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Anila Balkissoon

Executive Director

 

As organizational planning tends to imply, there is a watchful eye on SPSSI’s future.  The undertaking of strategic planning also lends well to learning about the organization’s current state of affairs, through informed insights of various key agents of the Society – leadership, staff, members, and affiliates.  Personally, I have been assured that SPSSI’s many recent transitions and plans are not only being met with careful thought, method, and creativity; but also with affirmation of SPSSI’s history and identity.  That is, we have some real agreement about who we are as an association and we collectively want to continue to offer programs and opportunity that benefit our members most.  It is with this knowledge that we continue to staff Central Office to meet the ongoing needs of our members and vital organizational functions.  Given personnel transition last year, including my own gradual departure from the role as SPSSI’s Program Director, I find it important to discuss staff realignment in order to better connect our members and constituents to the work of Central Office.

In January this year, we were pleased to welcome our new staff member Victor Adebusola as Membership and Program Coordinator.  Victor’s primary responsibilities include member relations and retention, awards and grants committee facilitation, and volunteer management.  He brings a passion for social justice to his role and an academic background in public policy and nonprofit management to his work with the membership.  It is with excitement that we look forward to his contributions in these areas of operations.  If you have questions or concerns about grant and award program offerings or about SPSSI membership matters, feel free to contact Victor at vadebusola@spssi.org

With a small permanent staff of five, transition of any kind warrants thinking critically about given roles and responsibilities, to best align the changing needs of SPSSI with staff skillset and the potential for organizational growth.  Thus, we have worked diligently to realign duties of long-term staff member Brad Sickels, to further aims related to the development of programs and to utilize his experience in areas of technology, graphic design, and events management.  Brad previously worked on membership assignments and coordination and additionally on related operations, including event and website management.  In his changed role as Manager, Digital Content and Special Projects, Brad works more widely than before on website content improvements and design, along with our Communications Director, Cyndi Lucas as we continue to grow member outreach efforts and maximize website presence.  He also has a focus on operations support and events management, which includes continued logistical support of varied congressional workshops and events spearheaded by our Policy Director, Sarah Mancoll.  More specifically in this raft of responsibilities, Brad serves in a critical complementing role to our conference team in the logistical execution of our summer conference. 

The timing of amended staff assignments is optimal.  At our February Council meeting and following a carefully considered three-year trial, SPSSI leadership voted to annually host our stand-alone conference beginning in the summer of 2019.  With experienced operational support in these areas, we are better equipped to move toward the annual cycle of conference programming, which many of our members have identified as a primary benefit, opportunity, and offering of our association.  With recent onboarding, we are able to continue to host a varied, expanding array of grant and award programs, and support continued member services with careful attention.  It is the case that all nonprofit organizations must inevitably grapple with change.  Informing these transitions with a widely shared organizational identity and knowledge of what is important to our membership aids in smoothing the course.  It’s an ongoing pleasure to work with able staff members and leaders who are not only equipped to meet challenges of a changing organization, but are ready to do so with composure and with keen attention toward SPSSI’s improvement. 

 

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