AORE Annual Report 2013 - Page 10

AN INTERNSHIP AT 45? By: Ivan Bartha   So  I  have  three  days  of  a  professional  internship  under  my  belt  working  at  the  Association  of   Outdoor  Recreation  &  Education  National  Office  in  Ann  Arbor,  Michigan.    Next  week  I  will  put  in   another  4  days  as  well  continuing  my  efforts  to  learn,  understand,  and  help  out  with  the  daily   operations  of  the  Association.     One  would  have  to  ask  what  is  the  value  of  doing  a  short-­‐term,  voluntary  internship  after  having  a   fairly  successful  professional  career  to  this  point.    Well,  I  will  admit  I  only  know  what  I   know.    One  benefit  of  aging  is  realizing  that  being  teachable,  seizing  opportunities  to  learn,  and   working  with  people  who  you  admire  can  rearrange  the  way  you  look  at  the  world.    Jeannette,  the   Association  Executive  Director,  and  myself  have  known  each  other  for  some  time,  led  a  week-­‐long   outdoor  development  course  together,  and  have  some  mutual  respect  for  one  another.    To  have   the  chance  to  work  together  again,  in  an  entirely  different  context,  was  outstanding.     Having  been  involved  with  a  variety  of  non-­‐profit  organizations  on  all  levels,  it  has  been   intriguing  to  see  the  constant  state  of  flux,  tension,  and  planning  that  makes  up  an  organization   like  AORE.    I  will  say  this,  much  to  Jeannette's  chagrin,  that  she  is  one  of  the  finest  leaders  I  have   ever  worked  with.    She  truly  exemplifies  the  passion,  drive  and  commitment  to  keep  Boards   moving  forward,  committees  producing  deliverables,  and  relationship  building  with  all  sorts  of   vendors,  peer  associations,  and  institutions.    Watching  her  work  reminds  me  of  how  many  things   I  have  to  learn  and  how  I  need  to  continue  to  redefine  who  I  am  as  a  leader  and  what  I  can  do  to   not  get  "stuck".    Hannah,  the  Association  Office  Manager,  is  equally  surgical  in  her  work.    A   young  professional  with  limited  background  in  outdoor  recreation  &  education  is  the  customer   service  master.    She  is  steady  as  a  rock,  impossible  to  rattle  and  consistent  with  every  phone  call   she  takes.   Jeannette Stawski- One of the people I admire the most both personally, and professionally. Having had the privilege of co-leading a course together, developing a mutual respect for each other, and watching her manage a large and complex organization has been an honor. I have learned more about non-profit leadership during my internship than I will ever be able to retain. My profession is better because of her leadership and ability to transcend vision into practice.   I  would  challenge  any  of  the  members  of  AORE  to  make  a  point  of  understanding  the  daily   operations  of  a  National  Office.    It  is  not  what  you  think  it  is,  but  you  could  not  be  more  blessed   having  Jeannette  &  Hannah  piloting  the  ship.    Needless  to  say,  it  has  been  a  privilege  to  do  the   9