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The Making of a Leader – EACE Director of Professional Development

Jen Rossi

Assistant Director, Employer Relations, Saint Joseph’s University

 

rossi_jennifer

Jen Rossi

Why are you in a leadership position with EACE?

The short answer is, my colleagues inspire me, it was probably a total accident and I like to say yes. The longer answer is that I got involved on a committee within EACE the same year that I became a member. I didn’t join EACE for the heck of it. I wanted to be involved in something bigger than the place where I was working at the time, something that complemented my role in employer relations, but also exposed me to new people and new responsibilities. When I joined the Professional Exhchange committee, there was a co-chair position open and I was asked to step up and take it. I said yes. Fast forward 7 years…I now have an annual conference and participation on several committees under my belt, and I am in my first year serving as Director of Professional Development. I wouldn’t have stayed involved or continued to say yes if I wasn’t having fun or wasn’t being challenged. Throughout my time with EACE, I got to know several others in leadership positions and on committees – found them all to be truly amazing people (!!) – and decided that I wanted to learn from them and stay connected with them. Now, I’m serving with those people, and we’re working towards a shared vision of making EACE a robust, engaged and meaningful association. That is some awesome work, and that is why I’m in a leadership position with EACE.

How have you benefited from being in a leadership position at EACE?
Being in a leadership position with EACE has allowed me to round out my professional experience. For example, I co-chaired a committee with EACE before my first job as a supervisor. I’ve managed budgets through EACE ranging from $1,000 to $95,000, a skill that isn’t a part of my current job, but will help me when I’m ready to be a Director someday. While the skills I’ve gained are very important to me, what I most value/most benefit from is the wealth of experience and knowledge at my fingertips. I can literally email anyone in my EACE network with a question, advice, a challenge with which I’m struggling or an idea that I can’t determine whether or not is crazy, and I know a friendly and genuinely interested person is on the other end of that email. My network and knowledge base has grown exponentially through leadership opportunities, and those I’ve met as a result, at EACE. For that, I am so grateful.
Why do you volunteer your time and talent to be in a leadership position?

This is an easy one! When you believe in the association and the people who make it great, it’s not a difficult decision. When I’m in the thick of the semester, or drowning in email, I look forward to working on EACE related items. I like the fact that EACE leaders are in a position to make a positive impact on the association, and that they work so hard to do just that. To me, that is time well spent!

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