A panel of six representatives of nonprofits dedicated to enjoying the outdoors Thursday evening told a crowd of about 40 mostly younger people about the benefits they can get from serving on a board of directors.
“I’ve been richly paid for my volunteer work,” Dave Peck, president of Friends of the Fox said. Whether working for the boating group, the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway or trail projects, it’s all service to the Fox River, he said, all of which teaches him new skills.
The panelists were:
- Stephanie Vrabec, past president for the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust board.
- Bill Sepnafski, board president for Heckrodt Nature Center in Menasha.
- Dennis Hultgren, board president for Bubolz Nature Preserve in Grand Chute.
- Deb Nowak, executive director at 1,000 Islands Nature Center in Kaukauna.
- Dave Peck, board president for Friends of the Fox.
- Andrew Dane, president of the board for Fox Cities Greenways.
Vrabec said running board meetings teaches organizational and leadership skills. Hultgren added that the contacts young professionals make can be helpful in those instances when “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”
The evening of food, refreshment and conversation at Fox Valley Technical College’s Pepsi Atrium and Culinary Hall was presented by the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative with sponsorship by the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin and the young professionals group Pulse.
Peck welcomed the social media expertise a younger person could bring to his board. Sepnafski said every volunteer offers a unique opportunity for a nonprofit. Nowak said there is a place for board members who aren’t comfortable with fundraising or public speaking. For example, a stay-at-home mom may have a special talent for knowing what will interest children.
Dane encouraged the young professionals to check whether their employers value community service and would provide time for board service.
Future programs for nonprofit board members and executive directors are listed at www.npleadershipfv.org.