13 January 2021 at 04:00PM
Volunteer Spotlight - Mary Ryan
Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP), PMP, CSM
Mary Ryan started volunteering in 2013 as a financial liason on the finance team while studing for her PMP. Mary then served as an Associate Vice President and was appointed and later elected to the VP of Finance Role. Her journey continued and served as a VP of Professional Development and later as the Vice President of Virtual Locations which ended at the close of 2020. Mary is currently serving this year as an episodic volunteer. The director at large role is a non voting board position that can act as a mentor, guide and leader of special projects. This role is often used by past board leaders who want to continue giving back but allows the flexibility of scaling back volunteer hours or increasing hours to complete a project.
When I asked her what made her a successful volunteer, it was her skills obtained from running a business which provided the breadth of knowledge to make the projects successful. Mary stated that she is “most proud of her work done as VP of Finance to which helped to stabilize the chapter by using good business acumen and running the chapter as a business.”
I received so many personal benefits by being involved in the chapter and there are so many positive things that come out of your giving back. Mary expressed, “you get back exponentially when you give your time. We have come so far in the last ten years for the next generation of the chapter. You are able to connect with people on a different level. It’s different types of engagement, professional, friend, teammate, leader and peer.” Volunteers set goals together, support each other and by achieving goals together, you demonstrate caring for others and watching your peers grow in confidence. As a volunteer you practice servant leadership.
When I asked Mary what she is looking forward to it was the face to face in the future and continued engagement. It is fun to make the connections and friends over the years. It comes from giving back and caring for each other.
Successful project management requires collaborative leadership skills, clear communication, and courage to embrace constant change. I grew these skills in volunteering and helped the chapter evolve to support the next generation leader.
The world and the chapter are changing for the better. Life is a project, make the most of it.