You couldn’t invent a lovelier, more energetic, more fun group of peers than our clinical society board of directors if you tried. And I mean that literally and seriously. I’ve been serving of the board for about 12 years now – three as president about five presidents ago – and…….I’m still here!
I originally became an “active” member working on a mission that totally failed: some 15 years ago we tried to create a pro bono program offering therapy services to returning soldiers at what was then Walter Reed. It was about to happen when there was a turnover in the powers that be at the hospital, and the project fell apart. This is to say that no good effort goes unpunished: two years later I became the society’s president.
Yes, it’s hard to imagine someone who put in the hard time of being the prez hanging around like for so long. But in fact, we all have! Every one of the more recent presidents has had such a hard time giving up the joys of working with wonderful people that we’ve found ways to stay active and involved. We’ve taking on roles as directors, committee chairs, and advisors, and continue to attend not only the quarterly board meetings but the monthly executive committee meetings as well.
Lest you think, “Oh, so it’s a bunch of old-timers running things like they used to,” let me loudly disabuse you of this notion. In the near decade since I was president, the board has grown from about 10 people to 30 or so, with most of the additions being younger members, many working at agencies, who bring so much creativity with them. So the “work” of the society has changed in many exciting ways: it is more inclusive, has a much broader base both of membership and programming, and better reflects the exigencies of the world we live and work in today. We are forward looking, passionate about our evolving mission, and willing to take risks in trying new activities and programs.
One last thought. Since we now have a much broader leadership base, there’s no huge onus on any one volunteer (except maybe The Prez). Many positions are shared, and some of our top officers take long vacations (like a month!) and everyone just covers for each other. Also, there are plenty of smaller, time-limited jobs people can do: volunteer to help at a continuing education event or a MSW school job fair, or host a wine and cheese gathering, or read one bill before a state legislature to see if we need to voice a position on it. All these are good ways of getting to know fellow GWSCSW members and seeing what we do. I guarantee you will find a welcoming group and have a really good time!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org - (301) 652-5699.