From the President…
When I started working with the Village Employees Benefit Fund three years ago, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. But I accepted a challenge from then-president DC Reed to help build a website for the organization. I supplied written content to Dannet Botkin of Designs Group Consulting, who actually laid out the website and made it “go live” on the internet.
After that, I volunteered to write the annual VEBF donor letters, and write occasional news releases for the POA’s Village Digest email and the Hot Springs Village Voice newspaper. Apparently, I volunteered just a few times too many, and was voted by the board to be vice president two years ago.
This year, DC stepped back from being president, while accepting the position of vice president. I allowed myself to be voted in as president. I accept the responsibility knowing that I will receive great support from our board (see related article below).
I only hope I can do as much for the VEBF as DC accomplished. During his 4 years at the helm, DC and his boards tripled donations from Village residents and local business sponsors. These efforts culminated in 2021 and 2022 with record-high appreciation gifts to hourly POA employees ($300 for full-timers, $150 for part-timers). DC was presented with a commendation in December from General Manager Kelly Hale and the POA Board of Directors, for his work on behalf of POA employees.
Of course, everything we do for our employees depends on the continuing support of our individual donors in Hot Springs Village, and our local area business sponsors. As a VEBF newsletter recipient, you recognize how important it is to “say thanks” to our employees with an annual appreciation gift in December. I encourage you to continue your support of the VEBF with your donations and remind your friends and neighbors to lend their support, as well.
What we’re doing in 2023...
There are three main objectives we hope to accomplish this year, in addition to our annual objective of fundraising.
We are looking for ways to provide small grants to POA employees who are interested in furthering their education in support of their POA jobs, or with a desire to advance in the POA. This is the goal of the VEBF’s Continuing Education Program, something we would initiate separate from any employee training the POA would provide to fulfill their requirements.
Next, with only 14% of Village households donating to the VEBF, we have come to believe that we just aren’t reaching enough people with our “Let’s Say Thanks” message. So, we plan to start a Speaker’s Bureau, consisting of board members willing to deliver a short message to meetings of clubs and organizations in the Village. We feel strongly that once people fully understand who we are and what we do, more people will want to donate. If you are a member of a group that would be interested in hearing from us personally, please contact me at email@example.com.
Finally, the board would like to establish an Advisory Resource Council. This would consist of a group of Village residents, former POA employees, and local business owners, willing to just provide answers to questions we would occasionally email them. We believe that input from outside the board will help us meet our goals, and in doing so, help our employees. Again, this is something you can help with! If you would be interested in lending us some brainpower every so often, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise, there will be no meetings to attend, just a little time at your keyboard if you have any ideas to share about questions, we send you.
That’s it for now! I’ll keep in touch with you through future newsletters, to keep you informed about our progress on these initiatives, and other news from “behind the scenes” at the Village Employees Benefit Fund.
John Chapman - President, VEBF