Here in Washington right now we’re all wondering if we finally have a championship team. We have three contenders in different phases of their season. The Capitals are going for the Stanley Cup (and by the time this publishes their fate will be sealed, but as of this writing, they have a shot.) Meanwhile, the Nationals sit atop the National League with a record of 15-9. And then there are the Washington Redskins. Those of us that have lived in the DC area for our whole lives still think of the Redskins as Super Bowl champs, but that was a long time ago. Yet now we have a new quarterback in whom the whole city has placed its hopes and dreams for a winning season. And best of all, RGIII will be passing to Josh Morgan, son of AUPHA’s own former Membership Director, Dennis Morgan. So it is an exciting time in DC as we think about our championship teams.
One team that hasn’t gotten nearly the press, but which makes a daily difference in my life and yours is the amazing team of women I have the privilege of working with every day. Since I tend to choke up at the Annual Meeting whenever I try to talk about them, I thought I would share with you here their remarkable accomplishments over the last couple of years. They rarely get enough recognition for the hard work that they do. So, in alphabetical order…
I have Liane to thank for finding Kristi Donovan and bringing her to AUPHA. She met her when we were looking for a Senior Director of Professional Development who could launch the AUPHA Network and move our Faculty Networks towards greater engagement and productivity. Kristi has taken AUPHA to a new level in the social networking space, and has become a subject matter expert on the subject. She’s a sought-after consultant to help other associations launch similar programs to the AUPHA Network. Kristi has become the content librarian at AUPHA, striving to ensure that our faculty have the resources they need to excel. Most recently, Kristi has led the process of developing the healthcare management Body of Knowledge. She is an outside of the box thinker who challenges us to think about what is possible.
Anyone who has come to an AUPHA meeting has had the pleasure of meeting Lucinda Flowers. Lucinda joined AUPHA in 2008 as our Meeting & Events Coordinator, and has since taken on increasing responsibility and leadership in the meetings area. As Director of Meetings & Events, she is now fully responsible for all aspects of meeting development and management. As you might imagine, this is no small task, and the caliber of AUPHA’s meetings has increased dramatically under her leadership. Lucinda works tirelessly year round to ensure your educational experiences are of the highest possible quality, from the signage to the educational sessions to the networking events. Don’t miss her crowning achievement in Minneapolis this month!
You all know Liane Pinero-Kluge. She’s been my partner in this venture for ten years now. She came to AUPHA as our Director of Marketing and Communications, and now holds the title of Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for the day to day operations of the Association. Liane has grown AUPHA membership by almost 30% in the last five years. She has branded AUPHA so that students, faculty and employers all see us as the place to go for information on healthcare management education. And if all of that wasn’t enough, she has singlehandedly launched and managed HAMPCAS, our centralized application service. Liane’s accomplishments and responsibilities are too many to mention here, but suffice to say that she keeps the joint running so that I can get out of the “office.”
Lacey Meckley also joined AUPHA in 2008. She started as a temp covering the front desk. I thought she was so great that I quickly hired her as my administrative assistant. But we knew pretty quickly that Lacey had a way with members and the ability to manage multiple responsibilities. So within her first six months, she went from temp to Membership Coordinator, and is now Director of Membership. Lacey has a reputation for being incredibly responsive and able to answer almost any question. She has moved the Undergraduate Certification program to new levels of excellence, and has a remarkable level of knowledge on the undergraduate criteria and how programs can strive to succeed in pursuit of Certification.
Many associations of our size outsource their financial function, but we are lucky enough to have two highly competent individuals managing our finances. One of them is Elizabeth Mekonnen (now Assefa). Elizabeth is our accounting assistant, and she is responsible for ensuring that AUPHA maintains the highest level of transparency and accountability in our financial activities. She is responsible for ensuring that our bills get paid and our revenue goes to the right place. Elizabeth not only brings her understanding of bookkeeping to the role, but has gone above and beyond to understand AUPHA’s programs and services to ensure that our finances match our program budgeting. This is the kind of support you just can find when you outsource this function.
The second member of our finance team is Kimberly Starks. Kimberly was another of the new era of AUPHA staff that joined us in 2008 as the Director of Finance and Administration. Kimberly’s responsibilities range from managing the human resources function within AUPHA to carrying out the audit to negotiating our lease to overseeing all financial functions to….well, you get the picture. She has a lot on her plate! One of her most recent accomplishments was to manage our move into a virtual work environment from a fully occupied office. Can you imagine how hard it is to get rid of all of that stuff? But on a serious note, Kimberly is responsible for ensuring we follow the best practices in association financial management which is a major priority of the Board and yours truly.
And finally, Stephanie Williams joined the AUPHA staff last August. She has the distinction of having the longest title in AUPHA as the Administrative Assistant for Membership, Marketing and Meetings. As you might imagine, Stephanie is the queen of the multitask! She supports three discreet functions within AUPHA, answers to three supervisors, and does it all with poise and competence. She has now staffed two meetings, the Undergraduate Workshop and the Leaders Conference, and is preparing to take on the Annual Meeting in a few weeks. While Stephanie may be working primarily behind the scenes, her contribution is essential to making our meetings, member services, and marketing campaigns a tremendous success.
At a recent meeting of the Small Staff Association Committee of the American Society of Association Executives, a colleague turned to me and said that AUPHA is a small staff association that acts like a large staff association. And I had to agree. I think it is remarkable what a group of nine people are able to accomplish and how innovative we have been able to be. I am convinced it is the fact that we have the right people doing the right jobs at the right time, and I am so fortunate to have the privileged to lead this team of remarkable women.
If you are at Annual Meeting, please take a moment to thank them for all that they do. If you aren’t, don’t hesitate to reach out to them by email or phone. They are always eager to hear from you.
I hope to see many of you in a few weeks in Minneapolis. All the best for a happy end of the academic year!