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VANtage: September 2021

Galen Roth | Published on 9/29/2021

Greetings Members and Member Organizations,

I am excited that our Professional Development is in person this month! This month is an Outdoor Get-Together Professional Development Meeting to be held Thursday, September 16th, 2021, 9:00 AM. We are being very informal, there will be a check-in on lessons learned from the past year, reflection, the future, and group discussion. We will present open 2022 board positions to the group and to close, we will have a tour of the Park of Roses at Whetstone Park! The park is planted and maintained all by volunteers.

COVID-19 has rapidly changed all our lives in profound ways. Public participation and public engagement with volunteers have changed again! Many in-person volunteer opportunities are postponed or cancelled, and ongoing volunteer recruitment may be stalled in many cases. I will be interested in hearing from our guests on some of their best practices! Our school is limiting traditional volunteer engagement for the time being. Most of our volunteer opportunities are done virtually, like mentoring via computer. We have virtual lunch and learn opportunities much like our VAN Professional Development morning sessions. We connect with volunteers to keep them engaged and recognize their efforts. We create chat groups at the virtual meetings to share their experiences and progress. I hope to see you at our event to learn and share your best practices for Volunteer Engagement.

Finally, volunteering or working during a health crisis can be stressful and influence your own mental health and well-being. Please practice self-care and reach out for help as needed.

Gerlinde Higginbotham
VAN President

VAN Professional Development Meeting
Topic: A Relaxed, Outdoor Get-Together!
Time: Thursday, September 16th, 2021 09:00 AM 
Description: We'll have a loose, relaxed agenda! Everything will be outdoors, and there will be enough room to be distant. 
Breakfast sandwiches and coffee will be provided!

RSVP Here by September 10th
The map below shows our pavilion starred, and the 'P' shows where to park:

The 2021 Conference on Service & Volunteerism is again virtual and FREE! It's taking place October 27th and 28th. The keynote speaker is Kevin Clayton, VP Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement, Cleveland Cavaliers. The Keynote panel includes at least one familiar face to us!
·    Rachel Bruns, Deputy Director, America’s Service Commissions – Panel Moderator
·    Nicole R. Smith, Author, Motivational Speaker, Podcast Host, Blogger, Community Engagement Professional
·    Barry Altland, Writer, Speaker, Thought Leader, Non-profit Executive at Head, Heart, Hands Engagement Collective
·    Valerie Beutel, CHANGE INC AmeriCorps Director at Baldwin Wallace University
Register here: Ohio Conference on Service & Volunteerism (

A while back we included a request to participate in a survey through Technology Evolution in Volunteer Administration (TEVA) and Arizona State University. The results of the survey are here: Technology Evolution in Volunteer Administration (TEVA) (


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 many local openings including positions at Community Kitchen Inc, Parkinson's Foundation, Girls on the Run, and MORE! 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!