Monday, March 9, 2015

NASFAA Leadership & Legislative Conference & Expo – Association Management Pathway

(by Sue Swisher, MASFAA President-Elect)

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the NASFAA Leadership and Legislative Conference and Expo in Washington D.C. along with other MASFAA members representing the states in our region. I attended the Association Management Pathway which prepares future association leaders with the perspective and insight in understanding the legal, financial, and management issues facing financial aid leaders today.

While I have been to Washington D.C. previously, I have never had to opportunity to see the monuments at night.  So, I took advantage of the bus tour on the first evening I was there.  The tour guide was great and seeing the monuments at night was breathtaking.

The conference kicked off with Dr. Michela Perrone providing information on Governance and Board Members’ Legal Obligations.  Additional sessions offered included topics on leadership characteristics, leading change, running a meeting, conflict resolution, and sizing up your association. The conference also provided an update on federal issues and a legislative symposium to prepare us for the Hill visits on the final day.

As I reflect on the conference, I walked away feeling energized by all the information provided as I plan for becoming President of MASFAA.  This was my first opportunity to visit the Hill and advocate for financial aid and meet with staff from both the House and Senate.  Since the meetings were short, I focused on FAFSA Simplification, Student Loan Repayment, and the Federal Pell Grant.  It felt great knowing I exercised my constitutional right and was able to voice our financial aid concerns.

Joining me at the conference were the following state representatives in the MASFAA region:
  • Illinois: Julie Israel, Dan Mann
  • Indiana: Emily Janero, Christie Miller
  • Iowa: Christine Ditter
  • Michigan: Katherine Allen, Gabriela Garfield, Shashanta James, David Urbaniak, Kristi Welling
  • Minnesota: Barbara Charboneau, Kari Zakariasen
  • Missouri: Kristen Gibbs, Angela Karlin, Dena Norris, Nick Prewett
  • Ohio: Angela Johnson, Edward Recker, Amanda Reisenger
  • West Virginia:  Kathy Bialk, Debra Turner
  • Wisconsin: Debra Duff, Jill Price

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