An organization lives on its documentation. You can sink or swim depending on how well you keep track of details. When the details are there, they help you stay focused and moving forward. When they’re absent, you meander directionless or backtrack with no idea that you’re retreading previous trails.
Carol Veil is the Secretary for the HAPS Board of Directors. It’s Carol’s responsibility to keep track of the documentation during meetings and help us to keep our focus. I had a chance to chat with Carol recently and find out what she thinks of her role and of HAPS.
1. What’s the coolest part about being the secretary?
The two coolest things about being secretary are how much I have learned about HAPS and how much better I have gotten to know the other HAPS members on the BOD.
There are so many details that must be handled to run an organization like HAPS. Prior to being on the BOD, I was unaware of the many behind-the-scenes processes that are so necessary. And as secretary taking the notes at meetings, I am focused on everything that is discussed. Hands always on the keyboard – no daydreaming!
It has also been cool getting to know the other BOD members, some of whom I previously knew by name but had never talked to them more than a quick “hello” at a conference. It’s fun to see both the “business” and the “casual” sides of everyone. I must give a big shout-out to President Valerie O’Loughlin and Executive Director Peter English. They are in constant communication with the BOD (not quite daily emails, but close) and are always working hard on behalf of the organization.
2. What’s the biggest challenge?
For me, the biggest challenge of being secretary has been learning the appropriate level of detail to include in the minutes that are publically posted for all to read. Personally, I tend to be very “anal” (I can use that term in an A&P blog, right?) about details. The first draft of minutes that I sent to the President for review included everything that happened at the BOD Google hangout meeting short of who coughed when! That draft came back to me like an F-student research paper, covered with strike-outs and comments. It took me until the third BOD meeting to become the A-student, with minimal edits to my minutes and a big “thank you” of approval. The take-home message for me – there is a big difference between personal notes for myself and public minutes for an organization!
3. Whose name do you have the hardest time spelling?
The name I have the hardest time spelling correctly is Shannon, Shanon, Shanan (Molnar – our Business Manager from ASG). I have to remember … only one “n” in the middle and “a-n” at the end! I got it now!
4. What was your impression of the mid-year meeting in JAX?
The mid-year meeting in Jacksonville was a delightful experience. It was the first time for me to meet with the entire BOD in person (as opposed to conference calls and Google hangouts). In addition, the BOD had one afternoon meeting with the Steering Committee. It was so nice to interact face-to-face with everyone, rather than electronically. We got a lot of business accomplished in two long days of meetings.
In addition, I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful Jacksonville is – I had no idea! The St. John’s River runs right through the downtown, with numerous bridges crossing over as well as water taxis. It’s a great location for the 2014 HAPS conference – hotel nicely situated, lovely for an evening walk, a ride on the river, and some good food (such as the tasty chocolate truffle torte at River City Brewing Company!).