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Volunteer sector leaders to discuss management issues
31 October 2005

Jacksonville, USA: More than 1,000 executive directors, non-profit board members, and directors of volunteers from across the world will gather in Jacksonville, Florida 2-5 November for the 2005 International Conference on Volunteer Administration.  Their objective: to learn new strategies and fine-tune best practices to engage volunteers, across the globe, effectively in the 21st century.

Over the past year, millions of volunteers have reached out to aid the victims of hurricanes, earthquakes, and the tsunami, as well as to meet social needs within their own communities.  The conference, the only international gathering devoted to the professional development of individuals and organizations that manage and lead volunteers, will provide participants with the opportunity to share lessons learned and best practices for disaster volunteer resource management.  "Volunteering - the conscious effort of millions who respond to community needs and social ills through active participation - transcends all geographic and cultural boundaries," said Dr. John Throop, executive director of the Association for Volunteer Administration (AVA). "Our members are responsible for the effective coordination and management of these conscious, engaged individuals every day."

The theme of the four-day event, convened by AVA is, "Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity: a New Dawn of Volunteer Administration." Participants will attend workshops on core topics (board management, diversity, financial/legal management, personal development, trends in volunteerism, marketing, and volunteer management) conducted by professionals from many countries including Australia, Canada, Korea, Israel, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and the United States. While directors of volunteers and voluntary organizations have effective disaster preparedness and response on the mind, 21st century trends in organizational leadership demand that leaders of volunteers develop new competencies in inspiring both employees and volunteers.

Keynote speaker Marianne Williamson and featured speakers Michael Vandermark, Ph.D., Judi Neal, Ph.D., and Honor Bell will discuss emerging leadership competencies driven by significant changes in our global society, the workforce, and the workplace. Today, millions of leaders within the corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors are embracing the relevance of values and spirit in the workplace and the positive influence that has resulted in a more resilient, dedicated, and productive workforce.

The International Conference on Volunteer Administration is made possible with the support of a number of sponsors, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and Florida Association of Volunteer Centers. 

AVA is the premier professional global organization for managers of volunteers in non-profits/NGOs, units of governments that utilize volunteers, service organizations, and grassroots and community development groups.  AVA advances volunteerism and enhances quality of life locally and globally by engaging leaders of volunteers from 33 countries through professional development, networking, and quality products and services.