April 30, 2017
Why Not YOU for the WICE Board of Directors?
There are ten people at the helm, directing such areas as Programs, Marketing, Finance, Volunteers, Facilities, “Upstairs at Duroc,” and the Paris Writers Workshop, as well as governing the organization.
Veronica Pollard is the Board leader in charge of growing and maintaining membership.
In 2013, she had no idea when her plane from New York hit the tarmac in Paris for a dream retirement that she would participate in the French-English conversation groups at WICE and end up on the Board.
“Our WICE members come from countries on six continents, but especially the US, UK, Australia, and of course France. Recently, we have been inviting members to small informal gatherings at the home of WICE President Mary Sipper to get a better understanding of the areas of strength for WICE and what needs improving. Many seem to want us to have a more social presence and offer opportunities for friendship. So that has become part of our vision going forward.”
There is a time commitment to the Board, depending on your role, which Veronica says amounts to a monthly meeting and a few hours a week of service. She has no regrets.
“This work has let me engage in my new city in unexpected ways and learn how people adapt to life here. The Board members are of various nationalities and each of us brings his or her own personal and professional experiences as we bring new ideas for strengthening our courses and programs and managing our organization.”
Veronica came to WICE after a high-octane career in the corporate and non-profit worlds, spanning the media, automobile industry, and international humanitarian agencies, all while raising a child. Her work on non-profit boards includes a stint at the Museum for African Art in New York and the National YMCA of the USA. She has served in top marketing and communications roles for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Save the Children, Toyota and ABC, Inc. Previously she was a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. In Paris, she has slowed down a bit, but serves on a second Board at L’ENVOL, a French non-profit that provides residential camp opportunities for seriously ill children.
Do not be discouraged by that impressive pedigree! Veronica says you don’t have to come from the corporate elite to be on the Board. “Any professional experience is helpful as long as it comes with enthusiasm! And this could be a great opportunity for a first board experience,” she said.
Where does she see WICE in five years’ time? “Our surveys show that most members find us on the internet, many through a search for language programs and conversation groups. We want to have an even stronger internet presence to make WICE more attractive than ever. We hope to bring in younger members.”
It’s not all work and no play for Veronica, who can be found with her Haitian-American journalist husband in bistros all over Paris, discovering the special charm of each arrondissement. “We also like to take a train ride at least once a month to discover other French cities. France is home now!”
by Elizabeth Bouché
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Posted by WICE Blog Team