Update from the chairman (in Brookings County)

This is an installment in an ongoing series as Jessica Mueller (age 24) chronicles her experiences as the new chairman of her chapter’s Board of Directors.

Today marks my first “official” day as chairman of the Brookings County Chapter Board of Directors.  I had expected to just start my duties today but our chairman was unable to attend our annual meeting last night, so I actually started early.  What a start - I didn’t have a copy of the agenda until yesterday morning and was caught off guard on a couple things the executive director had me listed as discussing.  I was flustered. 

We didn’t have too many people there because it is always a struggle to get people to summer events, so that helped to put me at ease.  We surprised our disaster services staff member with the chairman’s award for going above and beyond her duties.  She had no idea, which was the fun part of the evening!  When it came to official business my brain froze and could not remember the word “opposed.”  I went to national competition in high school for parliamentary procedure (how to run a proper business meeting), but when I try to use it in real life, I freeze up.  I just told them I was new and went on with the meeting.  One of the outgoing board members agreed to be my consultant and mentor when I had questions on my duties. It puts me at ease that I have a couple people I know I can turn to. 

Being only 24, I am still a little nervous that I don’t have enough experience behind me to take on such an honor but I’m going to give it my best.  I need to remember that I am American Humanics certified which means I should have the education necessary to take on these types of responsibility.  I am very honored to serve in this position, and will continue to promote the mission of the Red Cross.  There are definitely some things I want to see accomplished in my term.  Until my next update, keep on doing what you do best! 

Jessica Mueller, South Dakota

5 Responses to “Update from the chairman (in Brookings County)”

  1. > …parliamentary procedure (how to run a proper business meeting), but when I try to use it in real life, I freeze up.

    Jessica, the National Association of Parliamentarians might be of some help. See:

  2. Jessica-

    A young person myself, and current AHSA President at Arizona State University, I commend you. I think the very fact that you understand your inexperience makes you ready for this position. Be strong, and rely on those who have paved the way for you to lead with such courage. Press on, and I look forward to updates!


  3. Hi my name is Lauren Bivona. I am taking a class in nonprofit management, and I was hoping if you can help me by answering a few questions about your position.

    These are the questions:

    1. How long have you been a board member for this organization?
    2. Why do you think you were selected to become a board member?
    3. Why did you agree to become a board member?
    4. What position do you hold?
    5. How many members are on the board? How many members are in the organization?
    6. How long do your board meetings generally last?
    7. What do you think is your greatest responsibility to this organization?

  4. Sam - Thank you for your comments. It is amazing what the AH program can prepare you for if you make the most of your experience!

    Lauren - I sent answers to your e-mail. Please let me know if they did not reach you and I will post them here.

  5. Wow! What an amazing opportunity you have. As an advocate for our youth & young adults in the American Red Cross, I am so thrilled to hear of your new position as Board Chair. Congratulations! Your Chapter clearly has a great deal of confidence in you, and you have a great opportunity not only for your own experience, but to be an example for our youth volunteers. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences over the course of this year!

    Jessica Ports
    Manager, Youth & Young Adults
    Greater Palm Beach Area Chapter

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