Member in the Spotlight: Alison M. Gingras
Alison M. Gingras studied Reflexology with Janet Stetser in 1996 at Footloose, Inc. in Alna, Maine. She became ARCB certified in 2000.
Alison is an active member of the Maine Council of Reflexologists and has held various positions in our organization including Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary. She recently served on the RAA Interim Board as Recording Secretary and is Chair of the Nomination/Election Committee and the Public Relations committee.
“I wholeheartedly believe in the Reflexology Association of America’s mission to promote the scientific and professional advancement of reflexology. I believe that if we put our heads, our hearts and our hands together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish..”
What is it like being RAA Vice President? What is different about volunteering for RAA, is that I have more of a big picture of how things are in the Reflexology world. What is happening overall and what is best overall are more of a focus. It takes a lot of time, more than I expected.
How much time do you spend with your RAA duties? I spend about 5-10 hrs a week in this position.
What are your duties? As PR chair person, if a state approaches RAA, I tell them what things they can do to form a state association. I help them in the process of organizing. We suggest affiliating with RAA as they form their new association because it is easier to write in the By-laws then as opposed to later.
I field questions from the public, a lot. I attend phone conference calls for Board meetings once per month. We talk more often when there are special factors going on. There are a lot of emailing communications back and forth more frequently. I helped organize the elections and nominations by calling people, for example. On the interim Board there was a lot of work and more phone calls due to the situation. Nothing had been done when things were falling apart and so everything had to be done.
How did you happen to get elected on the Board and then in this VP position?
I was nominated and declined. Then, someone called me again who didn’t know that I had declined and talked me into it. I was told that “you put into it what you can.” I also felt so bad about what had happened to the RAA Board. What a waste. So many people had worked so hard for this association. I didn’t see myself as being the person to help save RAA, but wanted to help and so I stepped up to the interim position. I had worked hard to help our state association affiliate with RAA. I believed so strongly about having a national organization. We need to have a strong voice! What would happen to Reflexology if RAA went away? A scary thought!
I was initially recording secretary in the 6 month interim Board position. I had done this job in MCR, too. So, when I chose to run for the Board position after the 6 months were up, I let it be known that I wanted a different position. After I was elected to the Board of Directors, I was asked if I would like the VP position. I agreed and was voted in by the Board of Directors.
What do you do to take care of yourself to prevent burnout in this position and in the past positions? That is what I need to do more of. I trade for reflexology sessions, take regular exercise, and have a really impeccable eating plan. I have been off sugar since 2006! But, I do need more R & R time.
Is there anything else you would like to add? I am really excited about the RAA Conference in Englewood, Colorado in 2010! There is going to be a really terrific lineup of speakers. There will be time allowed for swaps. There will be a talk on building your business. Englewood is just outside of Denver.
Alison teaches Ed Tech at Jay High School and has a home office in Jay
Respectfully submitted by Wendy Decker