For the Good of the Whole
Dedication and gratitude: these two words resound in my mind when I think of the EIA members who give selflessly of their time and energies for the good of the whole, and who quietly attend to their EIA volunteer work without thought of personal benefit. In my brief time as EIA president, these members have stepped up to assure our organization runs smoothly and provides the best-possible services to all. In this, our inaugural E-Newsletter, I want to publicly thank each of them.
The first person I must recognize is Tom Schnabel. Tom’s dedication to all things EIA is simply incomparable. He believes in both the mission of the organization and the strength of private practice educators. Tom and his multi-talented Student Services Director Dezaray Littman, have worked together to literally modernize EIA. This newsletter is their creation. Most artwork and advertising you see for EIA is created by Dezaray – free of charge. For more years than I can count, Tom was our EDVentures Conference Chair as well. As most of you know, our summer conference is the place to connect with fellow entrepreneurs. Most recently, Tom spent countless hours researching and building EIA’s new mentoring program. Tom not only believes in EIA’s future; he believes that he can make a difference in the lives of his students and his colleagues.
Tom is not the only member of the Board of Directors who goes above and beyond the call of duty to EIA. My deepest gratitude goes out to Matt Lupsha of Kumon International, Clement Erbmann of First Analysis Corporation, and Dr. Ray Huntington of Huntington Learning Centers. Their work is again of the quiet sort. They do not seek accolades, public acknowledgement, or personal gain. They volunteer for the good of the whole. These three gentlemen have molded EIA into a financially sound association poised for growth. Each man carries a vision of our future and continuously delivers new ideas to enhance our positioning, services and value. Without their foresight and dedication, our industry as a whole would not be as strong.
Of course, the real strength of EIA comes from its members, and recently three of them have stepped forward to accept challenging volunteer roles. Dan Ascher, an EIA member for nearly two decades, currently heads our membership committee. This role has traditionally been filled by a board member, but when I asked Dan to bring his expertise as an entrepreneur to grow our membership, he said yes – and jumped into his new job with enthusiasm. Dan has been working diligently to reach new members throughout the country. If we achieve our goal of having our best-attended summer conference ever this year, it will be due in no small part to Dan’s efforts to build our membership base.
Beverly Stewart, another long-time member, recently accepted the reins of our new EIA Mentoring Program. A true mentor and leader, Beverly is the perfect fit to connect emerging entrepreneurs with established members. Eric Ursich, a relatively new member and a dynamic entrepreneur, has agreed to take on the most difficult volunteer role in all of EIA – conference chair for this summer’s EdVentures in San Francisco. EdVentures is the event all members look forward to for its insight into new business opportunities, legislative updates, and peer to peer networking. Eric’s plans for this summer are truly amazing, and it is sure to be a conference not to be missed by any EIA member.
Of course, EIA would not function for a single day without the dedication of our executive director, Steve Pines. Being at the helm of EIA is more than a job to Steve; it is his passion. A lifelong champion of education, Steve strategically guides the organization on every level. He is consistently available for each member and actively seeks growth for EIA. He is brilliantly assisted by Clare Sladic, EIA’s only other actual employee. And, just like Steve, Clare takes her job to the next level. She assists every committee chair on every project and keeps impeccable records for the organization.
I owe a debt of gratitude to each of these people for their true dedication to EIA. So, to Tom, Dezaray, Matt, Clement, Ray, Dan, Beverly, Eric, Steve, and Clare, thank you from the bottom of my heart. As you continue to do the heavy lifting; know that we all appreciate it.