President - Jason Salemi (TX)
President-Elect - Mahsa Yazdy (MA)
Immediate Past-President - Peter Langlois (TX)
Secretary-Treasurer - Amy Nance (UT)
Secretary-Treasurer Elect - Kim Hauser (PA)
Member-at-Large - Sarah Henry (MN)
Please click on a name below to read the officer perspective:
2017--Peter Langlois (TX)
2016--Marlene Anderka (MA)
2015--Paul Romitti (IA)
2014--Leslie Beres (NJ) / Paul Romitti (IA)
2013--Leslie Beres (NJ)
2012--David Law (TN)
2011--Glenn Copeland (MI)
2010--Glenn Copeland (MI)
2009-- Craig Mason (ME)
2008--Samara Viner-Brown (RI)
2007-- Philip Cross (NY)
2006--Carol Stanton (CO)
2005--Marcia Feldkamp (UT)
2004--Laurie Seaver (SC)
2003--Bob Meyer (NC)
2002--Lowell Sever (TX)
2001--Mark A. Canfield (TX)
2000--John Meaney (AZ)
1999--Russ Kirby (AL)
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2017--Rachel Rutkowski (FL)
2016--Amy Nance (UT)
2015--Amy Nance (UT)
2014-- Deb Fox (NY)
2013--Craig Mason (ME)
2012--Joan Ehrhardt (MI)
2011--Ann Phelps (TX)
2010--Ann Phelps (TX)
2009--Bradley McDowell (IA)
2008--Glenn Copeland (MI)
2007--Glenn Copeland (MI)
2006--Amy Case (TX)
2005--Amy Case (TX)
2004--Amy Case (TX)
2003--Jane Correia (FL)
2002--Jane Correia (FL)
2001--April Montgomery (CO)
2000--Lisa Miller (CO)
1999--Charlotte Druschel (NY)
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Member at Large
2017--Vinita Leedom (SC)
2016--Samantha Parker (MA)
2015--Rachel Rutkowski (FL)
2014-- Amy Nance (UT)
2013--Amy Nance (UT)
2012--Sandy Fawbush (KY)
2011--Norma Ryan (OH)
2010- Civillia Winslow Hill (WA)
2009--Stephanie Miller (NH)
2008--Ann Phelps (TX)
2007--Judy Major (NC)
2006--Glenn Copeland (MI)
2005--Kimberlea Hauser (FL)
2004--Ruth Merz (HI)
2003--Phil Cross (NY)
2002--Amy Case (TX)
2001--Jane Correia (FL)
2000--Marcia Feldkamp (UT)
1999--Marcia Feldkamp (UT)
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The Network's elected officers are integral to NBDPN operations and to its ability to carry out its Mission. Every active member in good standing is eligible for nomination. Perspectives on the Network's elected positions provided by current and past officers are presented below:
President and President-Elect
Peter Langlois, 2017 President
My year as NBDPN President is drawing to a close, and I must admit it’s been way more fun than I expected. After 23 years in State government, I had developed an allergy to meetings and boring conference calls. But time after time upon leaving NBDPN conference calls, I hang up feeling invigorated and saying to myself, “Gosh I like those people!” The time commitment has been extremely manageable, for which I am very grateful to others in the Executive Committee (especially Rachel Rutkowski and Joan Ehrhardt), the CDC (Jennifer Isenburg and Cara Mai), and elsewhere (Jane Correia). True, the tempting illusion of being in control evaporated quickly, but it has been replaced by a realization that my small contributions here and there were hopefully making a difference, helping others get worthwhile tasks done, and helping families affected by birth defects.
Marlene Anderka , 2017 Immediate-Past President
My time as NBDPN President–Elect (2015), President (2016) and Past President (2017) was impacted by the emerging issue Zika virus and birth defects, which both presented challenges and offered opportunities. Zika required us to mobilize quickly and established a plan of strategic Zika activities with a primary focus on supporting state programs. This might seem daunting; however, the President works hand in hand with Cara Mai and other CDC staff and is supported by the wonderful team of NBDPN Elected Officers, and Committee and Work Group Chairs. The talented and dedicated NBDPN members also repeatedly step up to offer their support and expertise to help us accomplish our goals. So, even in the face of Zika, I did not feel that the duties of President were excessive.
Jason Salemi, 2017 President-Elect
It’s humbling to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and it’s beyond satisfying to know that you are surrounded by friends and never alone in your cause – that best sums up my feelings in serving as the 2017 President-Elect. Oh…and wow, too. As in WOW, I have the absolute privilege to work alongside people who get so much done on behalf of an organization with NO paid employees. In fact, I completely underestimated the full spectrum of activities in which NBDPN members are involved, and I learned quickly how indebted we are to individuals like Cara Mai, Jennifer Isenburg, Rachel Rutkowski, Joan Ehrhardt, Jan Cragan…the list is long...who do so much behind the scenes keep the NBDPN machinery well-oiled. I’ve also learned a great deal from our 2016 and 2017 Presidents, Marlene Anderka and Peter Langlois, and only regret that they didn’t get the opportunity to serve as President during an in-person meeting, which from my experience is a venue in which the NBDPN’s cup overflows with the energy that propels us to run back to our jurisdictions to better serve children, families, and communities impacted by birth defects. Can you tell I’m excited for the 2018 in-person meeting?
Now, there are amazing activities that I’ve been able to work on like the Integrated Forms Data Collection Tool for the Zika response and beginning to establish national Data Utility Standards to ensure we have the appropriate framework for using our birth defect data to inform decisions, but you can do that now as a Committee Chair or NBDPN member (you really can). If this is a testimonial about serving as President-Elect, it’s all about the people you get to interact with who support, challenge, and energize you as we fulfill our mission. My apprehension about serving in this role when Jane Correia approached me last year is no more.
Within NBDPN, we are a tight-knit group of dedicated, bright, and passionate public servants who support each other tirelessly. How could I not be excited to serve as your 2018 President?
Marlene Anderka, 2016 President
It has been a privilege to serve the network at this time and has been rewarding to me both personally and professionally. Given Zika, the past year didn’t go as I had planned, but sometimes the unexpected offers the chance to shift to a new approach. Moving forward the network will need to capitalize on the recent influx of birth defects surveillance resources to continue to build a standardized infrastructure for birth defects surveillance for Zika and beyond. I think this will offer a fulfilling opportunity and experience for the next President-Elect and President!
Peter Langlois, 2016 President-Elect
A year ago when Jane Correia invited me to consider running for President-Elect, I was under the impression that it would be easy and low key, that most of the real work would be handled by the various committees and by CDC (that is, Cara Mai!). Then Zika virus hit. Nevertheless, I am very happy that I made the decision to run. As part of the Executive, Membership & Elections, and Annual Meeting Committees, I have learned a great deal about various NBDPN activities and how things work. The NBDPN Zika Response subgroup was focused and exciting, and the whole public health issue has I judge provided the birth defects community with incredible public attention. It’s been a challenging and wonderful year to help steer NBDPN, and because of the contributions of so many fantastic and dedicated colleagues, the overall time commitment has been very manageable. I look forward to serving as President next year.
Paul Romitti, 2014 & 2015 President
Due to unexpected circumstances, I have had the opportunity to serve my term as the NBDPN President-Elect and an additional term as the Interim NBDPN President. I feel privileged to have served in these roles and have found each role to be a rewarding experience; I look forward to serving as President in the upcoming year. The opportunity to serve as President allows a member to become engaged in birth defects surveillance activities from multiple perspectives and to help influence birth defect surveillance activities at the state, federal, and even international levels. The role of President is greatly facilitated by the work of Cara Mai and CDC staff, as well as the experienced and dedicated committee chairs. Because of their contributions, serving as President requires a reasonable time commitment. Additionally, that time commitment is returned many fold through the working relationships you develop with Network members and the accomplishments and successes you share with these members in improving birth defects surveillance activities.
David Law, 2012 President:
Serving as NBDPN President has been both an honor and a humbling experience that has me looking forward with the hope of being an effective Immediate Past President. Doing so will involve working with the President, President-Elect, Executive Committee and all the other remarkable people making up the NBDPN to move forward toward our goals for the continued development of a strong, self-sustaining organization dedicated to the dual cause of preventing birth defects and providing support and comfort for those affected by birth defects. If you pursue the opportunity – and it is an opportunity, and become President-Elect and then President and Immediate Past President you will be among those in the center of the activity. And seeing it from that perspective – the amount of effort put forth and the expertise applied to various problems by volunteers working with other volunteers in support of the NBDPN mission is amazing. The part of being President that I enjoyed most was the opportunity to give awards to some of those volunteers, who truly deserved.
Becoming President-Elect will require time and effort on your part, but not so much that it cannot be managed. It will mark the beginning of a three-year commitment serving as President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. Each of those years you will participate in Executive Committee meetings, presiding over the meetings during your year as President. Other Presidential committee responsibilities include the Membership and Elections and Finance Committees and serving as the official NBDPN representative in legal, financial, and business matters. You will also likely be involved in the further development of and monitoring progress in regards to the NBDPN Strategic Plan. If any of this interests you, I urge you to seek the challenge and take a step towards assuming the role in the leadership. Given our all-volunteer organization, the NBDPN depends on people like you to step up and help us all move forward.
Leslie Beres, 2012 President-Elect:
Serving as President-Elect of the Network has been a very rewarding experience. I am greatly impressed with the individuals with whom I serve and the enthusiasm they all bring to the Executive Committee. The work of the Network is valuable as we together work toward finding and preventing the causes of birth defects. It is a particularly exciting time to be an officer as we are implementing our Strategic Plan and are working hard to expand our membership. We have had successful partnerships with other similar organizations and have started a parent group. I am honored to have served this past year as President-Elect, and look forward to starting my term as President.
Glenn Copeland, 2011 President:
The NBDPN membership is comprised of some great people who can and do collectively and individually accomplish great things. There are lots of involved people and lots of ways to become involved. Offering to serve as an elected officer is one way to do your part to keep the Network focused and moving forward. It really is a rewarding way to express your commitment to the goals and objectives of the NBDPN and help to move us all forward in the process. Spending time working with such accomplished people while working on projects you value that can have wide benefits is not bad way to spend your time.
Serving as President requires you to run successfully for President-Elect. Once elected, you would be expected to spend three years serving on the Executive Committee with one year as President-Elect, one year as President and a third year as Immediate Past President.
A summary of the key duties of the President includes.
- The President serves on the Executive Committee and has a number of duties including serving on the Membership and Elections and the Finance committee.
- The President presides over meetings of the members and of the NBDPN Executive Committee and serves as the official representative of the Association relative to legal, financial and business activities.
- The President is responsible for seeing that the orders and resolutions of the Executive Committee are carried out.
- The President also plays an important role in seeing to the functioning of the various NBDPN committees.
Serving as President during 2010 and again in 2011 has been a challenge, has been humbling but also very pleasant. I am glad to have served and hope I have lived up to the responsibilities entrusted to me by the membership. You will find the experience to be both manageable and satisfying. The experience has been worth far more than the time and effort required. I again encourage you to step up and take a turn at the plate!
Glenn Copeland, 2010 President:
Serving as an officer of the NBDPN has been an especially rewarding experience. Any active member is aware of the special work that this Association is doing and how it is affecting our ability to understand and ameliorate the causes and the effects of birth defects. When you see just how much work is being done by such a group of dedicated, skilled and committed members, all working as volunteers who are very busy people, it makes it clear that taking ones turn at helping to keep the Association focused and moving forward is the right thing to do. Running for office is important, in fact essential, to the survival of the Association and should be considered by anyone who truly cares about the NBDPN mission. If elected, holding office will require of you time and effort that could be spent on a number of other pressing issues, but taking a turn at bat is the best way to demonstrate your support of and concern for the future of the Association.
A summary of the duties of the President is in order.
- The President is a three year commitment, serving one year as President-Elect, one year as President and a third year as Immediate Past President.
- The President serves on the Executive Committee and has a number of duties including serving on the Membership and Elections and the Finance committee.
- The President presides over meetings of the members and of the NBDPN Executive Committee and serves as the official representative of the Association relative to legal, financial and business activities. The President is responsible for seeing that the orders and resolutions of the Executive Committee are carried out. The President also plays an important role in seeing to the functioning of the various NBDPN committees.
- As Immediate Past President, the final year of the three year commitment, your duties are to chair the Awards Task Force and, then, the Finance Committee. In addition, should both the President and President-Elect be absent, the Immediate Past President would preside as President.
The sum of these duties is something that I have found, thus far, to be both manageable and satisfying. The experience has been worth far more than the time and effort thus far required. I encourage you to step up and take a turn at the plate!
Craig A. Mason, 2009 President:
Serving as President-Elect and President of the NBPDN has been one of the highlights of my professional life. It provides you with a wonderful opportunity to help our organization continue to move forward and grow in new directions, with new strategies, and with new partners and members. At first glance, the role may seem daunting, but you are blessed with an incredible support system, including the Executive Committee, CDC (where would we be without Cara Mai?), and the Network itself. There was always someone there to help. In difficult economic times, a strong national organization of like-minded, dedicated individuals is going to be vital if we are to continue the successes we have seen over the past decade. By serving as President?Elect and President, you can play a key role in making that happen.
Samara Viner-Brown, 2008 President:
It has been a privilege and an absolute pleasure to serve the NBDPN in the role of President and President-Elect. The past two years have been an incredible experience! It has been fun and rewarding to watch the Network continue to grow and evolve. I confess that I assumed the role of President with some trepidation. I worried whether I had the skills and knowledge to perform the duties and meet the needs and expectations of the Network. What I should have known is that behind the President, lays a fantastic team of individuals who are there to support you. Between the Executive Committee, the CDC (especially Cara Mai) and the Network membership, the President receives guidance and assistance in accomplishing the responsibilities of the office.
If you enjoy working with wonderful people and learning about organizational infrastructure, strategic planning, finance, partnerships and even Robert’s Rules of Order, then you should seriously consider this or any leadership role in the NBDPN. The overall reward is knowing that you have helped to advance the NBDPN’s mission while building and/or strengthening personal and professional relationships and experiences. Please consider this important office—you will not regret it!
Philip Cross, 2007 President:
Serving as President of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) has been an honor and a privilege. One of my concerns when asked if I would accept the nomination to run for President was being able to balance my current work activities as Director of the New York State Congenital Malformations Registry with the duties of the President of the NBDPN. This was not a problem. I was surrounded by many special and talented people on the Executive Committee who volunteered when needed. Their support and the enthusiasm, along with the organizational skills and support of Cara Mai and CDC staff in attending to many of the details of the Network’s operations made the job easy. As President, you will increase your knowledge of birth defects surveillance, research and prevention and at the same time develop lasting friendships with colleagues from across the country. Serving as an officer or committee chair provides a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth. The next few years will be important to the Network as we continue to evolve and implement a Strategic Plan for 2006-2010. I encourage you to become actively involved with our committees and to seek or accept nominations for office. You will find it to be a very rewarding experience!
Carol Stanton, 2006 President:
It is with great pride that I've served NBDPN in the office of President. This leadership opportunity has been a wonderful adventure. The Network is evolving and this makes it is an exciting time to share vision, shape growth, nurture ideas, and find opportunities. The wealth of talent that is within the membership of NBDPN is extraordinary, thoroughly supportive, and ready to act. This past year the NBDPN increased its presence and stature by responding to many issues external to the organization. Our collective voice, technical expertise, and ability to make a difference continue to expand as we embark on the Network's second decade. For all of these reasons, it is truly rewarding to be at the helm of activity in NBDPN.
Marcia Feldkamp, 2005 President:
The NBDPN has been faced with many challenges this year and as President I am honored to assist with the planning of our future. Planning for the Network’s short and long term needs is a critical step at this time for our organization. It has been a great pleasure to work with the distinguished members of the Network. The members of the Network are a bright and very motivated group with the collective goal of reducing the occurrence and burden of birth defects. The NBDPN has grown rapidly since 1997 due to the cohesive nature of its members. Now, we are at a critical point in strategizing our future. I recommend that Network members seriously consider this position as an opportunity to keep the organization moving forward, as well as for their professional and personal growth.
Laurie Seaver, 2004 President:
It has been an honor to serve as President of the NBDPN this year. The work of this Network is truly done by the dedicated and talented membership and committee chairpersons. I have grown professionally through my involvement in the Network, and especially through my responsibilities as President-Elect and President over the last two years. As a relative newcomer to the Network and the “politics” of birth defect surveillance, serving on the Executive committee as President-Elect was very helpful to learn more about how the Network functions as an organization and how it interacts with other agencies. I encourage all members to seek active involvement on committees, including on the Executive Committee as committee chairpersons, and to seek or agree to nominations of elected offices. Finally, on a more personal level, you get to meet and work with some very fine people!
Robert (Bob) Meyer, 2003 President:
My tenure as President of the NBDPN has been very rewarding, both professionally and personally. On a professional level, serving as President has provided me with a unique opportunity to apply my public health knowledge and experience to help advance the field of birth defects prevention, while also enabling me to enrich my own knowledge by working with and learning from my colleagues in other states and organizations. On a personal level, this experience has enabled me to develop closer friendships with my peers, and it has helped me come to appreciate the strong motivation and commitment that each of us in the birth defects community has in our work. Serving as NBDPN President is truly an honor. And having the opportunity to work with such a diverse and talented group of people toward the common goal of preventing birth defects is an experience that I will always value.
Lowell Sever, 2002 President:
Serving as President-Elect and President of the NBDPN has given me an opportunity to work with a large number of people who share my concerns and passion about birth defects, both their impact on families and their public health significance. Through the work of our committees and our annual meetings, we have played key roles in bringing the importance of birth defects, and their primary prevention, to the attention of a number of audiences. Having been involved in the epidemiology of birth defects for over thirty years, it has been rewarding to me personally to see the expanding interest in this topic over the last few years with the growth of the network. I encourage you to seek office, as there is much yet to be done to achieve our goals.
Mark A. Canfield, 2001 President:
I found my year as NBDPN president to be a rewarding experience. It was fun being able to apply my organizational skills and my own style of leadership in running a national organization. As has been the case for every NBDPN President, there were a couple of important issues that faced the Network under my leadership, and I was pleased with the outcomes of those projects.
From my experience, the amount of work required for this position is not as extensive as one might think. Much of my effort went into setting the monthly meeting agenda, keeping the meetings on track and on time, helping to bring issues to resolution, and attempting to communicate effectively with the Executive Committee and membership as needed. Quite honestly, committees and CDC staff do most of the work of the NBDPN. The President serves as a guide.
I am left with only positive impressions of this experience. I learned so much and met and worked with some great people, some of whom I had not known before. I would encourage any person to consider this role, partly because it is fun, but also because the NBDPN Executive Committee is made up of such congenial and collaborative team of people.
Russell Kirby, 1999 President:
Serving as President of NBDPN is a very rewarding experience, one that will enhance your own knowledge of the field of birth defects surveillance, epidemiology and prevention even as you contribute your own expertise and leadership to the organization. It does require a continual commitment on your part over several years, but it is well worth the effort required. While some organizational skills are a must, the CDC staff (including Larry Edmonds but especially Cara Mai!) provides an amazing level of support that eases the burden considerably. As President, you will provide leadership and vision to a vibrant and growing organization, and will come away from the experience committed to its future as a 'Past President for life'!
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Secretary-Treasurer and Secretary-Treasurer Elect
Rachel Rukowski, 2017
Serving as the NBDPN Secretary Treasurer for the past two years has allowed me to see the organization from all levels. I served during the Zika epidemic and in a time of budgetary cutbacks. As the Secretary Treasurer, I had to adapt and learn as the role evolved over time. The scope of our organization has grown and with this growth the tasks that the Secretary Treasurer needed to perform changed as well. In addition to the routine tasks that keep the NBDPN functioning and fiscally responsible (ie. paying bills, monitoring accounts, tracking and processing memberships), I was involved in finding new ways to streamline our administrative activities and redefine future elected roles. Being the Secretary Treasurer for the NBDPN was challenging and required a lot of time, but I would be remiss if I did not mention that it was worthwhile in every sense of the word. I truly enjoyed my time in this role and have grown so much in my profession and as a person. If the past is any reflection of what this organization can accomplish, then I have great hope for the future of the NBDPN!
Deb Fox, 2014
The Secretary-Treasurer Elect position has evolved into a role that requires a significant time commitment. You will attend all meetings of the Executive Committee to report on finances. The task of writing the meeting minutes has been done this past year by the Member at Large to take some of the burden off the Secretary-Treasurer. Other meetings you will need to attend include the Finance Committee, the Annual Meeting Committee, and the Membership and Election Committee. Don’t worry if this seems daunting because the past several Secretary-Treasurers help out tremendously! You will also be responsible for preparing the annual business report although an intern from CDC will usually assist. The Secretary-Treasurer is also involved in Strategic Planning for the Network. This position requires an energetic person who has a little extra time to spare. One nice part of this job is the ability to learn the inner workings of the Network, and how the Executive Committee works together to support state-based birth defects surveillance programs and provides information about birth defects and prevention to a general audience.
Joan Ehrhardt, 2012
The Secretary-Treasurer Elect is a new member of the NBDPN board. The position has given me a much greater understanding of the organization’s structure, activities and needs. I’ve gained new insight into the dedication of the board and committee members who work to support the Network goals. The member serving as Secretary-Treasurer Elect takes on primarily Secretarial duties and has the opportunity to learn the workings of the NBDPN and fiscal duties of Treasurer before “taking the reins.” Implementation of membership dues has added another layer of responsibility, along with an exciting opportunity to demonstrate membership support for our organization and increase our financial security.
Ann Phelps, 2011
The Secretary/Treasurer handles the fiscal and documentation needs of NBDPN business operations. It is a great way to learn about the various activities as well as working with a delightful group of people. You will attend all meetings of the Executive Committee to report on finances and write the meeting minutes. Other meetings you will need to attend include the Finance Committee, the Annual Meeting Committee, and Strategic Planning. You are responsible to ensure that proper procedures are followed in conducting official business. You will manage NBDPN bank accounts, pay bills, ensure the timely preparation and filing of financial statements and tax filings, manage the NBDPN records maintenance and handle correspondence. The Treasurer responsibilities are most demanding during the period leading up to, during and after the annual meeting Business courses or a nonprofit management background is a plus!
Ann Phelps, 2010
How is your juggling? Like details? Nit-picky? Good with numbers? Like balancing your checkbook? Time to spare? Trustworthy? Curious and like to find things out? You are the person for this job! The Secretary/Treasurer handles much of the fiscal and documentation needs of NBDPN business operations. It is a great way to learn about the various activities as well as working with a delightful group of people. You attend all meetings of the Executive Committee to report on finances and create the meeting minutes. Other meetings you will need to attend include the Finance Committee, the Annual Meeting Committee, and Strategic Planning. You are responsible to ensure that proper procedures are followed in conducting official business. You will manage NBDPN bank accounts, pay bills, ensure the timely preparation and filing of financial statements and tax filings, manage the NBDPN records maintenance and handle correspondence. The Treasurer responsibilities are most demanding during the period leading up to, during and after the annual meeting Business courses or a nonprofit management background is a plus!
Glenn Copeland, 2007 and 2008
In serving as Secretary/Treasurer for NBDPN, you will find yourself responsible for carrying on much of the business of the organization. Your attendance at all Executive Committee meetings is essential, since you are responsible for preparing meeting minutes and providing a report on the NBDPN finances. You will also be entrusted with and responsible for the financial holdings of the NBDPN. The position, while no more time consuming than many other roles served by the volunteers that make the NBDPN work, provides a unique opportunity to both stay in touch with and facilitate the full range of activities being undertaken at any point in time by NBDPN committees. This position is a great one for getting connected with what is happening working with a group of great people and playing an important part in getting things accomplished.
Amy Case, 2006
The Secretary/Treasurer attends the monthly meetings of the Executive Committee, takes and distributes minutes, and ensures that proper procedures are followed in conducting official
business. The Treasurer responsibilities are most demanding during the period around the annual meeting (although much of this is now handle using an online service), but occasionally other duties need attention such as yearly tax filing and any transactions arising from grants received by the NBDPN. Some business courses or a nonprofit management background is a plus!
Amy Case, 2005
The role of Secretary/Treasurer has evolved quite a bit in the past year and will likely change some more in the future, especially with the many organizational structure issues currently being addressed by the NBDPN strategic planning team. In some ways, that is what makes this work rewarding; there is ample opportunity to identify and enact creative solutions to an always-changing situation. The new Secretary/Treasurer will find a role with more autonomy if less administrative support from the CDC. Many processes will also be more automated, making for a position with less bookkeeping-type duties and more decision-making. In addition, we are poised to receive one or two grants (a first), which will require as-yet-unidentified oversight activities.
You may notice that the past two people in this role stayed on for two years. Don't let that alarm you! It is strictly optional but I think we both felt after one year that we had just begun to get a handle on the duties and to make a real contribution. A secondary benefit of this position is that it can be a real resume-builder and you can develop new skills!
Amy Case, 2004
Just so you know, being Secretary/Treasurer is not what you think! No advanced accounting or financial management skills are needed, although organization is a must and it doesn’t hurt to know how to balance a checkbook. This position, like many others on the NBDPN Executive Committee, relies heavily on the outstanding support from Cara Mai. The benefits include the opportunity to keep up on so many interesting and important projects being carried out by the committees, and the pleasure of working with a checking account with more than a $100 balance at any given time.
Jane A. Correia, 2002-2003
It has been my pleasure to serve as Secretary/Treasurer for the NBDPN. The support provided by CDC and the other Executive Committee members has allowed me to incorporate the duties of this position into my work schedule. It is very rewarding to be a part of a national organization committed to preventing birth defects and to see the role NBDPN is playing at the national level to shape surveillance, prevention, and education initiatives.
April Montgomery, 2001
I served as Secretary/Treasurer of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network during 2001. This position offered me the opportunity to work with the Executive Committee including the committee chairs and become familiar with the organizational and policy issues facing a national organization such as NBDPN and the emerging challenges facing birth defects surveillance and prevention both nationally and in various states. This perspective has been fascinating and valuable. The staff at Centers for Disease Control provided superb support. Larry Edmonds and Cara Mai have energy and vision and kept everything well organized and on target. I would urge individuals interested in this position to pursue it. If anyone has any further questions,
please feel free to contact me.
Lisa Miller, 2000
My year as Secretary-Treasurer was a very beneficial experience. During my tenure, the NBDPN became incorporated, so I learned about that process and was able to be “in on the ground floor”. I think the other benefit was working with and being a part of the Executive Committee, where you have an opportunity to guide the direction and decisions of the organization. It is gratifying to work as a team with others who have similar interests and goals in the area of birth defects.
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Vinita Leedom, 2017
As the NBDPN Member-at-Large for 2017, I had an opportunity to see the various issues and needs of people across the country and the world who work in Birth Defects Surveillance. I have gained a tremendous appreciation for the amount of work it takes to run an organization such as NBDPN. It has truly been a privilege.
Rachel Rutkowski, 2015
It has been a great privilege to serve as the 2015 Member-at-Large for the NBDPN. I enjoyed seeing the "inner workings" of the organization through my involvement in the Executive Committee, Membership and Elections, and the Annual Meeting Planning Committees. We have truly accomplished so much this year and I am very proud of our efforts! My favorite part of being Member-at-Large was that it created an opportunity to really connect with the membership. I answered NBDPN emails, processed new memberships, attended Secretary/Treasurer meetings, and helped with the registration for the in-person annual meeting. I have gained so much, professionally and personally, from my involvement in the NBDPN. I highly encourage others to take full advantage of what the NBDPN has to offer, whether that be as an elected officer or as a committee member.
Amy Nance, 2014
Serving as NBDPN Member-at-Large over the last two years has allowed me the opportunity to become more involved in all aspects of the network. During my time in this position, the responsibilities have changed which pushed me out of my comfort zone and into a more active role within the network. This position has also allowed me the opportunity to serve on many different committees and really see all the work that goes into making this network run. The time commitment (8-10 hours/month) includes preparing minutes from the EC calls, responding to emails from www.nbdpn.org, and attending committee meetings (Secretary/Treasurer, Membership and Elections, and EC meetings). If you want to get to know and work with some amazing people that really make a difference in the world of birth defects and this Network, this is a great position to get your feet wet and really see how it all works.
Sandy Fawbush, 2012
Serving as the NBDPN Member at large allowed me the opportunity to become involved in the network as a very different level than I have been in the last 11 years. Serving on the Executive and Membership and Elections committee gave me the opportunity to see how much work the network truly does behind the scenes to sustain birth defect surveillance. This role would be excellent for new members or those like myself who have been involved on standing committees for years. This position truly helps you to see the “BIG” picture and how it all fits together. I enjoyed seeking out new members and the annual meeting and being sure they were plugged in and talking with them about the NBDPN. This is a great way to get involved in the NBDPN.
Norma J. Ryan, 2011
As Member-at-Large, I was able to represent the membership of the Network and really be the voice for them. During this past year, I connected with many individuals—from the annual meeting and committees—who had not yet become a member in “good standing”. Some did become members and a few are serving on a committee—and, thinking about becoming a member. Thus, more than just the “voice” for the membership, I made it a mission to “grow” and “cultivate” the membership. I firmly believe that the one elected to this position has the unique opportunity to really make a difference for the Network! Of course, the opportunity to serve on the Executive Committee provided insights and realizations of how the Network functions across the states/organizations and how there becomes “one voice” in representing parents, families and children nationally. It has been an exciting time— and, sadly, I turn it over to another individual to carry the torch.
Civillia Winslow Hill, 2010
Being Member-at-Large has pushed me to be more involved in working on the underpinnings of the organization. I have valued working with and being accountable for participating on the Membership & Elections Committee and the Executive Committee on the important issues we have considered this year. Even though my professional life is no longer birth defects surveillance, my interest and passion remains very much connected to that. Being Member-at-Large is a wonderful opportunity to bring that perspective to discussions of issues and to participate as an equal partner in the leadership of the NBDPN.
Stephanie Miller, 2009
As Member at Large this year, I have had the opportunity to become involved in the NBDPN at a unique level. In comparison to my attendance at the national meeting or participation in various committees or surveys throughout the year, being directly involved with the committee offered the opportunity to feel really involved in the operational aspects of the NBDPN. In addition, the monthly Executive Committee conference calls give a chance to hear about all of the activities in all of the NBDPN committees as well as other NBDPN partners, such as the national report from the March of Dimes. Through this role I have been continually amazed at all of the great work that is being done across the Network. There are so many things that you can get involved in as the Member at Large. You can give a little of your time or work on entire projects, it is entirely up to you. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as a Member at Large.
Ann Phelps, 2008
Want to learn something new? Want to learn something different? Want to be the “voice” of the NBDPN members? Have I got just the thing for you!! The Member-At-Large is a great position if you are a new network member or a long?time member. The new member can benefit from the wealth of operational information about the different network committees and activities – it can whet your thirst for getting involved in different projects – plus the new member brings their new perspective to the various meetings. The long-term member also increases their knowledge about network activities but may also come into the position with a firm idea of projects to benefit members as well as their longer-term perspective. To be clear, the NBDPN By-Laws require the MAL to attend the phone meetings of the Executive Committee, the Membership & Elections Committee, and the Annual Meeting Committee as well as participating in the Ad Hoc Awards group (the calls are also great ways to “meet” members from around the country.) After that, the NBDPN world is your apple! During my time as MAL, I focused on increasing website benefits which meant participating in the Publications & Communications committee. I also worked to reach out to current & new members as well as first time attendees to the Annual Meeting to encourage joining committees and participating in the network. The monthly time commitment as MAL is not burdensome while the pleasures from participation in the NBDPN are great!
Judy Major, 2007
I have been a member of the NBDPN for many years, but serving as Member-at-Large this year, has allowed me to learn more than ever about the inner workings of the Network. As a statutory member of three important committees, Executive, Membership & Elections and Awards, the MAL has the privilege of being involved in decision?making that directly affects the future of the Network. Participating in regular conference calls with people from around the country also allows this officer to gain a unique perspective on the range of activities undertaken by birth defects programs in different states. If you want to get to know and work with the "movers and shakers" in the Network, assist in recruiting and welcoming new members and have a voice in where the Network is headed, you’ll enjoy being the MAL.
Glenn Copeland, 2006
My election to Member at Large required that I attend the monthly meetings of the Executive Committee and the Membership and Elections Committee. Serving on the Executive Committee provided an interesting and rewarding opportunity learn about the wide range of activities being undertaken by the NBDPN committees. This chance to follow along and participate in the many activities of the network was quite rewarding. I certainly gained a new appreciation for the efforts of the active membership to further the goals of the NBDPN and, largely, the goal of the registry in Michigan. The Member-At-Large is an ideal position if you are interested in learning more about the NBDPN and how it operates. During my year in office, I tried to assist in any way I could to attract and involve new members to the NBDPN. What is good about being a Member at Large? It is good to be involved, good to contribute and great to come to know the individual members that are driving the organization forward.
Kimberlea Hauser, 2005
The Member-At-Large is an ideal position if you are interested in learning more about the NBDPN and how it operates. The “MAL” participates in monthly Executive Committee calls and serves on the Membership and Election Committee. In addition, it provides the elected individual with an opportunity to learn more about the role the NBDPN plays in working with state programs. As an officer of the organization, the “MAL” can define his/her role in the organization. The “MAL” position is also a good entry point to other offices, Marcia Feldkamp is now the NBDPN President and Amy Case and Jane Correia both served multiple terms as treasurer. This is a great way to become involved in NBDPN!
Ruth D. Merz, 2004
If you are looking for a rewarding role at the national level with our professional association that affords you the most contact with all the members, as well as offers you the greatest opportunity for personal creativity, then Member-At-Large is the office for you. This officer plays an active role on the Executive Committee, participates in various Committee conference call meetings, and finds unique ways to bring everyone together in our common focus on birth defects. In this broadly defined officer position, in addition to receiving special Network assignments (like securing affiliate liaison organizations and representatives this year), you can also be as responsive as you want in addressing member concerns and as innovative as possible in developing ideas for keeping the membership informed about Network happenings and activities.
Amy Case, 2002
The role of Member-at-Large is a good one for anybody who likes to know "the scoop"! As MAL, I was in a position to attend various committee meetings as needed, review minutes from various committees, attend the Executive Committee phone conference (monthly), and in general get an overview of the many interesting and important projects various members are working on. I was also a part of the monthly Membership and By?Laws Committee phone meetings, and was involved in a new projects (Membership Survey Report, Exhibit Board) designed to define and expand the NBDPN's membership. The time commitment (about 8-2 hours/month?) was rewarded by a better perspective on the work of birth defects surveillance and prevention going on around the country.
Jane A. Correia, 2001
Being involved in the NBDPN as the member?at?large was a great experience for me as I was able to learn about you, the members. The Network is committed to assisting all entities involved in birth defects surveillance, research, and prevention and as I learned from the members survey, we as an organization have a tremendous about of expertise to share. The amount of time involved was workable and CDC and the Executive Committee provided great support.
Marcia Feldkamp, 2000
At the time I filled the role of the Member at Large for the NBDPN it was a new position within the newly established Network. During my tenure, I was involved with the creation of the first survey instrument of NBDPN members and the State Directory Description. This position is meant to be a representative of the NBDPN members on the Executive Committee, to communicate between the two groups and reflect member's issues/concerns to the EC with feedback to members.
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