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The mission of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) is to provide a safe and open environment for financial aid professionals from all sectors to interact, learn, and exchange ideas. With the highest level of integrity, VASFAA provides training and support and advocates for the profession so students and families seeking to afford post-secondary education in the Commonwealth are well-served.



A Message from our President

Greetings, VASFAA!

Here we go again! Another year, another President! My thanks to Biz and to all who served the association so well during our wonderful 50th year! It was truly momentous!

NOW what, you say!! The theme for 2018-2019 is “Be the light…and the voice!” Your 2018-2019 leadership team is doing our best to hit the ground running and to model the theme. VASFAA’s outgoing 2017-2018 and incoming 2018-2019 Board members, select committee chairs, and a few paranormal “guests” met June 3-5 for a wonderful transition retreat held at the historic Carter Hall Conference Center in Millwood, Virginia. More on the paranormal later!

Following the 2017-2018 final Board meeting, retreat participants engaged in group activities that helped us define our values, arrive at an updated mission statement, and reach preliminary consensus on goals for a new strategic plan. The Board approved our new mission statement:

The mission of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA) is to provide a safe and open environment for financial aid professionals from all sectors to interact, learn, and exchange ideas. With the highest level of integrity, VASFAA provides training and support and advocates for the profession so students and families seeking to afford post-secondary education in the Commonwealth are well-served.

A concentric circle exercise was followed by small group work to “image” a better VASFAA. Group members were pleasantly surprised that each small group approached the exercise in a slightly different way but arrived at very similar conclusions as to what we wanted VASFAA to be. As incoming President, I will compile their work into a proposed strategic plan with specific “To Do List” items.

A balanced budget was presented thanks to the Budget & Finance Committee, who held a planning meeting two weeks before the retreat and presented a well-constructed, tentative budget. Committee chairs were charged with preparing tentative goals for the year prior to the retreat, which they shared during the retreat. All who completed volunteer forms will be contacted for specific committees.

Back to the paranormal…. Carter Hall is a magnificent 1700’s estate--with a glorious floating two-story staircase—first owned by the family of King Carter and now owned by the Hope Foundation, the nonprofit organization that originally sailed the world in the USS Hope providing medical and emergency assistance to areas in crisis. During the Civil War, Stonewall Jackson used the home as a base, and troops camped below the house on the beautiful rolling hills of the estate. After the Carter family held it for several generations, the pharmaceutical giant who developed Listerine was one of the owners during the 1900’s.

What we discovered was that we weren’t the only ones who didn’t want to leave this pastoral location. Our last night there, at least four individuals in our group—none of whom are easily unnerved—experienced some type of strange activity in our individual rooms. Only one individual actually fled her room in the middle of the night and slept downstairs on the couch when “someone” slapped her on the hip and told her to “turn on light!” Another had someone sit down hard on her bad; another heard people talking all night long—but everyone was asleep, and no homes or real people were anywhere near!

Yes, I know this is difficult to believe, but don’t discount it! We were told this happens at Carter Hall frequently. Sometimes the staff members even see and hear the soldiers in the encampment down below the house. (Maybe these were the same voices heard by our VASFAA Board member that night!) One particular room seems to have the most activity—activity that made for a wakeful last night.

We were told the spirits have always been friendly, and no one has ever had a truly negative experience—unless having a spirit in your room is “negative”! As the mother of one of the staff members told her after an encounter, “It’s not the dead ones you need to worry about!”

Committee Chairs for 2018-2019

Budget & Finance - Joe Dobrota (with assistance from Clint Young)

Conference - Jackie Cottom & Julie Finn 

Charity - Wynde Walker

Development Partners - Dianne Fulmer & Anthony Humphreys

Electronic Services - Chad Sartini

Funds Manager - Vern Fairchilds

Government Relations - Brett Lief (Federal) & Brad Barnett (State)

Membership - Biz Daniel & Beth Armstrong

Newsletter - Zita Barree

Secondary School & Community Relations - Jack Zegeer & Mike O’Grady

Site Selection - Tarik Boyd

The 2018-2019 VASFAA Calendar

  • Tuesday, September 18, Sweet Briar College, VASFAA Directors’ Summit
    (All who arrive the night before are invited to dinner at the home of Biz Daniel!)
  • Friday, September 21, 10:00 a.m. High School Counselors’ Webinar
  • Tuesday, October 16, Zehmer Hall, UVA, VASFAA Fall Training

Packed agenda, including, but not limited to:

* Enduring Difficult People and Surviving Active Shootings - Lt. John Weinstein & Chief Dan Dusseau, NOVA Police

* Determining Homelessness Without a Liaison

* When Disaster Hits at the Worst Possible Time - Wayne Kruger, SPCC, + colleagues from Houston & California

  • Wednesday, October 17, Carruthers Hall, UVA VASFAA Fall Board Meeting
  • December, 2018, NOVA + Sites TBD H.S Counselor Workshops
  • Thurs-Fri, February 7-8, Hilton Norfolk The Main VASFAA Winter Board Meeting
  • Saturday, May 4, Hilton Norfolk The Main VASFAA Spring Board Meeting
  • Sunday-Wednesday, May 5-8, Hilton Norfolk The Main VASFAA Conference

Signed,

Joan Zanders

2018-2019 VASFAA President



 

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