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 protected].

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 [email protected].  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 

Meet Your 2023 VEBF

Board of Directors!

Your Village Employees Benefit Fund has added three new members to the board, while losing two members due to term limits. We say goodbye and many thanks to our longest serving board member and former VEBF president, Ryan Bartholomew; and also, to retiring member Bettie Salzwedel. Let’s introduce you to our incoming members, Bill Butterworth, Donna Jared, and Sue Luerssen.

Bill is a former naval aviator and commercial airline pilot with a degree in business and marketing, who retired with his wife to Hot Springs Village in 2006. Donna brings to the board a background in database management and fundraising for non-profit organizations. Sue has worked in data processing and consulting, retiring to the Village with her husband, Bill, our treasurer, in 2010. Complete information on all our board members is available on our website at 

There has also been a change on the board’s executive committee. DC Reed, our former president, is now our vice president. John Chapman, our former vice president, is now president. Carol Freeland remains as secretary, and Bill Luerssen remains as treasurer. 

Jeff Lloyd and Barbara Zavrel remain on the board. Jeff heads up our committee to evaluate catastrophic emergency funds requests, and other special projects as they come up. Barb is our lead for sponsor marketing, and also special projects.  

John Chapman - President, VEBF 

VEBF Board of Directors

Seated, left to right: Carol Freeman, Secretary; Donna Jared; Sue Luerssen; Barbara Zavrel

Standing, left to right: Jeff LLoyd, Bill Luerssen, Treasurer; Bill Butterworth; John Chapman, President Not pictured: DC Reed, Vice President

Learn about the NEW VEBF Board of Directors

William J "Bill" Butterworth

Bill is a Business and Marketing graduate of Louisiana State University. Joining the US Navy, he was trained as a naval aviator in 1970. Retiring with the rank of Commander in 1989, he went on to fly for Continental Airlines until 2002. He and his wife moved to Hot Springs Village in 2006, "living the good life." He recognizes the hard work that our POA hourly employees perform and is looking forward to working with VEBF board.

Sue Luerssen

Sue Luerssen is a college graduate with a BA in Education, who spent most of her professional life in the data processing field working for two major corporations. She then started a data processing consulting firm with her husband Bill. They moved to the Village in 2010, but have been visiting the Village since 1981. She is president of the Village's local AAUW chapter, enjoys playing mahjongg, spending time with friends, traveling, and "being able to give back to our community."

Donna Jared

Before moving to Hot Springs Village in 2019 Donna Jared's professional career included serving the nonprofit sector for 30 years in fundraising, management, and leadership roles for national and international organizations.

Donna and her husband, Donald, enjoyed raising their family in Conway, Arkansas and have extended family spread across the State.

Volunteering with the VEBF is an important way for Donna to give back to the HSV community and support our many wonderful HSV employees who make the Village a great place to live and work.

Make a Donation Today

When you’re a front-line worker, “Thank You” means a lot. 

The people who work hard every day to make sure everything in Hot Springs Village – from the East Gate to the West Gate – is well-cared for and maintained, are the hard-working hourly employees of the POA. They are the line staff, workers who groom your golf courses, collect your trash, maintain your roads and buildings, pump water into your homes, operate your wonderful facilities, patrol your streets, extinguish your fires, and yes, process your sewage. Although they earn an average wage of just $11 per hour, their contribution is invaluable.  

Let’s show our appreciation for a job well done! Your donation will ensure that our POA employees are supported with emergency funds and continued education all year long plus holiday monies at the end of each year.

You can mail your donation check to Village Employees Benefit Fund, P.O. Box 8503, Hot Springs Village, AR 71910 or donate via secure credit card, CLICK HERE. 

Help us help those who serve our community!

The employees of Hot Springs Village make our lives better every day in countless ways. That’s why I support the VEBF! - Ike Eisenhauer

Hot Springs Village Employees Benefit Fund was established on September 22, 1999, to receive and disburse appreciation funds contributed by the property owners of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

These funds are for the benefit and support of all qualified POA employees (excluding Top Management) as defined in the by-laws.

Our intent is to demonstrate the recognition, appreciation, and respect that our property owners and others have for all those who work to support and maintain Hot Springs Village.

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