Take it from the Money Honey, keeping track of HAPS’ finances is a complicated yet very rewarding experience. Elizabeth Becker has been the Treasurer for HAPS since 2008 and is still finding excitement in each year. Having said that, Elizabeth has decided to step down as Treasurer at the end of this term, but not before she gets to tell you about her experience within the HAPS Board of Directors.
Elizabeth has been an active member of HAPS for a number of years. She has previously served on the Safety Committee and as the Central Regional Director (2002-2006). Those experiences allowed Elizabeth to see HAPS from a broader perspective. She got to see the “behind the scenes” activities that allow the organization to survive and thrive. We’ve been busy these past two years, revamping the HAPS website. Elizabeth has been able to see the work that all of the Board has put into it, especially Dee Silverthorn and Peter English. She’s been able to see the organization grow with the hiring of ASG as our management firm and Peter English as our Executive Director. She’s been able to see the creation and management of a number of regional and annual conferences.
What didn’t you expect when you were elected Treasurer?
The technological changes that we’ve gone through. The Board has used technology to run our monthly meetings, progressing through teleconferences, online forums, Skype, and now Google Docs. Technology has made her job as treasurer easier as well. When she started, all conference registrations were mailed in and all checks crossed her desk. Now, we have online registration and most checks can be cleared through ASG (she still oversees any payments to ASG itself and approves any payments above a certain monetary level).
Describe a benefit of being HAPS Treasurer.
The view. It’s been amazing to see the complexity and organization of HAPS. It’s been incredible to see the financial structure and understand how to help keep it healthy. The Las Vegas conference taught us a lot of about hidden costs in a conference, which has helped us to (hopefully) prevent future surprises. Incidentally, Jacksonville is shaping up so well and will be an amazing treat come this next May.
What advice do you have for the next Treasurer of HAPS?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Between Peter and ASG, you have resources to help you understand the financial picture of HAPS. You get to be the expert on the HAPS budget for the Board, so you can help others understand what is necessary to keep us afloat. You have to be able to see the organization as a whole, but also willing to sweat the details. You have to be willing to ask “Why are we paying for this?” when presented with a bill. It’s a good way to understand how well HAPS can work and what we can do for it.
Elizabeth would tell you more, but Thai is covering her keyboard and making it clear that it’s time for a tummy-scratching. Thanks, Elizabeth.