Monday, August 26, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership, Week 35: The New Heroes - YOU

Social Entrepreneurship
by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

It all started with an inbox invitation; some big names are doing the inviting, presenting and sponsoring for an event titled Virginia Social Entrepreneurship Networking.  Individually, I understand each of those terms, but collectively, I don't know what they mean.  And, after some research, I'm still not sure I do, but I'm definitely interested now.
One of the best, and most inspiring, definitions was published by PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) in 2005.  Most people, myself included, tend to feel that PBS is a worthy, unbiased source.  They call Social Entrepreneurs "the new heroes" and showcased fourteen.

A social entrepreneur identifies and solves social problems on a large scale. Just as business entrepreneurs create and transform whole industries, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss in order to improve systems, invent and disseminate new approaches and advance sustainable solutions that create social value.
Unlike traditional business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs primarily seek to generate "social value" rather than profits. And unlike the majority of non-profit organizations, their work is targeted not only towards immediate, small-scale effects, but sweeping, long-term change.
The job of a social entrepreneur is to recognize when a part of society is stuck and to provide new ways to get it unstuck. He or she finds what is not working and solves the problem by changing the system, spreading the solution and persuading entire societies to take new leaps.
Identifying and solving large-scale social problems requires a committed person with a vision and determination to persist in the face of daunting odds. Ultimately, social entrepreneurs are driven to produce measurable impact by opening up new pathways for the marginalized and disadvantaged, and unlocking society's full potential to effect social change.
The past two decades have seen an explosion of entrepreneurship and a healthy competition in the social sector, which has discovered what the business sector learned from the railroad, the stock market and the digital revolution: Nothing is as powerful as a big new idea if it is in the hands of a first class entrepreneur.
This revolution is fundamentally changing the way society organizes itself and the way we approach social problems.
"Social entrepreneurs identify resources where people only see problems. They view the villagers as the solution, not the passive beneficiary. They begin with the assumption of competence and unleash resources in the communities they're serving."

TThe definition seems fairly vague, but the idea is there - and encouraging.  If VRPSers sit back and take a look at their efforts, where do they see themselves fitting?  Are they part of the "new heroes" movement?
David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas

Monday, August 19, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 34, Location-Location-Location

Some of the loveliest places in the state - for 58 years ....
by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

The biggest VRPS event of the year is Annual Conference.  As soon as one concludes, we begin planning for the next.  For the various committees, it is the opportunity to see their efforts come to fruition.  For the attendees, it is the privilege to reconnect and push comfort zones.  The 4-days are fun - filled with learning, socializing, exploring, networking, and more.  Take a look at some of the venues over the years:

1955 Hotel Richmond, Richmond 1985 Holiday Inn – Waterside, Norfolk
1956 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 1986 Richmond Hyatt, Richmond
1957 Hotel Jefferson, Richmond 1987 NC/VA Winston Salem, NC
1958 George Mason Hotel, Alexandria 1988 Tyson’s Corner Sheraton, Virginia
1959 Hotel Jefferson, Richmond 1989 NC/VA Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach
1960 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 1990 Hyatt Richmond, Richmond
1961 Hotel Jefferson, Richmond 1991 Sheraton / Marriott, Roanoke
1962 Hotel Jefferson, Richmond 1992 Williamsburg Hilton, Williamsburg
1963 Golden Triangle Motel, Norfolk 1993 Williamsburg Hilton, Williamsburg
1964 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 1994 Williamsburg Hilton, Williamsburg
1965 Marriott Twin Bridges, Washington, DC 1995 Hyatt Richmond, Richmond
1966 Golden Triangle Motel, Norfolk 1996 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke
1967 Hotel Jefferson, Richmond 1997 Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach
1968 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 1998 Hampton Holiday Inn, Hampton
1969 Olde Colony Motor Lodge, Alexandria 1999 Richmond Marriott, Richmond
1970 Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach 2000 The Homestead, Bath County
1971 Natural Bridge Hotel, Natural Bridge 2001 Williamsburg Marriott, Williamsburg
1972 Hotel John Marshall, Richmond 2002 Portsmouth Renaissance, Portsmouth
1973 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 2003 The Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke
1974 Ramada Inn Rosslyn, Arlington 2004 Hilton Mark Center, Alexandria
1975 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 2005 Hampton Road Confence Center, Hampton
1976 Omni Hotel, Norfolk 2006 Virginia Beach Convention Center
1977 Hyatt House, Richmond 2007 Williamsburg Hilton, Williamsburg
1978 Sheraton Motor Inn, Fredericksburg 2008 Richmond Convention Center, Richmond
1979 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke 2009 Hotel Roanoke, Roanoke
1980 Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach 2010 Hampton Road Confence Center, Hampton
1981 Hotel John Marshall, Richmond 2011 Marriot Norfolk Waterside, Norfolk
1982 Sheraton National Hotel, Washington D.C. 2012 Wintergreen Resort & Conference Center
1983 Richmond Hyatt, Richmond 2013 Williamsburg Hotel & Conference Center
1984 Sheraton Airport Roanoke, Roanoke 2014 The Homestead, Bath County
2015 Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

How many have you attended?  Some of them aren't even in existence anymore, and some have been re-invented or re-named ... the future holds great promise.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 33, Longevity

Happy Birthday.
by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

I got excited on Friday when I saw a post informing that it was Smokey the Bear's 69th birthday.  69!  I can still recall sending in my "application" and receiving my Smokey the Bear Club kit when I was a child ("Only YOU can prevent forest fires.").

Smokey's been around since before my time and hopefully long after.  He's iconic.  Forest fire prevention?  Think Smokey.

Now take a look at this list:

1953-54 Marshall Rotella
1954-55 W.A. (Buck) Richardson
1956-57 Marion Moody Hormachea
1957-58 Floyd McKenna
1958-59 W.H. Luther
1959-61 Richard Ford
1961-63 Howard Mast
1963-65 Cecil Gilkerson
1965-67 Harry Knight
1967-69 Fred Williams
1969-70 Constance Rollison McAdam
1970-71 Walter Hanbury
1971-72 Joseph Hensley
1972-73 James Greiner
1973-74 Darrell Shell
1974-75 Donald Thorne
1975-76 Leonidas Curtis
1976-77 James A. Colley
1977-78 Linda Odum
1978-79 John Gilstrap
1979-80 Dr. Michael Wise, CPRP
1980-81 Shurl Montgomery
1981-82 Tish Lindey
1982-83 Susan Walston
1983-84 Thomas Blekicki
1984-85 Phil Hester
1986 Ned Cheely, III, CPRP
1987 J. Suzy Cooksey
1988 L. Eldon James
1989 Larry Zehnder
1990 Stuart Connock
1991 Mick Stewart
1992 Pete Stith
1993 John Gilstrap
1994 Gary Huff
1995 Dr. Doug Kennedy, CPRP
1996 Dr. Bob Antozzi, CPRP
1997 Michael Cadwallader
1998 Charles Hester, CPRP
1999 Cindy Curtis, CPRP
2000 Carol Steele, CPRP
2001 Greg Sager
2002 Diane Ryburn, CPRP
2003 Darrell Crittendon
2004 Nancy Ellis, CPRP
2005 Beth Wood-Whitley, CTRS
2006 Sean Gleason
2007 Cindy Messinger, CPRP
2008 Kirk W. Kincannon, CPRP
2009 Mike Morris
2010 Lakita Frazier, CPRP
2011 Darrell Crittendon
2012 Cindy Roeder
2013 Katey Legg, CPRP
2014 Art Thatcher, CPRP, AFO MPA

That's 62 years of VRPS presidents.  Several of the names are on the list more than once.  Even more are on current boards and committees and play a part of the VRPS Foundation, changing roles to fill needs and vacancies.  Smokey may be a bit older, but VRPS has some contenders, even without the national recognition or the cool hat.

Only YOU can lead VRPS into the future.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 32, Sharp Teeth

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

What is Shark Week you might ask?  Well ...

Animal Planet celebrates Shark Week every year - July/August-ish - and spends an entire week celebrating these "cartilaginous" fish.

National Geographic has its own "Shark Fest" programming as well.

But the thing is, the shark thing has caught on.  Obviously, Virginia sports an entire Atlantic coast of shark-friendly waters.  But it's more than that.
There's a Facebook page for Shark Week, with plenty of followers and plenty of dialogue.  (Viewers are disappointed in the focus on the carnivorous side of sharks.)

Aquariums and water-side museums around the country have jumped on board the shark frenzy.  Radio stations.  Discovery Channel.  SyFy Channel ("Sharknado").  Whatever works - to interest the general public in the prime summer months.  What would the public's response be to local, outdoor activities tied to the frenzy?  While the television programming is at least making some headway, it is a sedentary effort on the part of viewers.