Holiday Message from AVA Executive Director

Every year about this time, I send out an end-of-the-year “Thank You” via our listserv.  This year will be no different in that regard!

It is challenging to say something original each year and to say it in a way that you trust that my feelings and thoughts are both authentic and sincere, but I will try nonetheless.

I am beyond honored to work for you and for the AVA Board members who give so much of their time throughout the year to all things AVA.  I look forward to every email that I get from you and even more so, appreciate every phone call or Zoom meeting as they always seem a little bit more personal and special.

I am always hopeful that I can answer your question on the spot but if not, I reach out to the Board or to seasoned VAWA Administrators or anyone that I believe can help me give you the feedback that you deserve.

The work that you do is difficult and sometimes can be overwhelming.  I think that my job is always to try to inform and/or to simplify your challenges.  Sometimes we work through it together and I am grateful to each of you for your patience.

I am reaching out today because I feel sure that many of you will soon begin taking time off from work to celebrate the Holidays in the manner that feels most right to you.

I sincerely hope that you are surrounded this Holiday Season by the people in your life that bring joy to your heart, who are great listeners and storytellers, and those who you feel love for and feel loved by.

One additional note about this year’s end of the year message is that I want you all to know (some do already) that 2024 will be my last year as AVA Executive Director.   This is not something that is an easy decision for me but it is the best decision for me at this point in my life.

It’s not an easy decision because I have been involved with VAWA-related activities and events in one way or another for the better part of the past 29 or so years when Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994.

It’s not an easy decision because I was one of a handful of VAWA Administrators who pushed for the creation of AVA back around 2007 and have been passionate about making sure that VAWA administrators get what they need.

Most importantly though, the decision is not easy because it means that I will miss out on special conversations with each of you.  Upon retirement, it seems likely that I will no longer be emailing with you, talking to you on the phone, or seeing you face-to-face on Zoom calls or better yet, visiting with you in person at a Peer-to-Peer conference or some other meeting.   I will truly miss that interaction with each of you

The current plan is to step down in August of 2024.  In the next few weeks, you will receive more detailed information from the AVA Board about this transition period.

2024 is going to be a great year and I look forward to continuing to work with you through part of the year.

Thank you for all that you do to improve my life and to give me the opportunity to respond to your needs.