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VANtage: May 2021

Galen Roth | Published on 5/13/2021


Greetings Members,

Every day our COVID Pandemic Guidance is changing, hopefully toward normal. But we also must realize change can happen again in an instant! Resilience is key not only to surviving major disruptions, but key to surviving and thriving during more minor disruptions. Nurturing volunteer resilience is necessary, regardless of a pandemic or a change in policy. So, going forward, what I have learned from this experience?
Make change normal: Our company is adapting and learning to navigate the changes we must make to grow, but we never lose sight of our mission which is the foundation on which we operate.
Present change as an opportunity: I try to present change in a positive light by encouraging volunteers to think about new opportunities. Change is received more readily when volunteers are part of the change process.
Reflection is key to navigating change. Reflection is a way to embrace the difficulties, to acknowledge the loss of status quo. Reflection is nonjudgmental and healing and allows for the expression of our frustrations.

In the coming few months VAN is trying to help further define how we can thrive and grow. I am thrilled about the May and June Professional Development Presentations. Our May 20th we present “The Story We Tell Ourselves”, with Lisa Magoffin, Director of Thrive Together. This session is a powerful tool to understand the connection between self-talk, emotions, and behaviors.

We all face sticky situations involving volunteers where “the right thing to do” is not obvious. On June 17th, we present, “Am I Making the Right Decision?” The Role of Ethics in Volunteer Engagement with Faiza Vanzant, CVA, Executive Director of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.

I hope you will join us for all our exciting professional development sessions!

Gerlinde Higginbotham
VAN President


VAN Professional Development Meeting
Topic: The Story We Tell Ourselves with Lisa Magoffin
Time: Thursday, May 20th, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) over Zoom
Description: The Story We Tell Ourselves will equip participants with conflict management strategies which will help them to stay in a crucial conversation when they are angry, scared or hurt. Participants will learn skills and techniques to navigate challenging emotions to stay in healthy dialogue. This training will equip volunteers and program participants/clients to work together more effectively and offers a common language to understand bias.

Lisa Magoffin is the Director of Thrive Together. Thrive Together is a local outreach ministry at Fairhaven Church which addresses poverty through empowering and equipping under-resourced families and individuals in the Dayton Area. Trained as a family mediator, she has  20+ years experience working in the field of human services.  She graduated from California State University, Dominquez Hills with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a graduate degree in Behavioral Science.  After 23 years of Air Force life as a military spouse, Lisa has made Centerville Ohio her home with her husband, Doug, and their 3 children.

Join Zoom Meeting on Thursday, May 20th at 9:00am
See your VANtage newsletter for Zoom information.


VAN Professional Development Meeting
Faiza Venzant, CVA will be presenting at our June PD meeting. The presentation is 90 minutes long. This will go over our usual time for meetings.

Am I Making the Right Decision?  The Role of Ethics in Volunteer Engagement
This session will provide participants with an overview of ethical core values and principles which apply to volunteer engagement. We’ll also review a decision-making process for navigating real-life ethical dilemmas on the job, as well as tips on how to incorporate ethics into the fabric of your organization. Content is based on the "Professional Ethics in Volunteer Administration" material developed by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA).

Faiza Venzant CVA is the Executive Director of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration and General Manager, Volunteer Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto. With 20 years of leadership experience in volunteer engagement, she continues this work with a goal of improving equity and access to volunteerism and increasing diversity amongst professional leaders of volunteers.  In 2018, Faiza published her first children’s book entitled, My Mamma Wants to Eat Me Up!  As a mother of two young boys, she has not actually eaten any of her children up.

We're getting closer to seeing each other again! Pencil in that the September meeting will be an outdoor, in-person gathering. (As long as health guidelines permit, of course!) Keep reading every month for the details to come.


Our website is now listing job postings in central Ohio! If you're a VAN Central Ohio member looking for a position working with volunteers, you can click here to access the page. There are currently a dozen openings! Postings are updated throughout the month, so log in and check back often! Is your organization looking for volunteer administration? Contact us so we can get the word out!