Our time is the most valuable commodity we have. Freely giving of that time for a greater purpose without expectation of something in return is the most precious gift we can offer. For those who give this gift so willingly to our Association: Thank You! The VHMA was built on the shoulders of people just like you, selfless professionals who saw something greater in our potential. While we have so many opportunities for members to contribute and volunteer, serving on the VHMA Board of Directors requires the most time and effort. While this may seem intimidating at first, I assure you the rewards far outweigh the costs.
To those members who raised their hands and submitted a nomination for a VHMA office, well done! We are proud of you and grateful for your desire to serve. I am certain that this decision did not come easily. There are lots of things to consider. You should know that each of you has so much to offer. Your knowledge and experience are critical in leading the Association into the next decade. I promise that your contribution will be valued and the connections you make will be lifelong.
Members ask me about what it is like to serve on the Board. Most often this is the initial step in understanding if the role is right for them. I believe that each of us needs to decide that for ourselves. I am certain that if you asked each Board member, past and present, what it is like to serve you would get many different answers. I also know that every one of them would say, “It is worth every minute.”
As you think about making this commitment consider the following ideas:
- Why do I want to contribute to the VHMA, particularly at the Board level?
- Am I so passionate about our Association that I am willing to give my time to advance it without anything in return?
- Do I have the time and resources to devote to the VHMA?
- Am I interested and willing to learn about association management? (Yes, it is different than practice management.)
- Do I enjoy challenging the norm, innovating and collaborating with others?
When I was first nominated to the Board by a colleague and dear friend, I felt truly honored and humbled. Honestly, I jumped right in without any consideration for the time or cost. I was so excited to help however I could. Back then our membership was less than half it is today. Board members wore many hats as we strived to elevate the VHMA. At times it felt our progress was incremental and slow. Looking back we were actually changing by leaps and bounds.
As the VHMA has grown and more individuals like you have raised their hands in service, we can accomplish so much more. The role of the Board is focused on strategic planning and direction for the Association. While the time commitment remains similar, the activities have changed. Our Association is truly making a mark on the industry. All because some were willing to share their most valuable commodity.
I have spent the past 11 years as a VHMA Board member. After countless hours of phone calls, travel, meetings, emails, and networking I still look forward to every minute. I still love seeing that moment when a new member realizes they have found their people. And while the selfless contribution of so many may sometimes go unnoticed, it is never unappreciated. The real recognition is seeing the VHMA grow and help so many professionals.
If I step back and think about the personal growth and rewards of my time on the Board, it is impossible to feel that I didn’t’ get the better end of the deal. I have learned from colleagues and made lifelong friends in the process. I have been challenged to grow and see things with a new lens. I have a better understanding of our industry and the issues we face. I have picked up so many great ideas and hopefully shared one or two along the way. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve the VHMA and each of you, my friends and colleagues.
For those of you who have submitted a nomination: Thank You, I know you will make a tremendous contribution. If you are flirting with the idea: jump in, the water feels great.
Jim Nash, MHA, CVPM