Susan Kistler on Thanking AEA’s Volunteers

My name is Susan Kistler and for a few more weeks, I am honored to serve as the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. This week’s post is a little different, and a little shorter, than my usual Saturday contribution.

National Volunteer Appreciation week ends today. We’ve been giving shout outs to just a few of our volunteers via AEA’s Twitter feed. But the reality is that there are over 1000 volunteers who make the association what it is.

Lessons Learned: The volunteers ARE the association – they are the members of the Board who set AEA’s strategic direction and the TIG leaders and hundreds of proposal reviewers who select the content for the conference; they are the task force and working group members who flesh out programs, and the editors and presenters and authors who establish the thought leadership for the field. Volunteers are the most senior members who reach out to young colleagues and offer to buy a coffee and give a word of advice, and they are the students who hand out nametags and stuff packets and take photos. They are the community that spreads the word about AEA on campus and at work and online.

I was going to mention individuals here, but the list of those deserving recognition was too long and my post quickly exceeded the word limit.

Thus, instead, I will say simply ‘thank you.’ You know who you are. I am so very appreciative of all that you have given to the association and to the field.

Rad Resource: Ann Emery gave an ignite presentation at Evaluation 2012 on the benefits of volunteering with your local affiliate. Perhaps she will inspire you to volunteer with one of AEA’s affiliates or with AEA if you aren’t already doing so.

Thank you Ann!

Get Involved: If you want to volunteer, a great place to start is to write a post for aea365 – check out the contribution guidelines and then send a note with your post or topic to

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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