Introductions and Exciting Times!

June 3, 2019

Good evening! (At least, it’s evening as I write this!) After a little over a month getting to know the staff, the members who were at convention, and learning as much as I can about Sertoma and Hearing Charities of America, I’d like to take a minute to officially say hello and tell you something about myself!

First, professionally: I’m coming to you most recently from the National Auctioneers Association, where I served as Director of Education for six years. It was a fantastic experience with a great organization! NAA is a membership based professional organization that provides education, promotion and advocacy for the auction industry. I got to learn a lot about the auction industry… most notably that I can never be an auctioneer!

I’m also a native of Kansas City who went to graduate school at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. After working at an art magazine in New York, I moved back and began work with a professional association publishing and editing their publications. I moved into supervising all communications, then marketing, then meetings, membership… and the rest is history!

I’m still living in Kansas City today with my wife, Angela, and two sons who are nine and eleven. And as a result, I spend a lot of time on soccer fields and basketball courts, depending on the time of year!

People have asked me what my first impressions have been of Sertoma and HCOA, and I’m happy to share them! First, it’s super interesting to be involved with an organization that isn’t based around a profession! I had a blast meeting everyone at Convention, and I hope I get to see an awful lot more of you next year! I’m already proud as heck of the staff and the fantastic job they’ve done with both Sertoma and HCOA, and I’m excited to see where we can go in the coming years. It’s clear we’ve got the core of a dedicated team in the Board, Staff, and in club leadership.

The other question I got the most at Convention was regarding vision, and what my vision is for Sertoma. I don’t mind telling you I was extremely ill-equipped to answer that question in April!! Now, though, I can say that I personally have a few goals in the coming months and years for the work we do here in the National Office:

  • First, I’d like to draw a much tighter connection between the work we do with HCOA and Sertoma. HCOA is able to do a lot of the work it does because of you, a focused group of dedicated Sertomans, and I want to be sure everyone knows it!
  • Second, I’d like us here in Kansas City to be a lot more communicative and vocal in interacting with you. You’re probably already aware of it, but we’ve created a members-only Sertoma group on Facebook that you can join here. Through that group, some new looks to our electronic communications, and posts like these, I’d like us to be more “out there” than we’ve been.
  • Finally, I’m excited to bring Vision 2020 to fruition. I know there are a lot of feelings around this program. I’m confident that we can do some great things with this program. It’ll help us develop the right trainings for you. We’ll also be able to communicate much faster with you, with our talented group of Communication Specialists bringing issues back to us. And we’re excited to tie our hearing health mission back to the activities you’re already doing in your clubs through our Mission Specialists! If you’d like to volunteer… there’s still time! Watch you inbox to learn how or call us at 816.333.8300!

And with that, as I said a lot of times during our Staff Meeting this morning (that lasted from 9:30 to 11:00!), I’ve spent all my time talking. Let me hear from you! Put some questions and comments here, or come to our Facebook group and talk with us!

Thank you so much for bringing me into your Sertoma family!!

  • Aaron Ensminger, CAE

5 Comments

  • Roger Derhake says:

    Dear Aaron

    I am a longtime life member of Sertoma. I think over 50 years. Should I not be awarded a 50 year member certification? Thank you.
    Roger Deerhake
    1300 Boxwood Dr.
    Columbus, Ohio 43229-4418

    • Merritt Whitley says:

      Hi Roger!

      Thank you for reaching out. I sent Aaron your comment, as he is out of the office this week. However, I have included his response below.

      “Roger-

      Sertoma has traditionally left that sort of honorific to the clubs to bestow (and decide criteria, etc).

      However, the board has expressed an interest in beginning an awards and recognition program for just this sort of thing, and yours is the kind of feedback I’ll be sure to pass on!

      And let me be sure to say this: thank you for being a Sertoman and thank you for all you do for Sertoma!”

  • TIM ROMERO says:

    Aaron, I am excited about our future and I believe you are the right person to help us navigate the unknowns going forward. I look forward to working with you on the Board over the next few years. I encourage all of our members to get behind you and work together to build that great future.

  • Bev Winesburgh says:

    So glad you’re a communicator— hoping the first challenge you conquer will be Re-engaging with your clubs through interesting stories of Sertoma accomplishments —visited a club trying to revitalize recently that was totally out of touch. They said they quit reading the e/newsletter because all the home office wrote about was raising dues and begging for donations. I shared with them our State sponsorships accomplishments (which they had also not contributed to) and were they quite amazed at how insular their club had become. We are an organization joined in a mutual mission with the freedom to be of service to mankind on a local level as we choose. That is a unique attribute of our National Service Club alone. I am, indeed, proud to be a Sertoman. Welcome aboard!

  • Diane Warholic says:

    Looking forward to vision 2020 …think the changes were well over do
    Love this closed Sertoma group …again an idea overdo

    Proud to be a Sertoman. ?

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