Monday, January 23, 2017

Update from the MASFAA President


This seems to be a season of change. Our government is poised to have a change of administration. It seems our esteemed federal colleague, Mr. Jeff Baker, Federal Student Aid Director of Policy, is contemplating retirement soon. And some of our MASFAA peers have also had either increased responsibilities at their respective institutions or have made shifts into other work areas recently. A few of these have necessitated the need for peers to step down from their 2016-2017 MASFAA duties to give appropriate time to address their changes. The recent departures that affect our MASFAA Board include:

            Debbie Schumm, Treasurer
            Sharron O’Brien, Minnesota Representative
            Mary Horgan, Donor Development Chair

I invite you all to join me in wishing the best for these valued peers as they address other needs this coming year. They will each be missed from their MASFAA roles this year. Yet, I am grateful that the following individuals have agreed to step in to fill their MASFAA duties to help ensure our association’s continued success for the 2016-2017 year:

            Val Meyers, Treasurer
            Brittany Tweed, Minnesota Representative
            Crystal Bruntz, Donor Development Chair (shifting over from being our Membership Chair)
            Melinda Middleton, filling Crystal’s Membership Chair role

On behalf of our great Board I want to welcome these four into their new roles!

I want to personally thank you for being a part of our regional association. Being a part of a professional organization has always been an outward expression of a business decision which recognizes that sharing best practices is helpful to all involved. Exchanging ideas, mutually debating issues and seeking common ground on resolutions to challenges are activities that are well served through connections made within such organizations as MASFAA. So for institutions of higher education, state association participation, regional activities and national engagement each have their place in strengthening members as professionals, giving us tools and insights that help us better perform our jobs. But associations like MASFAA can be so much more at a personal level. You get to meet and connect with people who share your work passions. If you invest in it personally, you get to make not only strong networking connections, but more importantly, lifetime friends.

May this year bring you rich life experiences and give opportunities for making new cherished memories along the way. And may you consider how your professional connections might become even stronger personal ones in the coming year. May both bring you great rewards and encouragement.


Thomas Ratliff

MASFAA President

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