In my role as SASFAA President-Elect this year, I was recently able to participate in NASFAA’s Interregional Visitation Program by attending the WASFAA Executive Council (Board) Meeting held at the Pointe Hilton Hotel and Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, November 15 – 16, 2012. WASFAA members are represented by the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, the Pacific Islands, and Washington.
NASFAA initiated the Interregional Visitation Program in 1998 in an attempt to expand the leadership role for Board members, to provide an opportunity for Board members to interact with NASFAA members, and to increase NASFAA’s visibility and communication within the regional associations. As a result of NASFAA Board action taken in 2009, the only positions that now receive a subsidy from NASFAA for this program are the second-year Reps at Large on the NASFAA Board and the Regional Presidents-Elect (who may or may not be on the NASFAA Board this year due to a transition whereby only two people from each regional association attend the NASFAA Board meetings and in SASFAA’s case beginning with this year, those are the President and Past President).
It took most of the day on Wednesday, November 14th for me to travel from Richmond, VA to Phoenix. I was met at the airport by a group of WASFAA members and was able to enjoy some local cuisine that evening. The meeting started with lunch at the hotel on Thursday, November 15th and concluded by 11 am on Friday, November 16th. I was back home that evening by 11:30 pm which made for a very long day but it was nice being back home going into the weekend before Thanksgiving break.
One of the main differences between the way WASFAA conducts its Board meeting compared to SASFAA is that they started using a Consent of Agenda process last year whereby many of the committee and state president reports are collected and distributed far enough in advance that all attendees are expected to have read them prior to the meeting and only any new information and/or items that need to be approved are reported on during the meeting. This definitely helped to move the meeting along!
Discussions revolved around fiscal matters, a new Strategic Plan for 2014-2016, the annual conference, communications strategies (web-site, Facebook, Twitter, listserv) and federal legislative updates to name just a few. I took a good amount of notes and at the end of the meeting, I was asked to make a few remarks. What I said was how interesting it was to me how many ways our associations are similar even with the differences that also exist. I also thanked all of them for their warm hospitality and for allowing me to be a part of their Executive Council Meeting.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Annual Conference in February!