American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

CEO Update

October 21, 2013

This is another in a series of occasional ASHA Chief Executive Officer Updates. These Updates are intended to provide ASHA members with a more in-depth view of various National Office units, key member services and initiatives, and the names and roles of ASHA staff. Information about staff changes and ASHA National Office recognitions/awards is also included. 

Many thanks to those of you who provided feedback regarding the previous Updates or made suggestions for future CEO Updates.

Volunteering with ASHA

As a long-term, committed volunteer myself, I am pleased to have this opportunity to share some thoughts and information about volunteering. Like so many of you, I knew early on that I wanted a career where I could help make a difference in people's lives and be part of a larger community whose goals were similar to mine. I know that the commitment of helping others attracted many of us to the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology. For me, volunteering has been a natural extension and complement to that commitment. 

Before joining the ASHA staff in 1996, I was an active volunteer within our professional community. I served as president of the District of Columbia Speech-Language-Hearing Association (DCSHA), chair of the ASHA-PAC, and a member of the (then) ASHA Legislative Council; I also performed a number of civic volunteer roles. As I transitioned those relationships as part of joining ASHA's staff, I became involved with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), where I recently assumed the role of chair of the ASAE Board of Directors. 

I continue to love my "day job" as ASHA's CEO. As you can imagine, it keeps me pretty busy. I also continue to thoroughly enjoy my volunteer positions. For me, the benefits of volunteering are many. It supports lifelong learning through the opportunity to learn with and from an amazingly talented and diverse array of savvy colleagues. Volunteering also gives me the opportunity to make substantive contributions to advancing my profession-and allows me, as a proponent of purposeful change, to be part of helping to chart future directions. 

Volunteer Leaders at ASHA 

In my role as ASHA's CEO, I have the privilege on a daily basis to work with many of ASHA's volunteer leaders. Over the years, a consistent message that I have heard from these volunteer leaders is that their experience has truly been a "win-win." The skills they have learned or enhanced through volunteer opportunities helped to make them more effective in their personal, professional, and community roles. 

In addition, organizations who receive volunteer services or whose employees volunteer benefit in more way than one. Savvy employers recognize the professional development benefits of volunteering and appreciate the valuable perspectives employees who volunteer can bring back to their organizations. Meanwhile, nonprofit groups like ASHA could not possibly meet their goals without volunteers-in ASHA's case, hundreds of dedicated volunteers who offer their time and talents. Volunteers and staff form a powerful partnership that is an essential part of how the Association operates and how we meet the growing needs of members and those they serve. 

Opportunities to Volunteer at ASHA 

So how can you get involved as an ASHA volunteer? You can start by checking the list of the many volunteer opportunities on ASHA's website. There are options to suit your interests, level of effort, and time that you have available … and not every ASHA volunteer opportunity requires travel or weekend work! For example, you can offer to write an article for one of ASHA's publications, you can become a mentor, you can join one of ASHA's public relations campaigns and become a media spokesperson, you can get involved at the grassroots level to advocate for legislation, or you can participate on a panel to review research grants. 

And that is only a small sample of the ways to get involved. To help you navigate the process, ASHA is piloting a dynamic volunteer opportunities listing board. It's like a job board, but instead the postings are current openings for volunteer "positions." You will find a description of the opportunity, the level of effort, the amount of travel required, and the type of experience needed. The listing will be updated frequently, so, if you don't find the right option on your first visit, please check back periodically. 

ASHA members sometimes ask me for suggestions about good volunteer opportunities. I always give them the same advice: Volunteer for the things that you really care about, the things that interest you the most! If you carry out your volunteer activity with passion and energy, you will not only be successful in that endeavor, but other opportunities will come your way that help you grow professionally and personally, make substantial contributions … and help to chart the future of our professions! 

National Office Staff Updates

The following individuals are new to the ASHA staff since July 30, 2013:

  • Adena Dacy, Associate Director, Clinical Issues in SLP (part time)
  • Victoria Davis, Production Editor, Perspectives
  • Justin Goldstein, Sponsorship Manager 
  • Ian Needham, Information Analyst
  • Mike Skiados, Director, Membership 
  • Chris Urena, Director, ASHA Professional Development
  • Kathi Zimmerman, Senior Accountant 

The following individuals have left ASHA to pursue other opportunities:

  • Maureen Corrigan, Audiology Research Associate
  • Jenese Jackson, Certification Case Manager
  • Kevin McNamara, Programs Manager
  • Sheree Price, Certification Case Manager
  • Katherine Semakula, Certification Case Manager
  • Victor Tapia, Distribution Clerk
  • Rayned Wiles, Certification Case Manager

National Office and ASHA Awards

ASHA recently launched a public outreach campaign called Identify the Signs. The campaign features nationally distributed bilingual TV, radio, and print public service announcements, online banner ads, a consumer-focused website, podcasts, and outreach to major English- and Spanish-language media. There will be many exciting ways for members to get involved. Visit for more information.

The Next CEO Update

2014 Public Policy Agenda

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