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Message from the Chair
Submitted by: Sandy Brown, DEDCMD ASFAA Chair
When I was approached run for Chair-Elect two years ago, I was reluctant. I was not hesitant about the opportunity to chair the association that has given me so much these past years, but hesitant because we had just learned my father was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. When I expressed my reluctance and the reason, I was assured that I would be supported no matter what. I was concerned that I would not be able to provide the time, energy and leadership that this great association deserves and that so many before me had valiantly provided. Little did I know that many of my fears would soon become a harsh reality.
So here we are, two years later. I served my term as Chair-Elect and now ending my term as Chair. I have learned much about love, loss, fear, friendship and kindness.
And while I know I have not been as visible and energetic as I would have liked, I learned a few more things—that this organization is worthwhile… it is filled with people who care and who are not afraid to show they care, it is strong and it is (luckily) self-governing. I learned that leadership is more than a label or a role, it is a philosophy. I learned that everyone is a leader in their own way. I learned that being a member of this association means more than Financial Aid, regulations, workshops and a conference. It is about volunteerism, giving, generosity, sharing and teamwork. What I would like to impart to you, the future leaders of this association, is this—be a leader, be involved, show that you care and mostly be kind.
I think it is important for you all to know that I did get the support that I was promised. Not only was I flooded with support, but also encouragement. I would also like to say thank you to all of you who have shown me outright kindness and understanding. Your notes and emails have sustained me through this difficult time.
So, what is my point? My point is this—many of you may also be reluctant to get involved, be on a committee or even run for office. I urge you to look beyond that. This is an organization that supports itself and its members. Not only that, but it needs you.
I know our new Chair, Rich Heath and the Executive Board, will lead this organization and provide wisdom and value in the year ahead. So go ahead, get involved… The Future in Now!