State Organizations Gather for the Kids
The 2018 Annual Meeting Connects, Educates and Strengthens the Kids’ Chance Community
“I’m so grateful and blessed with everyone at Kids’ Chance. I hope I’m making them proud as well.”
Sarah James is a Kids’ Chance of Michigan scholarship recipient. Her father was killed eight years ago in a workplace accident, and a scholarship from Kids’ Chance has helped her to pursue her educational dreams.
Along with Sarah, student scholarship recipients and alumni – the beating heart of Kids’ Chance organizations across the country – attended the 2018 Annual Meeting, serving as a constant reminder of our collective purpose.
Their stories and the futures they’re working to build brought together the Council of State Organizations, where representatives from 30 states held a dynamic meeting to discuss initiatives that strengthen the states’ capabilities.
Further discussion sessions engaged supporters on issues such as inclusivity, resource access, donation recognition and volunteer engagement. In short, the sessions addressed how our community can continue to expand its depth as we expand our breadth – we’re now 43 states strong with three more in the making.
Kids’ Chance founder, Bob Clyatt, also shared his story, saying “Don’t clap for me. Clap for yourselves.”
It’s his vision and core focus on the kids that continues to propel us forward, culminating in the passing of the gavel from immediate past president, John Goldwater, to president, Kevin Turner, two individuals who well represent the organization.
Kevin said in his remarks, “When I think of John, I think of three things: trust, honesty, and someone I want to follow.” John will remain involved with the organization at the state and national level. Kevin shared that during his tenure, the priorities for the national will be funding, focused awareness and preservation.
Jim Hudak, Executive Chairman of Paradigm Outcomes, was also presented with the Robert M. Clyatt Distinguished Service Award, named in honor of Bob Clyatt.
“I cannot think of a more deserving recipient for this award. From the day Jim Hudak learned about Kids’ Chance, he has embraced the Kids’ Chance mission: wearing the pin, talking the talk and walking the walk. He has been generous with his time, resources, expertise, and financial contributions,” said Suzanne Emmet, past president of Kids’ Chance of America and long-time Kids’ Chance supporter.
Jim’s acceptance remarks centered on what matters: the kids.
Brand new this year, Kids’ Chance College offered volunteers the opportunity to enhance their skills in three key areas: scholarship, leadership, and visibility.
Kim Stezala, a nationally recognized leader in the scholarship space, led a workshop on running a successful scholarship program. In conjunction with members of the organization, she also helped to create a scholarship guide that includes a common application.
Vicki Burkhart, Kids’ Chance of America’s Executive Director and growth strategist, spoke on board development, providing tactical strategies for building better boards. She also took time to share the experience of Kids’ Chance of Indiana who recently went through the national’s accelerator pilot program alongside Diana Wann, Indiana’s current board president.
Lastly, Barb Robinette and Melanie Izzo of Kids’ Chance College sponsor Coventry led breakout sessions on digital marketing, websites, outreach and materials alongside members of the Kids’ Chance of America marketing committee. These sessions were meant to ensure that state organizations knew about all the resources available to them, as well as to address top level questions in each of the areas.
See You in Sarasota!
The 2019 Annual Meeting will be hosted by Kids’ Chance of Florida. We look forward to seeing you there!