As I begin my fifth year as the Executive Director of Women Education Leaders in Virginia (WELV), I wanted to reflect on where we are as we begin our 19th year as an organization.
First, I want to recognize the amazing Board of Directors, both past and present, who steer the organization with passion and wisdom. These busy women leaders find the the time to promote and encourage other women educators and grow the leadership of the future. Beth Baptist’s leadership as President saw the emergence of two new WELV Affiliates and the expansion of the Ambassador Program. As Linda Reviea takes the helm as President, the organization is well positioned to cultivate and nurture the next generation of women leaders in Virginia.
I want to welcome back Judy Lam as WELV’s administrative coordinator. Her commitment to the mission and work of WELV is evident in all she does on a regular basis for the organization. Of the many reasons I am grateful to serve as your executive director, working with Judy is one of them.
We celebrated WELV’s 18th Birthday at the Annual Conference in March. Based on the conference evaluations, those who attended found the event to be uplifting, informative and fun. The 19th Annual Conference is currently in the design phase. Stay tuned and mark your calendars for March 15-16, 2018
When I look to the future of WELV, I see the emergence of a bolder more vibrant organization with greater impact for women leaders. I envision a greater influence for the organization in regions of the state that have been historically under represented at WELV events. We welcome new enthusiastic regional representatives in Regions 6, 7 and 8. All these new Board members are superintendents in their respective regions. They are committed to the important work of WELV.
I know that to expand WELV, additional resources are needed. To that end, I will continue to promote business partnerships and conference sponsors while exploring funding opportunities beyond these sources. With additional means, WELV could respond to requests from other states seeking assistance in launching a similar group. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have “sister” organizations in other states?
Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the women founders who shared a common vision for WELV. Names such as Margaret Blackmon, Pam Tucker, and Donna Plasket come to mind. Past Presidents such as Laurie McCullough, Pam Moran and Rosa Atkins are among those who have contributed to the lasting and growing influence of WELV. It is upon the shoulders of these bold women leaders that we move forward after nearly two decades of service.
Elaine Fogliani, Ph.D.