This is Dedicated to the AEA Volunteers (Past, Present, and Future)! by Zachary Grays


My name is Zachary Grays and I am the Membership and Operations Manager here at the American Evaluation Association (AEA). This coming May I will be celebrating 10 years serving AEA, joining a team of many talented staff members who brought AEA to Smithbucklin way back when my fashions were quieter and my hair was much shorter. Green and new to the world of associations, what always stuck with me about AEA was the sense of community where I was so openly welcomed. AEA is a community of passionate, extraordinarily intelligent, and committed volunteers who have been invaluable partners in the successful operations of this prestigious organization. It was evident the minute I stepped onto the registration floor at Evaluation 2013 in Washington, DC and is something I continue to brag about amongst my colleagues to this day.

On behalf of the AEA and in celebration of National Volunteer Month, we want to say THANK YOU!

Thank you to our 13 Board members who are elected to serve and govern this association so that AEA may continue to be leaders in and advance the global evaluation conversation.

Thank you to the 100+ annual Topical Interest Group (TIG) leaders who not only review proposals for inclusion in our annual program but represent the lifeblood of this organization as they operate 60 TIGs to make this big association feel like a home for our 5,000+ members.

Thank you to our countless Working Group members (past and present) who support the operations of this great association, doing everything from championing Cultural Competence, Guiding Principles, and Competencies to developing practical, robust professional development offerings alongside our education team.

Thank you to the Directors of our Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship programs, responsible for developing and engaging some of the most extraordinary emerging evaluators with a focus in Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE).

Thank you to our Task Forces for serving and guiding the AEA Board in their governance and staff in operations.

Thank you to our AJE and NDE Editors for curating the most salient content relevant to this storied profession.

Thank you to our partners at CREA, CES, LEEAD, international VOPEs, and beyond with whom we create bridges across evaluative concepts and communities abroad.

Thank you to the Local Affiliate Collaborative (LAC) and our 20+ affiliates for not only working together to support the development of one another but for allowing evaluators, new and seasoned, to find a regional evaluation home.

Thank you to our EvalTalk moderator for fostering respectful conversation in our open forum for exchanging evaluation ideas.

Thank you to our student volunteers who make our conference run smoothly on the ground alongside our staff.

Thank you to our proposal reviewers who lend their expertise in support of the curation of our annual conference program.

Of course, thank you to our aea365 blog curators who work tirelessly to bring you daily evaluation content.

And, finally, thank you to those who I have not named but have served AEA in some capacity over our almost 40-year existence. Your contributions have been invaluable to advancing our beloved association home and will never be forgotten. THANK YOU!

Ten years ago, I joined AEA and I witnessed that it truly takes a village. It has been an honor to collaborate with you all and we look forward to many more years. AEA thanks you for your service!

Want to get involved with AEA? Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here. AEA values member input and engagement, relying on your guidance and knowledge about the field in the development of programs for our membership. We also value diversity when building a volunteer base to better serve and represent our unique, global community of evaluators.

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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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