Your UXPA International Board of Directors gathered together last month just outside of Washington, D.C. in Middleburg, Virginia for a three-day meeting to focus on next steps for the Association. Representation was there from the entire Board to ensure that each major functional area of the organization was covered. We prepared for the meeting with detailed agendas and grocery lists determining what we might cook and a promise from Brian to bring his homemade wine next time (TSA put a kibosh on the wine arrangements for this trip, but we’ve been promised a raincheck for Toronto). For those curious, Claudia was our winning chef with a fabulously savory seafood specialty.
The first day was about coming together to tackle big projects that needed teamwork. Working meetings were conducted across the board on areas such as webinars, volunteers, educational short courses, and the website. We called it a day around 7 pm and headed to town for dinner so newbies had an opportunity to get to know everyone a little better.
After a yummy homemade breakfast, we started out early by focusing on our three primary goals for the year: 1. Increasing membership resources, 2. Continuing to grow our international presence, and 3. Improving our marketing and brand efforts. We followed this with a discussion from our President, Jennifer Romano-Bergstrom, and our Director of Publications, Claudia Gutierrez, providing insights on how we want to move forward to ensure optimal volunteer engagement and to identity any new committees we may need to initiate. This lead to action items in our new volunteer survey and we’ve already started putting volunteers in key roles for marketing, the annual conference, and in publications. We ended the morning with an operations update from our Treasurer, Jean Fox, letting us know that the Association is on solid financial ground. We also enjoyed Jean's fantastic baking with her homemade double-chocolate brownies.
The afternoon continued with reports from our directors on their areas of coverage including: publications by Claudia Gutierrez to highlight the fabulous commitment of the publications volunteers and all the hard work they do; chapter growth and regional needs by our Director of Chapters & Regional Director for North America, Brian Mills, where he talked about our amazing established chapters, introduced new chapters (in Africa and for students) and goals to find Regional Directors for our expanding organization (Want to learn more? Email Brian); a digital strategy update by our Director of Web Content & Strategy, Rajesh Kalidindi, focused on the new web platform and how we’ll evolve our website to be responsive and accessible; ideas for continuing with our educational opportunities by Jennifer Romano-Bergstrom included options for new short courses and increased educational emphasis; next were updates on marketing direction and the new assignment of Director of Marketing and Communication to Lauren Schaefer; and, finally, we ended with the Lifetime Achievement Award as well as some inspiring conference updates by Sara Mastro, Vice President, and Daphne Puerto, our UXPA International 2017 Conference Co-Chair. Whew!
During the day we had a few short breaks to explore the house and learn about the ghost sharing a room in the basement with Rich. We also had the privilege to catch up with additional volunteers and Regional Directors on the phone for some updates. We ended the busy day with a fabulous team-building dinner.
We took the last day to finish any remaining work and discussions from the weekend, make updates needed with group input, and begin outlining our next steps for the coming months. It was a wonderful and productive weekend with a great group. We’re already looking forward to our next Board meeting in Toronto!
Curious how you can get more involved in UXPA International? Fill out our volunteering survey and we’ll reach out to you with opportunities that match your interests and skills.