While you enjoy your time at the conference this weekend, be on the lookout for Liz Ebel-Nuwayser, our outgoing Conference Chair, and take a moment to thank her for pulling off such a great event! Liz, who resides in Alexandria, is just completing two consecutive years as head of the conference and is looking forward to volunteering in new ways for VaHomeschoolers.
“I think people don’t realize that the VaHomeschoolers Conference actually takes a year to produce,” writes Jeanne Faulconer, “from the first signing of contracts to taking down the signs when the conference is all over. There is a brief ‘After the Conference’ moment, but then the planning and work are well under way for the next year’s VaHomeschoolers conference. This kind of long term commitment is what we have to thank Liz for. She has shared her talent and organizational skills for these year-in-the-making projects — it’s sort of like she’s carried for months and then birthed these big conferences for the rest of us. I’m so grateful for her amazing commitment to VaHomeschoolers.”
Liz has been volunteering for VaHomeschoolers for many, many years. President Parrish Mort remembers, “I have had the pleasure of working with Liz for over seven years. She has been a volunteer in so many capacities–as Site Manager for the conference multiple years, as one of VaHomeschoolers’ newsletter graphic designers, as Conference Exhibit and Advertising Manager for the two years prior to her chairing the conference. With each position she has demonstrated a commitment to not only the organization but to professionalism. She is a person you can empower and know she will do a fantastic job.”
“One of the neat things about Liz is she doesn’t seem to allow herself to get bored or ‘burned out’ by the jobs she takes on for VaHomeschoolers,” observes board member Theresa Munt. “Her commitment to the organization has remained strong over the years. She steps up to handle critical jobs that need to be done, and when she gets things in a certain ‘department’ under control, she passes the baton to another volunteer, so that she can take on a new role supporting the organization.”
“Liz is always ready to answer questions and reassure volunteers that they are on the right track,’’ says VaHomeschoolers Secretary Kendra Niehaus. “She has such an excellent grasp of both the VaHomeschoolers message and what’s needed to run a huge event like the conference that she instills confidence in both the board and the speakers & vendors. She is a powerhouse of boundless energy!”
Vice President Leslie Nathaniel adds, “Liz is always ready to pitch in and help, and she does it all with a smile and an encouraging word. She is always a great source of new ideas and energy and we are so lucky to have her efforts!”
“I like the way Liz has made me feel totally competent and up to learning new skills,” writes board member Ann Clay. ”In 2011 she asked me to handle Facebook posts for the 2012 conference, but I was bit uneasy about my abilities. Here I am today Social Media Director for the organization—all because Liz had faith in me and set me on my way to learning to do something valuable.”
Lois Curling, former board member, agrees. “In the two years that Liz has been Conference Chair, she has been a wise, balanced, decisive leader, while being extraordinarily diplomatic and open to suggestions. She makes volunteers feel like a team, encouraging communication and feedback”.
“I see Liz as such a calming force,” says Karen Phaup. “As conference chair, she handles multiple tasks with ease. She has a special talent for staying cool and collected during times that would cause others to panic. Her personality has been a perfect fit for the Conference Chair position.” Jeanne Faulconer adds, “Organizing a conference is a big undertaking. Liz has used her professional-level skills on a volunteer basis to create a gift for homeschoolers around the state. That gift has been a well-run conference, where Liz has created an atmosphere for homeschoolers to learn more about their trade, meet and socialize, have a good time, and get the tools they need to homeschool. Pulling this off takes a special blend of detail work and diplomacy — the push of deadlines along with the necessary soothing of other volunteers, who are sometimes brand new to doing big jobs to produce the conference.
“Liz seems to keep a living timeline in her head while somehow managing not to freak out the people she is working with who aren’t so prone to timelines – and somehow managing to coordinate it all.”
We need more people like Liz! Do you have a simple skill, something you really enjoy doing? You’d be surprised at how much you can help us out, even by volunteering only an hour here and there, or by being a part of our 2014 Conference Team. During the conference, there will be a special volunteer table next to the VaHomeschoolers table in the lobby where you can meet our Volunteer Coordinator Ann Clay and get some ideas of where in the organization you can help and feel a part of this incredible ‘machine.’