One of my jobs as HAPS President to plan the agenda for the HAPS Midyear meeting. This meeting is an opportunity for the Board of Directors (BOD)and the Steering Committee (SC) to meet face-to-face to discuss HAPS business. We typically meet in mid-October over the weekend, and the agenda is packed. The location of the meetings varies, but we typically try to hold the meeting in the same city and hotel that the next HAPS annual conference will be. This gives the leadership an opportunity to ‘check out’ our conference locations and do additional planning for the upcoming annual conference. So, this year, we are traveling down to Jacksonville and staying at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront.
Our meeting is this weekend, and I leave for the trip tomorrow (if i forget to pack anything important for the trip, I blame waiting until the last minute to write this blog entry). The BOD members arrive Thursday evening in preparation for our all-day meeting on Friday. By Friday evening, most of the Steering committee arrives. Then, on Saturday, the Board and Steering Committee meet all day to finalize additional business before we leave for home on Sunday.
‘Why do you all need to meet face to face?’ you ask? Both the BOD and SC each have monthly e-meetings, where we use an asynchronous discussion forum to discuss HAPS business. In addition, the BOD has a monthly conference call to continue discussing the items brought up in our e-meetings. We get a lot of stuff done during these e-meetings and conference calls, but these formats have their limitations. There is some business that simply needs to be discussed face-to-face, or over a longer time than a typical conference call lasts. Our ‘physical’ meetings can be much more productive than our ‘virtual’ meetings because we are able to focus on HAPS (instead of our teaching responsibilities, family duties and upcoming deadlines). Some of the business we discuss includes continued planning for the annual conference, HAPS-I course development, finalizing and approving the organization’s yearly budget, and brainstorming the future of the organization.
The midyear meeting gives us a chance to reconnect and remember what makes HAPS so special – it is the long-term friendships with each other and our shared commitment to excellence in A&P education. After our meetings, we get together for dinner and share a laugh or two (or 100). I always leave a midyear meeting feeling like I left my 2nd family, and am energized to take HAPS to its next level.
So when people ask me why I volunteered for HAPS leadership positions and ran for President, these are some of the reasons why – I get to be a part of the growth and development of an organization I love, and do this with people I consider my second family. 🙂 It is a tough job, but one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve had!