Volunteer Appreciation Month: EMERGENCY USA Board of Directors

As all non-profits EMERGENCY USA couldn’t exist without the tireless work and selfless support of amazing volunteers. In celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Month, we would like to symbolically give back by highlighting the contribution of some of our incredible volunteers. If you of anyone who you think we should feature in our spotlight please let us know at sf@emergencyusa.org or Facebook, or Twitter.

Since this past March our dedicated board met in Los Angeles, where it was kindly hosted by board member Dr. Nafisa Abdullah, we would like to turn the spotlight on them and thank them for their strategic and organizational support, which has allowed EMERGENCY USA to grow as strong and independent institution in the US. In the words of Anna Gilmore, president of the board, “Everyone was fully engaged, present, motivated.  During the course of the weekend, we moved into a brilliantly honest, all-out quest to set the framework to realize our mission with greater and greater capacity, and increasing positive and lifesaving impact.  I am so honored to serve with this board!”



If you are curious about who the board members are here are gracious descriptions coming once again from Anna, “Board member Nafisa Abdullah centers and roots all of our endeavors in the heart of the mission. The expertise our executive director, Eric Talbert applies in framing solid proposals to usher goals and vision into realization. The insights of Amira Resnick our national secretary — her questions so often serve as keys to unlock solutions or progress; the essential input and ironic sense of humor of David Sandry our Treasurer (I always learn something from David!); newly elected board member Mike Stead with a background in finances and an always-ready point-blank question along the lines of “Why not?” — followed by actions to give that vintage question great credibility; the academic rigor and clarity of Lara Jacobson, MD newly appointed to the board bringing a treasury of field expertise, and an unstoppable work ethic; and Michael Behrens, delightfully forthright and such a wise man with many facets of ideal experience — film, non-profit, communications, fundraising.

We asked new board member Michael Behrens about his first impressions. This is what he had to say, “My first Board retreat with the EMERGENCY USA team was a life changing  experience. Every board member has such a unique personality and so willing to give their time and expertise. As a new member of the group, I was a bit nervous and not sure what to expect, but almost immediately the nerves flowed away as I was embraced by this warm, and intelligent group of professionals that are truly passionate about EMERGENCY USA‘s mission. In addition to the Board, I was able to meet volunteers, patients, family and friends of EMERGENCY USA at several events and dinners hosted by the Board. After 48 hours planning, socializing and brainstorming with this dynamic group I returned to San Francisco invigorated and ready to spread the word about the support we provide for civilian victims of war. It is truly an honor to serve on this board and I look forward to learning more about the group, EMERGENCY USA and myself as we all strive to reach our individual and organizational goals so we can can supply our brave health professionals with the resources and tools they need to continue saving lives around the world.”

We can tell Michael was pretty excited and humbled by this opportunity. This is what he wrote while heading to the retreat.

Along with the board members, participating in the retreat were Berkeley Board Fellows Jessica Foster and Willy Chu whose work with us in a strategic planning project is extremely timely for EMERGENCY USA.  And Dr. Mimi Yu, who has introduced a fantastic spark of energy and momentum to our Los Angeles events and who brings great insights to the table.  Finally, our facilitator, Mike Howe, was simply a master at his art — I would describe him as the ideal intersections of zen optimism and ultra-pragmatic realism. Last, but definitely not least, the lead scribe, Kaye Inandan with assistance from Melody Adesuyan, and Angela Poje did a fantastic job of recording the proceedings of the meeting.”

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If you’d like to volunteer in your local community with EMERGENCY USA please send an email to info@emergencyusa.org with “Volunteer” in the subject line.

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