by Marsha Ward
I've been looking over a lot of files on my computer the last few days, searching out who the leaders of ANWA have been for the last decade. One thing surprised me: many of the names have shown up again and again in leadership roles.
Theresa Sneed was elected President three times. Stephanie Abney, Joan Sowards, and Janette Rallison have served as Vice President and President. Joan also filled a term as Secretary. Margaret Turley and Carrie Marsh have also been Secretary, and Carrie was Newsletter Editor, as well. Kerry Blair was the Newsletter Editor at least twice. Connie Wolfe has been Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer! There are a lot more women who have volunteered countless hours of service who I can't document at this moment.
When they weren't serving in an elected office, many of these same women served on committees: getting faculty for the conferences; preparing or buying and serving food at conferences or retreats; contacting periodical publishers for sample copies; getting publicity for ANWA; or securing speaking gigs for our authors at bookstores. Many chapter officers have served time after time.
Why do they do it?
It must be the rewards: countless hours spent in meetings and away from their families; growing to know and love each other; phone calls and emails to counsel and advise members and local leaders; planning and executing leader training; hosting and rubbing shoulders with authors, editors and agents; meeting ANWA members; and on and on.
Another crew of volunteers make up our blogging team. We now have fourteen women from all over who each blog once every two weeks. We've gotten to know each other in a way that is difficult to duplicate in the real world. What fun! We are truly sisters.
I encourage everyone who reads this to volunteer somewhere for a purpose that is close to your heart. Dive on in! You won't regret giving service.
And let me remind the ANWA members who read this that elections will be held at the end of the year, both in chapters and on the executive leadership level. Maybe 2009 will be your year to help out.