April 2014: What’s new at JAWS

President's Letters, Recent News l

Whaleyd0e0abDear JAWdesses:

I feel like I have birthed twins. Juggling care of my 3-month-old son and my work for JAWS leaves me wishing for clones (or at least more arms). I know many of us feel such Overwhelm. Lucky for me, I have a great support system in my husband, my friends and family and in all of you, including my hard-working JAWS board members. I feel my energy renewed with each listserv discussion on, say, a must-read article or a JAWdess’s accomplishment or plans for upcoming meetings. Thank you for being such an engaged community of professionals!

As you know, our executive director stepped down last month; she is working with us through April 30. We bid adieu to Becky Day with fondness and gratitude for the work she has put in as office manager and then executive director, for a total of 13 years with JAWS. Thank you, Becky, for your service to this incredible organization.

The board of our directors is working to ensure a smooth transition into our next phase. All 16 board members met in Los Angeles earlier this month for our annual spring meeting. We focused on immediate steps of getting our house in order, including putting together interim part-time job descriptions and making a transition plan. We will soon post these temporary openings to the membership.

We are also working to ensure that we have the resources to support both our new and ongoing initiatives. To that end, we are streamlining and upgrading our financial record keeping. We will give a complete report during our general membership meeting at our annual Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP), Oct. 31 – Nov. 2 in Palm Springs, Calif.

As we make plans for the future, we have a lot to look forward to:

  • CAMP 2014: Our CAMP chairs are busy putting together a compelling program for our Halloween weekend in Palm Springs. We have several tech sessions planned, including one by Stephanie Yamkovenko called “Swiss Army Knife of Apps.” Taking advantage of the California location, CAMP will feature women in entertainment, technology and business, with sessions on journalism ethics, professional training and other subjects. More announcements to come, as our planners solidify speakers and panels. See their blog post on visiting the resort.
  • Mentoring: We are matching mentors with mentees as part of our expanded, year-round mentoring program. Please email mentorship chair Donna Myrow if you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee. I will be signing up as both!
  • Regional events: We are continually expanding our regional trainings; we are hosting our spring potluck event in May. Please get in touch with board member Jen DePaul if you want to host an event in your area. Big or small, professional training or informal get-together. All are welcome.

We are in transition here at JAWS. And I could not have picked a better team in this board to help me navigate us through it. The board is committed to advancing our organization as one of both sisterhood and impact.

As board members continue to give time, energy and brilliance, I always welcome your ideas (and help). Feel free to reach out to me whaley@jaws.org or any board member.

I look forward to hearing from you and, of course, seeing you at CAMP.

Happy spring, everyone!

Lauren