President's Letter to Members
Dear Members, Partners, and Friends,
It is a very exciting time to be part of CARA – especially if you’re the new president! On February 15th we held the first board meeting of 2013. I’m pleased to welcome Shoshanna Carter, Lisa Johnston, Geeta Ramdat, and John Rivett to the CARA Board. No professional association can exist, much less thrive, without the work of its volunteers, and I hope that many of you reading this will consider taking advantage of the numerous volunteer opportunities CARA offers, including Board service.
As is always the case at this time of year, CARA is hard at work preparing for our annual conference: June 27-28 at the Long Beach Hilton. This is a very special conference for us, celebrating CARA’s 20th Anniversary, and Conference Chair Sara Boretz has been working overtime to assemble a great slate of speakers! We’ve previously announced Keynote Speaker Debbie Miller, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services at Appalachian State University, and Plenary Speaker Pamela Poland, President of Pamela Poland + Associates. It’s my pleasure to now be able to let you all know that CARA founding member Peter Wasemiller, J.D., Assistant Professor of Business Administration: Law and Ethics at Fresno Pacific University, and private investigator Chris Reynolds of Chris Reynolds Investigations have agreed to join us in Long Beach; thanks, Peter and Chris! We are also planning to have for the first time (at least in my memory) a session for you to meet the members of the CARA Board, ask questions, make suggestions, and in general discuss the state of the association. I’m looking forward to it!
In closing, I suppose it’s expected of me to lay out my vision for CARA in my first president’s letter. In the now over twelve years I’ve been in the field of prospect research, this organization has been of enormous value to me in terms of professional education, networking, and general morale-boosting! I hope that it is the same for you, and I’m committed to keeping CARA the premier resource for prospect researchers, and to improving our offerings in all three of those areas.
I also think that CARA, and our parent organization APRA, can do a great service both to prospect researchers and to the nonprofit world as a whole by raising awareness of the field as a profession, filled with people who are experts in Development! My current job is as a Director of Advancement Services – a title which seems to mostly be occupied by people who came up managing the database on the IT side. While I’ve known many fine directors from that side, I do feel that a background as an end-user of the data, as an analyst of that data, and as the person most likely to be directly helping the development officers to use that data, can provide a perspective that is of great value to the organizations that employ us, and deserving of a seat at the first table. I’d like to see more prospect researchers have (and take) the opportunity to move into larger roles; by partnering with organizations such as CASE, and by inviting development officers and vice presidents to take part in our conferences and other events/educational programs, I think that we can make this possible.