By Katie Dirks, Ad 2 National Secretary and Sr. Marketing Coordinator at Remedy Health Media
The Ad 2 National Executive Board: you see us guiding discussions and giving organizational updates at ADMERICA and Mid-Year Retreat, your hear us leading Monthly Ad 2 President’s Calls, and you very well might catch us in your inbox if there’s Ad 2 business afoot. And while we try to be as transparent as possible about what we do, there still seems to be a certain mystique about what being on the Ad 2 National Exec Board is actually like. So, allow me to pull back the curtain a bit and share with you what transitioning onto the Ad 2 National Board has meant for me.
First, a little background: The Ad 2 National Executive Board is composed of four former Ad 2 Presidents of their respective local chapters, who serve as the official governing body of Ad 2 National’s 24 chapters and 1,500+ members. Joining the Board is typically a five-year commitment, with each position graduating into the next, from Secretary to Treasurer, to Vice Chair, to Chair. The Immediate Past Chair of Ad 2 National also typically serves in an advisory role for the Board. Positions on the Board are voted positions, and Ad 2 Presidents cast their votes for candidates to join the Board (usually in the Secretary role) at ADMERICA.
The Ad 2 National Secretary is the beacon for communication with all Ad 2 chapters. The Secretary schedules monthly President’s Calls, sends email reminders and recaps, and tracks Club of Excellence points. They also prepare agendas and take meeting minutes for Ad 2 activities during ADMERICA and Mid-Year Retreat. The VP, Treasurer, and Secretary each mentor clubs in the three AAF regions of the U.S., so even as Secretary, there is a mentorship component to the role. This overview of the Secretary role is by no means comprehensive, but it covers the basics.
The role of Ad 2 National Secretary takes some work, but what I was surprised to discover is that being Ad 2 National Secretary is arguably less taxing than being the President of an Ad 2 chapter. As the 2016-2017 President of Ad 2 DC, I felt that I was “always on.” Luckily, the experiences of planning and facilitating monthly board meetings and semi-annual retreats, mentoring Committee Chairs, liaising with my local AAF, reporting to Ad 2 National, and still managing to be intimately involved in Ad 2 DC’s Public Service Committee prepared me well to handle any of the work that has come my way as Ad 2 National Secretary.
I’ve also noticed a marked difference in the rhythm of work as Ad 2 National Secretary. Rather than the relatively constant stream of work of the Ad 2 DC Presidency, the Ad 2 National Secretary’s work ebbs and flows, and is only particularly acute about one week a month in tandem with preparation for monthly President’s Calls, or around retreat planning or Club of Excellence deadlines.
Even though the volume and rhythm of work as Secretary is perhaps a little less intense than being the President of a local Ad 2 chapter in my experience, the work is certainly no less important. The mantle of responsibility has broadened to encompass not only my home Ad 2 chapter, but rather the entire Ad 2 family across the United States. I’m incredibly proud to serve and represent Ad 2 at a national level, and I am inspired and motivated by the resourcefulness and the can-do mindset of our community!
Another aspect of being on the Ad 2 National Executive Board is the relationship you build with your fellow Execs. We’re a small and scrappy bunch of overachievers, who are deeply passionate about advertising. Even before being elected to serve, I’ve felt very welcomed by the members of the Exec Board. It’s familial, in a way, because at this point we’ve all had the shared experience of leading our respective local Ad 2 chapters. And it’s been fun to get to know each of my peers on the Board better, despite being spread out across three time zones. Our weekly Exec Board Calls keep us focused and organized, and our summer Exec Board retreat gave us some precious face time to set goals, build rapport, and get to know more about each other outside of Ad 2.
Here are some fun facts about your Ad 2 National 2017-2018 Exec Line-Up:
- Marianne Gjerstad (Immediate Past Chair), beside being someone after my own heart by virtue of living in Kansas City, MO, where I have family, also has a tradition with her husband to visit a new city every month each year. #travelgoals
- Marissa Deslatte (Chair) comes from an aspirationally close big family of steps and halves, and is the fiercest friend one could ask for (she once stayed up until 4 am helping make travel arrangements for a fellow Ad 2 member whose wallet was stolen at MYR).
- Kris Solberg (Vice Chair) is a talented Tarot card reader, and might be behind one of the best lip-sync battle performances I have ever witnessed.
- Allison Farris (Treasurer) is the superwoman co-founder of Ad 2 Dallas, whose personal and professional drive (grad school, Exec Board, youngest Executive Director of AAF Dallas) inspire me, and I’m sure, her awesome daughter, Elliot, who I am convinced will be a truly change-making politician or leader someday.
- And I (Katie Dirks, Secretary), am the lefty out of DC who can play Beyoncé on the guitar and cooks up a pretty mean pad thai.
Beyond the ability to stay connected to the incredible people of Ad 2, probably the most exciting opportunity of being part of the Ad 2 National Executive Board is the chance for greater exposure on a national level. I landed my role in marketing at Remedy Health Media thanks, in large part to Ad 2, and my employer and the DC advertising community have recognized my increasingly responsible role as part of this great organization. By no means is it a free lunch: greater exposure and recognition by potential future employers and colleagues also means greater pressure to perform and deliver; but I’m confident that joining the Ad 2 National Executive Board will unlock doors and facilitate relationships that will allow me to advance in my career.
If you are thinking about applying to join the Ad 2 National Board as Ad 2 National Secretary and you meet the qualifications below, I strongly encourage you to throw your hat in the ring!
- Be in good standing with your Ad 2 Club at the time of election.
- Must have served a term as president, or completing a current term, of an Ad 2 Club.
- Must not hold a local club presidency in the upcoming year.
- Must be younger than 33 on June 30, 2022.
To apply for the role of 2018-2019 Ad 2 National Secretary, email Ad 2 National Vice Chair, Kris Solberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your interest by Thursday, March 15, 2018, and follow up with your short bio by Saturday, May 5, 2018. Elections will occur at the Ad 2 National Business Meeting on Friday, June 8, 2018 at ADMERICA.