Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The SASFAA Slate is Set!

Submitted By:  Brad Barnett, Nomination and Elections Committee Chair

I am very happy to announce the approved slate of candidates for the elections that will take place just prior to the February 2013 Annual Conference.  The following individuals will be on the slate for the respective positions.

President Elect:
Nathan Basford (4 year public, Florida State University – Florida)
Nancy Garmroth (2 year public, Spartanburg Community College – South Carolina)

Vice President:
Tabitha McCallister (4 year public, University of South Carolina – South Carolina)
Marian Huffman (4 year private, Lee University – Tennessee)
Amy Moser (Vendor/Sponsor, Nelnet – Georgia)
Jennifer Priest (4 year private, Transylvania University – Kentucky)

Stay tuned for more information regarding the candidates and election process.  We will be posting information about the candidates to the SASFAA website, and an announcement will be made once that has been done.  In the meantime, feel free to contact any of the candidates should you have questions for them.  I’m confident SASFAA will be on good hands regardless of the outcome, and I sincerely appreciate each candidate’s willingness to run for office and serve the SASFAA membership.

I would like to thank the other members of the committee below for their work in developing this slate.

  • Vickie Adams (Alabama)
  • Allison Beaver (Florida)
  • Nancy Ferguson (Georgia)
  • Aaron Gabehart (Kentucky)
  • Seph Anderson (Mississippi)
  • Kim Driggers (North Carolina)
  • Allison Sullivan (South Carolina)
  • Lester McKenzie (Tennessee)
  • Melissa Barnes (Virginia)

Lastly, the February ballot will also include one By-law change that the Executive Board would like to present the membership for approval.  It’s rather minor, but needs the membership vote to approve it since it’s in the By-laws.

Current By-law:
Article II – Principal Office
The principal office of the Association, a nonprofit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia, shall be in Snellville, Georgia.

Proposed By-law:
Article II – Principal Office
The principal office of the Association, a nonprofit corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Georgia
, shall be in Snellville, Georgia.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Budget & Finance Committee Report

Submitted by Marian Huffman, SASFAA Budget & Finance Committee Chair

The Budget and Finance Committee met in Nashville, Tennessee on October 24 - 25, 2012 and conducted the annual financial review of the SASFAA records for fiscal year July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.  The committee commends Nancy Garmroth, treasurer for an outstanding job of complying with the Association’s policies and procedures, for maintaining the records in excellent condition and in an orderly manner which was easy to follow and understand.  The treasurer’s attention to detail was noted on numerous occasions.  The committee commends the board for working within the framework of the approved budget.  The board is continuing to look for opportunities to minimize cost and to maximize the organization’s resources.

During the November 2012 Executive Board meeting, the board agreed to update and clarify the investment strategy of the organization.   The approved plan financial plan is to maintain 15% - 20% of total assets in the day-to-day operating funding.  The remaining assets will be divided between short and long term investments each will contain approximately 30% - 45%.  The short term investments are typically CDs with maturity dates less than 36 months.  SASFAA is currently using a Financial Advisor from Edward Jones to assist in securing CDs and Short Duration Bonds which yield a higher rate of return. Long-term investments have a maturity of greater than 36 months.  At this time SASFAA will continue to utilize NASFAA’s Charles Schwab investment strategy.  This allows SASFAA to benefit from the investment advisors secured by NASFAA.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Georgia State Report

Submitted by Phillip Hawkins, 2012-2013 GASFAA President

"Continue the Momentum!". This is the way I have been greeting GASFAA members on the first of each month at the GASFAA Grapevine blog.  Drawing from my most recent interest in endurance sports (i.e., distance running, and sprint triathlons involving swimming, biking, and running), I have learned the importance of setting realistic goals and training properly to make for a successful competition or race.  Sometimes, setbacks occur, as happened to me in September when I crashed my bike in a race.  Even through setbacks, it is important to rest, recuperate, and re-evaluate the proper time to re-enter a training program or race.  Then during the off-season, it is important to re-focus training on the fundamental techniques of the sports so that next year's races and competitions are more successful than this year.

I see many parallels to these experiences to the work we accomplish in Financial Aid.  We are currently in our "off-season" (so to speak), so many offices are looking ahead to the anticipated changes in 20013-2014 and training their staffs appropriately.  Sometimes setbacks occur - like thinking we understood Pell LEU only to find out a week before disbursement that our software did not necessarily handle it like we thought.  And we often find ourselves fatigued and stressed out during the month of August, so we have to keep reminding ourselves to live healthy to keep the momentum moving forward.  If you would like to follow the "Continue the Momentum" series, the articles are available from the GASFAA website - www.gasfaa.org, and click the link for the GASFAA Grapevine blog.  You might see what appears to be someone "walking on water."

GASFAA is continuing the momentum established by our 2011-2012 Executive Board which was led fabulously by Nancy Ferguson from the University of Georgia.  Nancy reminded us of importance of legislative advocacy and she re-kindled our enthusiasm as an association.  She also prioritized an emphasis on leadership development - for our offices as well as for GASFAA.  We are continuing the leadership development focus this year.

GASFAA delivered the NASFAA Fall Training topic "Direct Loans - The Rest of the Story" on November 1st, 2012 at the campus of Central Georgia Technical College in Macon, Georgia.  Additional basic training and leadership development topics are planned for the winter and spring months.

GASFAA is also busy planning our Spring Conference, to be held May 22-24, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.  The theme for this year's conference is tentatively scheduled to be "GASFAA Celebrates 20 Years of HOPE" and will mark the 20th anniversary of the first Georgia HOPE Scholarship Award which was made in the Fall of 1993.  We are hoping to recognize some of the early state government leadership which gave birth to the HOPE Scholarship program which has enabled over 1.4 million Georgians to attend college since the program began.

Finally, GASFAA is eager to welcome SASFAA to Georgia for the annual conference February 10-13, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta!  We hope you are making plans to attend this exciting conference marking SASFAA's 50th anniversary!  We look forward to seeing you in February!