Joan Harris: Reflections of my Years on ALCA New England Board of Directors

November 20, 2023   |   Special Spotlight

I have been an Aging Life Care Professional for close to 17 years. Over many years, my peer supervision group supported me and helped me have the courage to move forward to strike out on my own to serve my clients in the way that I felt they needed. Six and a half years ago I launched my own practice.

Six months into my practice, I was asked by a close colleague to join the Board of Directors of ALCA New England as Vice President. The New England Board was going through some transitions at that time. I had never served in a leadership capacity, but my instincts told me this was a great opportunity. Despite my trepidations, little by little, as I listened, participated, and learned, I found my footing and my voice.

As I prepare to step off the Board of Directors, I look back at the past six years and I know, without any question, that this experience: learning how to lead, building wonderful relationships with so many peers and colleagues in New England and across the country, and contributing to a community I greatly value has enriched my life in so many ways. I never would have spent time with such respected colleagues in the way that I have being on the board. I am proud to call many my friends.  I am certain that being engaged in ALCA NE leadership has assisted me in building my business. I have incredible resources to draw upon and greater credibility in the marketplace.

Most people do not jump into the Vice-President position as a new board member like I did. That was a particular need in New England in 2017. Most join a committee, get to know the work and people, then become a board member if it is a good fit. It has been wonderful to assist the New England Board in mentoring outstanding new board members into competent leaders to take us forward. I feel so proud of the work we did and step off the board knowing that our region is in excellent hands. With good leadership membership will continue to grow, Corporate Partners will continue to bring their many skills to committees, members and our clients, and our programs and annual conference will continue to provide excellent learning and opportunities so that we can collectively continue to grow our knowledge.

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and look forward to finding new ways to contribute to our association.

By Joan Harris, LSW, MBA, CMC, Fellow of the Leadership Academy