A Minute with the Board

by Jason Bergeron, AFA Executive Director

Happy New Year AFA! We hope everyone found some time to care for themselves after our Annual Meeting and as we have entered into a brand new year. 

And as we are excited to look forward to 2024 and focus on the continued advancement of ‘Forward to 50’, AFA’s strategic plan, we’d be remiss if we didn’t look back at the success our 2023 Annual Meeting. Tampa served as an incredible backdrop for the almost 1,100 attendees who convened to invest in their professional development and to reconnect with colleagues, friends, and partners from across the country. While we continue to work to improve on our conference experiences in a way that increases the return on investment for our members, we want to share a few successes that this meeting brought out way:

  • The Annual Meeting provided the opportunity for over 100 separate presenters and presentation teams to share cutting-edge professional development, including our new ‘intensives’ – longer sessions focused on deeper exploration into many of the core functions of the work of FSL professionals. 
  • We invited Tampa Bay area civic leaders to spend time with our community around how they see the work of diversity and inclusion being amplified under increasing restriction and regulation. 
  • Our AFA Foundation was privileged to receive almost $60,000 in gifts both in support of the Annual Meeting and in support of year-round professional development programming. These gifts help to keep the AFA Annual Meeting as one of the greatest cost-to-value ratios in higher education. 
  • The Annual Meeting brought a return to our AFA Business Meeting, where we were able to share the successes of the Association and Foundation over the past year, certify our newly elected leaders, and to discuss the work of our 2022 and 2023 Boards and our Governance Committee in building a stronger governance model for AFA. Thank you to everyone who has thoughtfully engaged with our proposals and provided feedback that helped to bring them to their final proposals. 
  • For our Certified Student Affairs Educators, 12.5 hours worth of continuing education credit was provided towards their recertification. 

In short, our Annual Meeting exceeded our attendance goals and provided the opportunity for both the delivery of and the receipt of the professional development critical to our sustainability as a profession. Thank you to everyone who made the investment in traveling across the state or across the country to spend time with us. 

What does a successful Annual Meeting allow us to do? When AFA has a successful Annual Meeting, it catalyzes multiple other opportunities for AFA and its members:

  • It allows us to build a better snapshot of what the professional development needs are in our professional community, and who is delivering that content. 
  • It allows us to set the stage for meaningful conversations about the business of AFA and policies, procedures, and practices that may need enhancing. 
  • It allows us to best capture the ways in which AFA members and stakeholders gather, demonstrate affinity, and need support. 

A strong Annual Meeting means a strong future for our Association. Mark your calendars for our 2024 Annual Meeting on December 4-7, 2024 in Indianapolis, IN!

Were you unable to join us on-site at the Annual Meeting, but are interested in gaining access to the professional development we delivered? Be on the lookout for our Annual Meeting Reload, a collection of over 20 of our most-attended and well-received programs at the Annual Meeting, delivered for a virtual, asynchronous audience. The Annual Meeting Reload is made possible by a generous gift to the AFA Foundation from our sponsoring partner, Phi Gamma Delta. 

 

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