Happy New Year from the Board of US Servas. The Board has started out the year with a flurry of activity. First, we welcomed our new Board Members: Eileen Rowley, Shelley Mitchell, Tys Sniffen, and Bill Margargal. It is great to have these new members with their fresh ideas and energy. Yosi McIntire was confirmed as Peace Secretary for 2023.
We had a productive all-day, virtual strategic planning meeting. A key part of the outcome of the meeting was agreement on goals for the year: 1) Create simpler systems for members; 2) Grow and retain membership; 3) Recruit more volunteers and provide meaningful opportunities; 4) Keep in mind that we are a peace organization; and 5) Foster collaboration and fun. Throughout the year, the Board will be guided by these goals and measuring our performance on how we are doing towards them.
The first order of business at the January Board Meeting was the election of officers. Richard Weaver was elected Chair; Shyla Esko Bare, Vice Chair; Leena Desai, Treasurer; and Joanne Ferguson Cavanaugh, Secretary. This is a team of experienced Board Members already leading Servas forward. I want to take a moment to express our appreciation for the contributions Arnie Roland made during the past year as Board Chair. He provided steady leadership and initiated a number of system changes that made Servas more efficient and effective. Thank you, Arnie.
US Servas has now operated for two years as a completely volunteer organization. This has been a huge learning experience. In early 2022 US Servas was reorganized into five branches: Governance, Membership, Community, Finance, and Technology. Each of these branches has teams fulfilling the associated functions. This means that when you apply to become a member or have a question, volunteers are stepping up and responding. In practical terms, this also means that there are many volunteer opportunities for Servas members to make a real difference. If you enjoy sharing with people who have similar interests and values, you are invited to be a part of this. Volunteer Here