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Message from ARNOVA Executive Director

Tuesday, March 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: ARNOVA
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Did you miss it? Read the Board Announcement from President Angela Eikenberry here first.






This is a moment of mixed emotions.  I am sad to be leaving the job I have loved waking up to every morning since June 2013.  While I am grateful for the monthly salary, I have never considered serving as executive director as work.  It has been a labor of love that has played an important part in my journey to seek to make the world a better place.  I came to ARNOVA not as a stranger but as an anxious emerging scholar and would argue that I leave to join the ranks of our membership this fall, still, an anxious emerging scholar.


During the past six years, I have had the privilege to serve under four amazing presidents: Francie Ostrower, who hired me and helped us set up the foundation for our work; Alan Abramson, who helped us to dream and embrace global membership; Mary Tschirhart, who helped us strategize and institutionalize our dreams; and Angela Eikenberry, who has put deep meaning and emphasis to our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  These are amazing people who are more than bosses – but are dear friends and mentors.


During the past six years, I have had the privilege to work with 78 board members and 6 editors of NVSQ, who have taken those roles to heart.  They have worked so hard in helping us make this association we all love into a place that is an inclusive community.  They are all friends, colleagues and more like extended family.


During the past six years, I have had the privilege to work with 378 ARNOVA members who have stepped up to serve in various committees and section leaders.  Volunteer hours have on many occasions these past few years surpassed the number of staff FTE’s.  I have loved working with you shoulder to shoulder as we seek to make ARNOVA a more inclusive, compassionate community.  Some great friendships have resulted from these amazing opportunities to work together.


I have had the privilege to work with some amazing staff.  Some who are no longer employed at ARNOVA and the current amazing team lead by our Associate Director, Holly Titus.  It is their collective hard work that I have been proud to stand behind.  They understand the importance of our mission and the need to help our membership shine. We have formed deep friendships that will continue.


Above all, I have loved the many conversations with all of our members and supporters, who have always had a kind word, disproportionate amounts of praise and always helpful ideas to help move ARNOVA forward. You make the phrase (that I stole from the movie, Thor: Ragnarok) – ARNOVA is not a place, it’s a people.


I can’t thank all of you enough for the joy of serving in the role of executive director.  While leaving ARNOVA in this role wasn’t easy – it was made easier knowing the incredible people that make up our board, members and staff.  It would have been harder if ARNOVA wasn’t in such a great place.  Our financial, membership, operations and leadership systems are all in a strong place because of our collective work.


Most importantly, it was an easier decision because I am not leaving ARNOVA.  I am simply changing my role within it – I move from being the executive director to a member.  This is quite the promotion and I hope to live up to this new role with your collective help.


I remain your executive director through July 31, 2019.  I hope to connect with many of you as we continue to speed ahead to do the work we need to continue ARNOVA’s important work.  I hope to see most of you in San Diego, California in November at the ARNOVA Annual Conference.  I will be rushing down the hallways running from presentation to presentation; meeting to meeting; trying to successfully navigate the hallways of our amazing conference.


Just as you have walked with me side-by-side these past six years, I ask that you allow me to follow in your footsteps these next few years as I learn to navigate becoming a scholar.  You all are such great role models – and I hope to learn so much from all of you in the years to come.  More importantly, I look forward to deepening our friendships over the years to come.  In the meantime, this isn’t goodbye but until we meet again.


Thank you bringing such joy in my life these past six years!







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The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) is a diverse community of scholars, educators, and practice leaders that strengthens the field of nonprofit and philanthropic research in order to improve civil society and human life.

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