Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ann Marie Rodgerson

With recent changes to the Board of Directors for Babywearing International we said goodbye to Ann Marie as our president.
Ann Marie served as the President of Babywearing International from July 2011 to July 2013. We want to thank her for the countless hours of volunteer work she provided to BWI. She made many great strides for Babywearing International during her term, but most noteable is her roll in the amazing growth of our organization over the past three years. 
Her Accomplishments with BWI:
When Ann Marie joined the board of BWI in 2010 there were 4 chapters and applications for new chapter affiliations were closed.  She enthusiastically convinced the board to allow her to open applications, and improving on the original affiliation design, she began to add new chapters to the organization. By July of 2011, she had doubled the number of chapters to 8. By the time International Babywearing Week was celebrated in October of 2011, the number of chapters was up to 10. At the International Babywearing Confernce in June of 2012 in Washington D.C., 14 chapters were affiliated in the United States and most were represented at the conference.  During International Babywearing Week in October 2012, sponsorship packages were sent out to 20 active chapters. At the end of her Presidency term in July of 2013, the organization had grown to 37 chapters with dozens more in progress!  During this period of time, the organization also added over 160 volunteer babywearing educators, making the number of individuals serving their communities as representatives of BWI well over 200.

Before beginning her Presidency in July 2011, she expanded the board to bring in more help for the growing organization. She lead the new board in the expansion of the educator accreditation program, updating the website design, development of the VBE Handbook, improving forms and reporting processes, providing contacts for groups and volunteers in the organization, and setting forth a plan for coordinating IBW and IBC for future board members.  She improved communication and outreach by getting the organization involved in social media and overseeing newsletter distribution and blogging.  She dedicated countless hours providing thoughtful and thorough mentorship to people across the globe who contacted BWI, performing skills assessments for potential educators, and serving as a Master Babywearing Educator for BWI of DC/MD/VA. 

In 2010, Ann Marie agreed to take on the task of organizing the next International Babywearing Confernce in Washington D.C.   Babywearers from around the globe gathered in June of 2012 at Catholic University and shared their knowledge of babywearing and other natural parenting related topics.  Attendees left with new carriers, a wealth of information, and renewed enthusiasm for babywearing education and advocacy. Many attendees who were on the fence about BWI membership went home excited about following through with their application and became Volunteer Babywearing Educators and affiliated their chapters shortly after. 

Her enthusiasm and dedication have set a precedent for future board members. The accomplishments from her service on the board have set the organization up for a great future of growth and expansion to a truly international organization.  On behalf of the Board of Directors, Babywearing Educators, Members of BWI, and Babywearers across the globe, I would like to thank Ann Marie for her contributions to babywearing and wish her continued success in her future endeavors.
Susan Chanse

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