard work on this project.

We just approved revisions in the Bylaws when we met in Dallas. More changes are proposed: We would like to move the Ad Hoc Membership Committee from its present location in the Finance Committee and give it a full Committee standing. We will vote to do this at our next Alumni meeting. Our membership is going well: we currently have 115 paid members which represents over 50% of the Alumni. Our strength is in our numbers—please renew your own memberships and reach out to your cohort members to do the same!!

I offer a gentle reminder to consider availing yourself of the Peer Consultation Calls. The peer coaching process is a way to leverage collective leader expertise among ENF alumni as well as providing continued leadership development. Bring your most challenging leadership issues to the table and receive peer coaching and consultation from fellow alumni. We have had great feedback from Fellows who have participated on the calls—and the calls are free to Alumni!! The calls can handle 10-15 Fellows , yet we had to cancel March's call as we had too few Fellows sign up. Our next call is scheduled for June 11 and we will be sending out registration information in May. Mark your calendars and join us!

Also in May, you can look for applications for the Seed Grants. If you have a small project or need some funds to develop an idea, please consider applying for assistance.

At the meeting in Dallas, we launched our STARs Program. This program honors our 15th year as the RWJF ENF and is your chance to acknowledge our STARS who gave us the gift of their leadership and helped us along the way. We will be sending information out to you shortly so you can participate as well. There is NO limit to the number of STARs you honor!

The RWJF Human Capital blog is always looking for bloggers!!! If you are interested, please contact Lisa Lederer. I've done it—it's fun and doesn't take much time. 

I offer yet another gentle reminder about updating your information on our Alumni website. How else will we know all the wonderful things folks are doing—like Tener Veenema winning AJN Book of the Year? Let us know what you're doing so we can cheer you on!

Finally, we heard you loud and clear about needing to know about our next Alumni Meeting as soon as possible. We are working on dates right now and will finalize by May. We're thinking about Chicago as a possible venue, as it seems central for most Alums. We'll keep you posted as we move forward.

Whew! We are a busy organization! I am so thankful for the many folks who have stepped up to serve on Committees of the Board and invite you all to consider contributing your time and energy towards this viable Alumni group. If you would like to get involved, please email me and I'll help you find a committee of interest to you!

Kind regards,
Kate Driscoll Malliarakis (99)
President, RWJF ENF Alumni Association