Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thanksgiving Greetings from Chapter Development Office

Good afternoon!  I hope everyone is getting ready to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving.

This time of year I like to count my blessings for all the wonderful things in my life.  I especially like to count my blessings TO MY BLESSINGS. That is why I am writing to you this afternoon.
I would like to thank each and every one of you, HLAA's chapter and state organization volunteers, for your tireless efforts to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss.  Because of the information, education, support, and advocacy you provide every day, people with hearing loss live better lives.  You truly make a difference to over 48 million Americans. Without you, there would be no HLAA.  Thank you!

I would also like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year in the Chapter Development office.  It is an honor and a pleasure to support your efforts and hopefully to provide a little encouragement along the way.  When I took this position back in January I promised a response to your requests for assistance by the close of the next business day and with just a very few exceptions, I think that promise has been kept.

It might interest you to know I’ve sent 7,979 emails since starting in this position January 4, 2016.  What a glorious conversation we have had!  We have talked about starting chapters, strengthening chapters, and even, sadly, closing a few chapters.  We processed forms, brainstormed ideas, plotted strategies, and shared a few laughs along the way.  I am sure I have learned more from you than the other way around and I am so very grateful to you.

2016 is shaping up to be a year of transformation for HLAA and its staff.  For personal and health reasons, I have requested to work part-time in 2017.  I am excited about transitioning into this new phase of my life and I am so grateful to HLAA for supporting work-life balance. 

HLAA is in the process of bringing on additional administrative support for chapters and membership, to ensure that we continue to assist your work on behalf of HLAA as you have every right to expect.  This new person, soon to be announced, will be taking over a lot of the administrative support functions I have been doing.  We know there will be a learning curve and this has been factored into the transition plan.  The new person and I will work together as a Team to make the transition as seamless for you as possible.  

I am excited to be able to continue to deliver the Chapter Building Workshops and the webinars, write the articles, improve the Leader Support guidance we make available online, run the Chapter/State Development Room at Convention, and provide you with the customized assistance you have come to expect. Help will still be only a phone call or an email away. 

Thank you for sharing your time and talents with me and HLAA during these past months.  I look forward to achieving GREAT THINGS together going forward.

Happy Thanksgiving!

All the best,

Valerie Stafford-Mallis
HLAA Director of Chapter Development