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RAAVS is Turning 30!

It seems like just yesterday that we were in disbelief that RAAVS could be celebrating its Silver Anniversary and turning 25. Now here we are knocking on 30. Yes, Rochester Area Administrators of Volunteer Services has been serving the Rochester volunteer community for 30 years. It was 1984, Ronald Regan was president and would be elected to a second term, Michael Jackson was starring in Pepsi commercials, Sally Field won the Oscar for Places in the Heart and made her famous speech “You really like me,” and Ghostbusters was the top movie.

January 1 saw the break-up of Bell Telephone System, the Soviet Union led a boycott of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games held in Los Angeles, CA, and the median household income in the US was $22,415. Kodak and Xerox were the big employers in the Rochester area.

Do you think the group of people that hatched the idea of RAAVS believed that 30 years later we would still be around discussing some of the same issues involving volunteers? Recruitment, retention training? As early as 1997 Susan J. Ellis of Energize Inc. was asking the question is “Volunteer Management really a Profession? “

Given the current state of the economy, many of us are challenged to do more and provide more services with fewer resources – it’s more important than ever that we are able to articulate our value as a Volunteer Management Professional. We are a jack of all trades and a collaborator of many. We represent and are spokespeople for our agencies and organizations. We use marketing, public speaking, and writing skills in our everyday work. We’re recruiters, supervisors, coaches, cheerleaders, disciplinarians and social workers depending on what hat the situation calls for.

Our November program meeting theme was Your Worth as a Volunteer Administrator. So let’s not sell ourselves short and lets leave no doubt about our value as Volunteer Management Professionals and the skills and talent we contribute to our agencies and organizations. Let’s embrace turning 30 for with age comes wisdom.

Happy 30th Anniversary RAAVS!
Bernie Bowie
RAAVS Chair