Our annual Training Institute was held in the heavily air- conditioned Hyatt Winfrey Hotel in Birmingham, AL on Aug 15- 18th! Volunteers, DNPs and HOBY International staff from almost all corners of the United States flocked by the hundreds to participate in this highly informative training. Here are some highlights:
Friday, August 16 was the first full day of fun- and by fun I mean all of the volunteers were sent to their first break- out sessions to learn how to make HOBY even BETTER. These sessions included risk and liability training, seminar recruitment, inclusion training, effective marketing strategies and more! Lunch was an informative hour, since we got to hear the CEO himself, Mr. Javier La Fianza, speak about the state of the organization. He presented a comprehensive slideshow that broke down the HOBY mission and detailed how our organization fits into the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He also provided a breakdown of the HOBY financial pie- chart so everyone could have a better idea of how HOBY distributes funds/revenue.
Saturday, August 17 was the second day of fun! This time we were all prepared for the AC and brought down sweatshirts to throw over our professional HOBY business attire. We enjoyed breakfast and listened to Mr. La Fianza and Board of Trustees members Adam Rimes (our account guru), Michael Akin and Shawn Mobley answer questions about HOBY. Later, there were more breakout sessions that included, but were not limited to: corporate compliance for corporate boards, special events/seminar- based fundraising, training your seminar and CLeW instructors, training on Formstack and L4S. In the evening the DNPs, namely Robert Carpenter, Rose Santini, Sándrea Shields and Heather Myers, lead their respective regional meetings. Since all of the sessions throughout the conference were not broken up by region, this was a good time for the DNPs and their volunteers to regroup and be on the same page with one another (and to bond, of course).
Later that evening was the awards banquet where Megan Sip, the TI chairperson and a NASA engineer, welcomed everyone to the incredible event she had planned (hat- tip to you Megan). HOBY was honored to present LeAnne Gompf of Ohio South, who was also our TI photographer and has been volunteering with HOBY since 2002, and Charlotte Haughey of Southwest Ohio, who has been a volunteer for HOBY for quite a few decades, with the 2018 Volunteer of the Year award. They both have given so much to the organization and we are so thankful for their dedication and passion. Rose Santini, our Chief National Programs Officer, then announced the Volunteer Years of Service awards, and Megan led the affiliate awards presentation. Then, of course, we closed a wonderful night with a huge HOBY TI photo!
The last day, before we said “so long, fairwell, auf Wiedersehen goodbye” and all missed our connecting flights home due to flight delays, there were more breakout sessions and regional meetings to ensure that all the volunteers would go forth inspired to lead a great year. We at HOBY believe that every volunteer, staffer and student has the ability to empower one another to be honest, inclusive and innovative leaders– and that is just what TI has brought us. We look forward to seeing you all at next year’s TI!