VANtage: October 2018

Written by nlyons29 on . Posted in Home Page


I am so pleased that we are able to bring back the VAN Awards this year.  We received many great nominations for the Mary Merrill Award of Excellence, the Executive Leadership Award, and the Corporate Champion Award.  I would like to thank the VAN Award Committee who helped conduct a blind review.  Thank you Danielle Rennick, Saundra McBrearty, and Jane Federer for your support in helping recognize members of our community who support volunteerism.

Last month it was my pleasure to be able to announce the winners and at this time I would like to share an excerpt from each award recipients’ nomination that was submitted.

Mary Merrill Award of Excellence
Sheri McLane nominated Janet Rife with CAPA. Sheri shared these kind words about Janet:

“She personally knew Mary Merrill and was in awe of her work and teachings. She continues to use what she learned from Mrs. Merrill daily. Someone that has held the same position for so many years in the non-profit field and in the same Organization, is obviously dedicated to her work and is a strong proponent for the field.”

Executive Leadership Award
Susan Wolford nominated Patrick Losinski, CEO with the Columbus Metropolitan Library.  Susan says this about the executive leader who supports the library’s great volunteer program:

“First, he makes sure the volunteer program has the resources it needs to execute a world-class volunteer program. He also provides the opportunity to tell the volunteer story, whether it’s to the board of directors or through the leadership team. When the Volunteer Services Manager position was re-graded shortly after I started, the position was elevated to the same level as a branch manager, showing the organization the importance of the volunteer program. When talking about library impact, he refers to staff AND volunteers, acknowledging the partnership role of our volunteers.”

Corporate Champion Award
Nick Linkenhoker nominated Kristin Studabaker with Carpenter Marty Transportation.  Nick shares this about this fabulous corporate partner that volunteers with the Worthington Resource Pantry:

“Everyone from the principals at the firm to their summer interns take a shift at the Pantry. They frequently encourage their new hires to participate in the volunteer program (which happens after work hours). They’ve made it a fun atmosphere for their employees, which keeps crews coming back month after month.”

Thank you all for the great nominations and we look forward to recognizing and celebrating these 2018 VAN Award recipients over the next few months.

Terri Gregoroff
VAN Central Ohio President



October Monthly Meeting:
Strategic Planning
Thursday, October 18
8:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Mid Ohio Food Bank
3960 Brookham Drive
Grove City, OH 43123




November Meeting: Thursday, November 8, 2018  International Volunteer Managers Day!

Register HERE

December Meeting: Thursday, December 20, 2018  Skills-based Volunteering
Register HERE


ServeOhio hosts the annual Ohio Conference on Service & Volunteerism on November 14, 2018.  Registration is open through October 31, 2018. Early-bird registration is available until October 10th.  Register HERE


In the coming months, we will have two board vacancies! If you are interested, please contact the current board member.

Secretary- Contact Carla Mello if interested.
Professional Development Co-Chair –  Contact Jackie Haight if interested

Don’t miss out on our new Job Postings mailing list! We will be sending out Job Postings to only our registered VAN members.


Please welcome Amanda Shafer to the VAN Board. Amanda will be the new Professional Development Co-Chair alongside Jackie Haight!

Name: Amanda Shafer
Job Title: Development Associate
Organization: LifeCare Alliance

How long have you been in the field of Volunteer Administration? 4 years with Columbus Gives Back, and 6 months with LifeCare Alliance.

Describe the work you do.  I work as a Development Associate at LifeCare Alliance where I share my time between volunteer coordinating and marketing.  I help volunteers find meaningful work at our Agency, as well as introduce volunteer opportunities to outside businesses and groups looking to get involved.

I also serve as president of a volunteer organization called Columbus Gives Back.  This organization provides one time volunteer opportunities for young professionals in central Ohio.

What do you like best about the work you do?   I have a passion for volunteerism, so I love the work I do on a daily basis!  Recruiting different organizations to become involved as volunteers for LifeCare Alliance is one of my favorite parts of my job, because it gives me the chance to get others excited about giving back.  My favorite part of leading Columbus Gives Back is being able to introduce young professionals, many who are new to Columbus, to so many of the amazing nonprofit organizations and making volunteering a social and fun activity so they want to do it again!

What would you like to learn more about in the field of Volunteer Administration?  I would love to learn ways to reach new audiences to get involved.  I have found that once I have a chance to share the different volunteer opportunities I am involved with, people are on board, but finding those new faces can be a challenge.  I would like to know more about using technology and social media as a device in volunteer recruitment.

What are your areas of strength that you are willing to share?  One of my strengths is relationship building.  I have a genuine interest to get to know the people I meet better, and to connect them to opportunities that will engage them and give them a positive experience while helping to better the community.  I have found that having a passion for volunteerism is contagious, so bringing excitement and energy to the events I am a part of helps others enjoy it as well!

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