I am a foodie and enjoy trying new items whenever I get a chance. I cannot say I have had crab cakes and mac n’ cheese together, but separate they are oh so delicious, so why not?! Honestly though, what is with the title?
The AADE Annual Conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland this year, and among some other amazing food options, crab cakes are definitely on my list of local favorites to indulge in while there. August is one of my favorite months, not because school is starting back up, but because of the Annual Conference. As a volunteer leader within AADE for the past several years, I have found this conference becomes more meaningful to me each year. The amount and quality of educational sessions are amazing, but there are also many events targeted towards volunteer leaders, those who want to become leaders, or those just starting to dabble in volunteering within AADE.
One of my favorites is the Coordinating Body (CB) and Community of Interest (COI) networking event. This is held on the Thursday evening before the conference fully kicks off and will be held from 5:00-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 16 this year. Each CB and COI is able to highlight his or her group, network, and overall have a good time together. There is food, special treats from many of the groups, and a room full of amazing volunteer leaders ready to discuss anything and everything. Taking part in this event allowed me to meet some of the most influential people in diabetes education and gain a better understanding of each of the groups within AADE. It is truly a great event. This year there is talk of holding a CB meeting during a portion of the network event where CB leaders will be able to meet in a separate room to discuss CB business, ideas and leadership. This part of the event is just beginning to be planned, so keep your eyes peeled for more information (and if I was not supposed to tell you, do not say you heard it from me)!
The Presidential Address on Friday, August 17 starts at 7:30 a.m. and is another cannot-miss event. Our current president, Donna Ryan, will address attendees and typically focuses on many of the initiatives and progress completed over the past year, as well as some of the vision moving forward. As a volunteer leader, it is energizing to hear our president discuss our success and how we are moving forward as a cohesive group. It will be an early morning, but well worth it—and I hear they have good coffee in Baltimore too.
Another event I feel is important to attend is the AADE Annual Business Meeting. We hear from many members of the AADE Board of Directors (BOD) and receive extremely important information about AADE, its membership, finances, and strategic plan. Attendees are allotted time to discuss their visions, concerns, and challenges, and member feedback is greatly appreciated and utilized. I feel as a volunteer leader it assisted me in understanding the inner workings of AADE to a better degree and allowed me to see how much the opinion and values of the membership mean to AADE.
So, why am I discussing the Annual Conference with you so early? Registration is open! Early bird rates are available until April 27, so make sure you register early and save money! I encourage you to attend not only for the great educational sessions, but also because there are many opportunities for growth as a volunteer leader and so much more.
MAC N’ Cheese: (modified from Chris Memering’s, BSN, RN, CDE initial, catchy newsletter title)
The Member Affiliates Council (MAC) is not a type of pasta, but a group of volunteer leaders involved within the CBs and COIs in addition to several staff members. These leaders do not share a common interest of cheese, but rather have been asked to give a little more time to AADE and serve as representatives of the CBs and COIs to the engagement staff and the Member Affiliate’s Liaison (MAL) and in turn the BOD. Two representatives from the COIs (LaurieAnn Scher, Diabetes Technology COI - firstname.lastname@example.org and Donna Stevens, Advance Practice COI - email@example.com) and three from CBs (Pat Adams, Pennsylvania CB - AdamsP@einstein.edu, Joan Czarnowski-Hill, Massachusetts CB -firstname.lastname@example.org, and myself, Amanda Stahnke, Missouri CB- email@example.com) assist the MAC as Co-facilitators. We have the responsibility of attending quarterly conference calls, posting announcement and discussions on the CB and COI leadership forums, and once a year writing a newsletter article.
As MAC Co-facilitators we are the voice of the CBs and COIs to the BOD and provide insight and opinions from the CB or COI perspective. We want to serve the membership and AADE to the best of our ability, so please let us know your thoughts, questions, or concerns. We are here to help!
Now that I have made us all hungry, I will digress. Volunteering within AADE continues to be a source of growth and excitement for me. I hope it has been for you as well and that you continue to expand your role and involvement. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. See everyone in August!