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2017 Blueprint Class Kicks Off

The Blueprint for Board Service class of 2017 kicked off on April 20 with participants from Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield, Dallas and Irving. Blueprint is an impactful opportunity to learn from and network with fellow professionals who are passionate about addressing the community’s most critical issues. Over the course of four 90-minute lunch sessions, participants learn how to drive change in the community while serving on a nonprofit board, council or committee.

This year’s 12 Blueprint for Board Service class members are (pictured from left to right) Andy Ilus, AmeriCorps/VISTA, United Way; Doris Sanders, Arlington ISD; Kyle Shelton, Edward Jones; Kathleen Bryan, Cummins Inc.; Keith Rogers, Edward Jones; Rachelle Blackwell, Texas Christian University; Kendell Keeter, YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth; Brian Fox, Children’s Health Services of Texas; Elaine McCray, State Farm; Jim Yarwood, Ryder System, Inc.; Morgan Armstrong, North Central Texas Council of Governments; and Adam Streebin, Frost Bank.

During the opening session in the United Way Board Room in Fort Worth, 2016 Blueprint graduate Larry Jordan spoke about his Blueprint experience. “Blueprint helped me develop more of a community-wide focus,” said Larry  (shown here), who retired after 25 years in the investment banking business. “This is a good way to find out about United Way in particular.” Besides serving on several boards, Larry assists low-income people with their income taxes, drives veterans to medical appointments and works on the American Red Cross disaster team.

The Blueprint alum encouraged the new Blueprint participants to attend the sessions “with an eye toward stewardship.” He also told them not to be intimidated by being a new person on a board. “Take advantage of asking the questions people ought to be asking,” he said. Larry also advised the class of 2017 to think about what they bring to a board. “Everybody can contribute to a board,” he said. “You need to know what your role is on a board.”

United Way Volunteer Engagement Manager Victoria Walton provided an overview of United Way. Executive and Professional Coach June Shrewsbury, President of JR Shewsbury Coaching and Consulting, LLC (shown here), summarized the basics of Robert’s Rules of Order. Future sessions will touch on issues such as roles and responsibilities, outreach and advocacy, governance, and nonprofit finance and accounting.

Blueprint will conclude with dinner and networking with nonprofit agency representatives on June 2. “The speed networking event was the most helpful as it gave me the opportunity to meet with representatives from multiple organizations in Tarrant County,” a 2016 graduate said. “I learned about ways in which I could volunteer and potential boards to join. This is a great program!”