EACE 2024 Board of Directors Elections

Director, Finance Candidate

Ashley Forsythe
Associate Director, Graduate Career Services
Drexel University

1. Describe your interest in serving on the EACE Board in this capacity.

EACE has been such a big part of my professional journey! I joined EACE in 2011, in my first professional role and have had the opportunity to attend conferences, engage in professional development opportunities and to volunteer as a member and/or a chair of multiple committees over the years. I find EACE my professional development "home," and been grateful and have been enjoying my experience on the Board for the past 2 years. I would love to have the opportunity to continue to serve this organization that I am passionate about in a different capacity- on the board, as the Director of Finance. I had aspired to join the board for many years, have felt a passion for leading this organization. I am specifically interested in the Director, Finance position, to assist the organization in overseeing the budget and other financials to help make fiscally responsible decisions/keep and grow the amazing benefits that EACE has to offer. I am passionate about this organization, and I would like to help think creatively about funding in a time when we know budgets can be a challenge. I would also love to be the Board liaison for the Grants & Scholarships committee, which I have had the opportunity to work with as a member and co-chair.

2. What skills and experiences do you possess that have prepared you to be successful in this role?

I have been heavily involved in the organization for 10+ years, including committee participation (Professional Connections, Technology, & Grants & Scholarships). After participating in the Grants & Scholarships Committee as a Diversity & Inclusion Representative in 2020, I stepped into a Co-Chair role for this committee and worked with the fantastic leadership team and committee members to adjust application processes, develop a promotion plan and explore/execute new methods of applicant recruitment, collaborate with other committees, and further clarify roles/delegation of responsibilities. The Director, Finance works closely with the Grants & Scholarships Committee. As the Director, Membership Recruitment & Retention over the past 2 years, I have contributed to EACE from the Membership lens and also as a voice for the association. Collaborating in this role led to the largest number of members in EACE history. I have also worked with our new HQ to re-envision reporting of membership numbers, revenue and benchmarks to better inform the Board and the budget, and to better account for the needs of members. Throughout my 14+ year career, I have worked in employer relations and career counseling roles with increasing responsibility. DEI has been a core element of my work, leadership, research and academic experiences. In my prior leadership experiences, I have worked closely with budgets and thought creatively about funding. I would love to have the opportunity to bring my strategic planning, attention to detail, critical thinking and communication skills, partnered with my creativity, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit to this role.

3. What ideas and/or goals do you have for this position?

  • Assess needs/wants of members and the perceived ROI for the membership cost. This will assist with aligning with the new strategic plan and fiscally responsible decision making about programming, events and initiatives.
  • Explore opportunities for partnership with existing committees to promote membership to prospective members and to encourage current members to maximize use of their membership. This will drive an increase in new membership and revenue.
  • Promote EACE membership benefits, events and the annual conference to other professional associations (higher education, employer and geographically based) to encourage engagement. This can be coupled with promotion of Scholarships to help increase new membership especially from graduate student and new professional members.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the current sponsorship categories and make adjustments to increase revenue and participation in sponsorship.
  • Develop ideas for cost sharing to decrease costs and increase ROI.
  • Evaluate year 1 of the new HQ contract and work with HQ to identify room for improvement in budget processes, oversight and expenditures.
  • Identify opportunities for increased efficiency to reduce expenditures.

4. EACE History

Years as member: 12 years

EACE Service History: Director, Membership and Retention 2022-Present,

Co-Chair- Grants and Scholarships Committee 2021-2022,

Committee Member- Grants and Scholarships Committee 2020-2021,

Committee Member- Technology Committee 2021-2022,

Committee Member- Professional Connections Committee 2014-2016

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