NAADA eNewsletter
May 2014

NAADA Connections


Building a Stronger NAADA

Jillian StevensonAt this time of year, the NAADA board begins setting program objectives for the coming year. We do this as part of NAADA's annual planning process, as stated in our bylaws. This process was initiated by the board five years ago to ensure that each part of the organization’s structure does its job—the Board sets objectives and priorities, the committees plan activities and implement them within those Board-approved objectives and according to the priorities determined by the board, the Board approves activities and the supporting budget, staff implement activities and monitor the financial management throughout the year, and the Board reviews the success of the organization’s activities.

In these past few years, some of the major accomplishments have been:

  • creating and distributing an annual report of the organization
  • developing and implementing a training program for beginning development professionals
  • increasing contributions to the NAADA endowment and restricted funds
  • implementing a sponsor stewardship program
  • creating an honor society for implementation during NAADA's 40th anniversary next year
  • building a more inclusive, welcoming environment for new members through our buddy program and newcomer session at the annual conference
  • increasing sponsorship in support of year-round benefits to our NAADA membership

It's an exciting time to be part of NAADA, and I thank each and every member for your support. As I complete my term as president, I fill confident that I am passing along a vibrant, engaging, and financially stable organization to our next president.

Thank you to the Ewald staff and our volunteers for your contributions and leadership. It does indeed take a team to build and grow such a successful organization.

Looking forward to hosting everyone in June in Happy Valley!

Jillian Stevenson
NAADA President

Virtual Coffee Break: Your First Step Along the Path to Creativity

Thursday, June 5, 2014
12:30 - 1:45 PM CDT / 1:30 – 2:45 PM EDT

Is this your first NAADA Conference? Join us for a Virtual Coffee Break as we share tips & suggestions that can help you make the most of your experience in Happy Valley!

Our discussion will include highlights of the pre-conference sessions – including “Completing the Puzzle” & “Strengths Based Leadership”. We will also help guide you to educational track sessions that fit your professional needs the best.

The NAADA Buddy system and how your buddy can help you have a great conference experience will also be discussed. We will share what you can expect at the First Timers Meeting on Tuesday, June 17. We will offer tips on catching up with your buddy both during and after the conference and building a NAADA relationship that will last a lifetime!

We will also provide you with some general tips for navigating the conference schedule:

  • What to pack/wear
  • Spirit Night fun
  • Things to do around campus & the hotel
  • Following our social media sites for on-site information and updates

Join us for this casual, informative discussion on June 5, 2014 and we will make sure you are well prepared to take your first step along the path to creativity!

Register now

See Penn State in Style! is still space available on the Campus and Berkey Creamery Tour. Let us know if you want to register to jump aboard the trolley, affectingly known by Penn Staters as Molly Trolley, an open air vehicle featuring a spectacular oak and brass interior. Our tour guide Olivia, a graduate student in the Undergraduate Education Office and former Ag Advocate will tell you about some Penn State traditions, stories and urban legends. You will see Penn State’s iconic buildings and structures like Old Main, the Pattee Library Mall, Palmer Museum of Art, and the most recognizable place on campus, the Nittany Lion Shrine. We will make a special stop at the Penn State Berkey Creamery to see the manufacturing plant and try some famous Berkey Creamery ice cream. There is no charge for this tour so let us know right away if you want to join us by emailing Carissa at to add the tour to your registration.

Make the Most of Your NAADA Conference Experience

Without networking, I’m not sure where I’d be today. As a college freshman, I listened to Susan Grebner share about her job in agricultural communications at a career day at Black Hawk College East Campus. I immediately knew she was someone I needed to meet. But for this small-town Iowa girl, mustering up the nerve to meet Susan afterwards was a little scary.

However, that networking experience went on to develop into a mentoring relationship that helped me go on to find exciting internships and my future career (that didn’t even exist when I was a freshman in college). Before coming to the University of Illinois in December 2009, I spent nearly 10 years as the Director of Junior Activities for the National Swine Registry. One of my favorite parts of that job was organizing our youth leadership conferences and working with our junior board of directors.

My best advice for these youth is my best advice to you as you prepare to attend a great NAADA conference next month at Penn State. Get out there and network. You have to make the first move – you can’t expect others to network for you.

I attended my first NAADA Conference a few years ago and was fortunate to meet Jillian Stevenson and Kristin Smarr at the First Timers Meeting. Networking with them opened doors and not only helped me advance into my current position at the University of Illinois, but also helped me develop my skillset further as a member of the NAADA Board.

If you are new to NAADA or haven’t attended a conference in a while, there are many great opportunities to network, especially on Tuesday night. The First Timers Meeting will be held from 4:15-5 connecting our first-time attendees with NAADA members who have been attending the conference for a while. This will be followed by the opening Track Networking Sessions from 5 to 5:30. The Welcome Reception will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Whether this will be your first NAADA or your 14th, here are a few tips to help make networking at NAADA even more meaningful and productive this year.

1. Be early. Showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there late. You'll notice that it's calmer and quieter. It's easier to find other people who don't have a group to visit with yet. If possible, take a look at the list of attendees coming to the event in advance so you can strategize who you would like to get to know.

2. Start the conversation. Don't wait around the outside of the room for someone to approach you. Walk up to a person or a group and get the conversation started by asking to join them. And then listen. It’s the best way to get to know a person.

3. Share your passion. Leave a lasting impression by telling stories that help reveal your character and personality. Talk about what you enjoy. Then, encourage other people to share their passion, creating a memorable two-way conversation.

4. Don't steal the show. The most successful networkers are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

5. Follow up. Networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you've had a great exchange, ask the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you're interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.

See you in June!
Jennifer Shike
University of Illinois College of ACES
Director for Communications and Marketing
NAADA Communications Track Representative

Let's Move on! Working with Action-Oriented Volunteers

You may have served on a board that was immersed in a deep debate on an important topic when a director impatiently declared, “let's move on!”, signifying that as far as he or she was concerned, enough had been said to make a decision. Action-oriented and decisive volunteers are drawn to associations, especially if they find value in the time they spend and view the organization as an appropriate outlet for their energy, enthusiasm and competitiveness. They can be great and decisive leaders who help make difficult decisions — or they may alienate or marginalize others with their forceful personalities.

Read the article

Sponsor Spotlight

Thank you to the generous support of our annual sponsors:





Cornell CALS
Voyageur Trips

Welcome New Members

Help us welcome our new NAADA members. Feel free to drop them a note of welcome!

Jen Schak, University of Minnesota, Communications
Amanda Saha, University of Kentucky, Student Professionals
Myah Walker, University of Minnesota, Volunteer
Jason Kosovski, Colorado State University, Communications
Nick Lobejko, Colorado State University, Development

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