Thanks for the Memories: A Tribute to Retiring Board Members
“Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.”
- Charles M. Schulz
This quote seems so apropos as four of our friends and board members step off the Grants Managers Network (GMN) board and four more join us. But right now I would like to acknowledge the four to whom we will be saying goodbye (but only as board members): Kelly Kleppe, Andrew McFarland, Adin Miller and Kyle Reis. These four people will be greatly missed. They are immensely talented and wholly committed to the profession of grants management and GMN. While they will remain part of GMN, and will still serve on committees, I asked them to answer some questions about their board service and what it has meant to them.
When asked what they have enjoyed most and what they will miss most about serving on the board, they all mentioned the friendships that have been made and the learning experience that has been gained. As Kyle Reis said, “I’ll miss the interaction and camaraderie of the group.” For the past three years while Kyle has served as board co-chair, his intelligence and wit have guided us through a hiring process, strategic planning, co-chairing the first annual conference committee, Project Streamline – and the list could go on. Kyle, or his alter-ego (also known as an avatar) Zazoom Ziminy can be found from time to time holding forth in GMN’s office on Second Life; he’d love to tell you more. An active GMN member for the past ten years, he will continue volunteering at the national level and as part of the New York region. As he said in expressing his concern about losing touch with his many GMN friends, “My virtual door is always open! Thanks for the memories.” Thank you, Kyle.
Kelly Kleppe originally got involved with grants managers in Minnesota over nine years ago and was an active member when she joined the national GMN. She has served two terms on the board and co-chaired this year’s annual conference. She said that board service has “provided me a real sense of community that I will sorely miss.” Kelly has also been on the Collective Knowledge Committee (previously Best Practices and Opportunities) and worked on the GM Guide and the certification process. When asked what she enjoyed most about serving on the board, she said, “being able to pay back GMN for the knowledge and support it has provided me over the years.” Her warm personality and dedication have made her a joy to work with.
Acknowledging the opportunities and responsibilities of service on the board, Andrew McFarland mentioned the “necessary and vital service that GMN provides to both the grants management and philanthropic community,” and added that it is important to “communicate the purpose of these services and programs to the network and serve as their advocate.” Andrew first joined the Northern California regional group in 2000, served on the national Conference Committee, and was elected to the board in 2007. Andrew’s organizational skills and commitment to GMN have made us all better board members. This dedication can best be summed up with his comment about board service: “We know the community we serve – because it is ‘us.’”
Adin Miller joined GMN in 2003, and as a member of the Program Committee, co-chaired the first annual conference in New York; but this was only one of many firsts for Adin. Completing two terms on the board and serving as Treasurer for the past three years, he worked with the Finance Committee to complete GMN’s first audit. As a member of the Executive Committee, he helped recruit and hire GMN’s first Executive Director, Michelle Greanias. He commented that, “I will truly miss the wonderful work and intensity that the board brings to its responsibilities and tasks.” Echoing the sentiments of the others, he said, “I’ve grown and developed as a professional through my experiences.” Adin’s sharp intellect and charming smile will be missed.
Board service is a privilege and an honor, and these four people have truly lived up to those standards. It has been a privilege and an honor to have served with them!
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