NEAFCS 2020 Slate of National Office Candidates
Karen Munden, Immediate Past President & National Nominating Committee Chair

The NEAFCS National Nominating Committee is pleased to present the following slate of officers for your consideration. The committee worked hard to contact these candidates and provide the encouragement and information needed to secure their applications. We believe you will find them all highly qualified. Please remember that we have a no campaigning for office policy! 

The Eastern and Western Regional Director candidates will give their three-minute speeches (via video) and be elected by voting delegates during their respective Regional Awards & Business Meetings on Tuesday, September 15 from 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM MDT.  All other candidates will give their speeches during Opening Session on Monday, September 14 (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM MDT). They will be elected by voting delegates during the NEAFCS Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday, September 16 from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM MDT.

If you are a voting delegate for your Affiliate, it is your responsibility to read through these position statements. Encourage others in your affiliate to do the same, and decide as an Affiliate which candidate you support for office. Candidate applications are available for review below.

Position Candidate/

Why would you like to be a
candidate for this office?

If you were elected, what would be your top priority/goal for your term?

Susan Routh

Click here to view full Candidate Application



When thinking about serving the NEAFCS members, I immediately think of words like “honor” and “privilege.” Those words seem so trivial considering all that is facing our nation today. I began my road as a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) professional when I was a 4-H member. As a fifteen-year Cooperative Extension professional who has had the privilege to serve on two NEAFCS national boards, I have been and continue to be mentored by FCS professionals that I consider “great” in the world of FCS. To serve NEAFCS in an unprecedented time would be the greatest honor that I would receive as an FCS professional. I would strive to honor those who have gone before us and their legacy by dedicating myself to this position, NEAFCS, and its members.

We are living in unprecedented times. My word of the year is “opportunity.” How can we as FCS educators seize opportunity to present programs and conduct research in a time that family and individuals need FCS information? As the NEAFCS President-elect, my role is to promote and advocate for our organization and to encourage FCS professionals to seize opportunities to conduct programs and research to advance our profession in challenging world situations. I envision my role as NEAFCS President-elect as a partner with national board members to be united and to champion our profession. Due to our world’s crisis, our society needs FCS professionals and FCS resources more than ever before in human history. As the NEAFCS President-Elect, I would encourage NEAFCS members to seize the opportunity to serve families and individuals with the knowledge and resources that FCS offers.

My role as NEAFC President-elect is to promote and to lead in the NEAFCS mission. We as NEAFCS members are needed to serve as a nation-wide resource for education and information to families who face challenging times. NEAFCS professionals can ban together to provide these resources to families and individuals who face uncertain times. I consider it an honor to serve in a leadership capacity on the national board to help NEAFCS professionals reach their potential as they serve their clientele. The last statement in the NEAFCS creed states: “May I always be willing to accept the challenges of the changing times.” It would be an honor and a privilege to serve NEAFCS as your President-Elect during this changing and challenging time.

I would seize opportunities to promote and market our profession. We have over 1,700 active members who represent the NEAFCS and the FCS profession dedicated to improving the lives and circumstances of families and individuals on a day-to-day basis. By seizing the opportunity to use social media and technology to promote and distribute FCS research-based information and programs, we as NEAFCS members promote the FCS profession and our national organization.

We are united by a common vision and mission. NEAFCS members use their voices at a local, county and state level to educate, promote, and provide FCS programs and information to clientele seeking answers to critical situations. My job is to elevate their story and voice to advocate for NEAFCS at a national level. I would encourage all members to seize opportunities to promote their work as FCS professionals.



Samantha Kennedy

Click here to view full Candidate Application 


I have been in Extension for 16 years. I joined NEAFCS in my first year (2004) and in that time, I have been active in both my state affiliate in a number of board and committee roles and in various national committees. I very much enjoy giving back to an association that has done so much to support me in my career as a Family and Consumer Sciences agent and love working with fellow FCS colleagues to help them grow as professionals. I believe the next natural step to continuing serving the association is to serve on the national board. Secretary is a good fit for me at this time since I believe that office provides a terrific opportunity not only to learn more about the inner workings of the association and the board itself, serving as a training ground for future board service, but would also allow me to put my excellent organizational and communication skills to work in support of the association. Also, I previously served twice as the chair of the Bylaws and Handbook Committee for the Florida affiliate during my two terms as President-Elect, providing me with the experience that would aid me in the role at the national level. 

If I were elected as Secretary for NEAFCS, my top priority would be to support the other board members and national office staff with their jobs and responsibilities by ensuring that all paperwork, correspondence, meeting minutes, and other duties assigned to the Secretary are completed in a timely, efficient, and accurate way and by streamlining and/or improving on any procedures or processes as appropriate. I would also make it a priority to learn more about the business side of the association and work to support members in any way necessary. As part of the national board, it would also be my responsibility to represent the association and the FCS profession in a professional manner by setting an example of excellence and dedication for other members as well as people outside the association.


Kate Shumaker

Click here to view full Candidate Application

After being an Extension Educator for over 20 years and attending more than a few NEAFCS Annual sessions, I am continuously amazed by programs, ideas, creativity, and innovativeness of my colleagues across the country. The decision to become a candidate for this position was because it would be an honor to be able to serve the amazing members of our organization.

As a member, I have gained so much from the sessions I have attended, friendships I have made, and even places I have been able to visit. I have served on sub-committees for many years and volunteered a variety of ways during the Annual Session – and will continue to do so. It is time to give back and serve in a bigger way.

The opportunity to work with other FCS professionals to share great programming nationwide would be both challenging and rewarding. Working as part of a National Board would be a new growth experience. It is time to blossom and grow!

The Secretary role is all about communication, attention to detail, and timeliness. While we may be physically linked to a geographic location, as the current world situation has taught us, we can reach people from anywhere with great programs and information. It would be my goal to work with my colleagues within NEAFCS – members, committees, Board and Management Office – to keep open lines of communication about programming, policy, events, Association news, and more.

Vice President
Member Resources

Terrie James

Click here to view full Candidate Application

Working with people and helping them to succeed is one of the passions in my life.  I love to meet and learn what others do and if there is something, I can share to help them on their journey I will.  For those that know True Colors for personalities, I am “True Blue”.  That has been nurtured in me since I was very young and was active in Girl Scouts.  I have done Scouting most of my life in either Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts.  Once my sons were raised, I became involved with Extension and have felt like I have been home ever since. 

Extension and Family and Consumer Sciences has had limited audience exposure.  The phrase “The best kept secret” is not good to hear and very detrimental to our survival.  I want the public and especially our funders to know who we are and everything we can DO!  This is not the time for NEAFCS to be considered as a second choice for information, but to be the first choice and the first click on their computers and mobile devices for reliable research-based resources.

So back to the question, “Why do I want to be the VP of Membership and Resources Services?’  As I mentioned I come from a varied background and have a slightly different perspective.  This perspective can help to increase awareness for our members and our stakeholders.  The Member and Resource Committees have fabulous activities for the members to utilize.  I could list them now, but my time and space is limited, let me refer you to the NEAFCS website for Membership Committee, the handout on membership recently created and the committees Plan of Action for 2020-2021.  The goals are, “SMART” and with our membership involvement and support from leadership they can and will be accomplished.  I want to be one of the links that will help to accomplish these goals.

Goals are a part of our work setting and NEAFCS. They are utilized to complete objectives in all facets of our organizations. The setting of goals and working towards them helps myself and those that I am working with to understand and be focused with their time and the resources we have. Now, more than at any other time, we all have to work smarter and as efficiently as we can.  Budgets are being, or have been cut, trimmed, and some even eliminated and remaining personnel is asked to accomplish more. We must remember other agencies and organizations are competing for the same funds that we are.

I was told many years ago to always look, listen and learn about a new area and individuals. Once I have that accomplished, I need to Identify areas that I can assist with and suggest ideas. 

As Chair of the Membership Resources Committee my goals would be;

  • To contact and work with all of the committees of Membership Resources.  Continuing to increase my knowledge of resources we presently have in NEAFCS alone is vital.   Working with current committee members on Action Plans implemented by them and assisting in accomplishing all of the identified goals.
  • Promoting the new Mentoring and Leadership program of NEAFCS to increase members skills and sustainability. 
  • I am interested in pursuing options of core competency programs for agents in the different program areas we have within NEAFCS and if this could be something provided for membership nationally.
  • The need to increase our alliance with AAFCS in programs and inform membership of opportunities available with credentialing and of recognition of certification for the various levels and areas of FCS Agents. 

We do not want or need to be “The Best Kept Secret”, but the first CLICK, LIKE and SHARE for resources for our stakeholders, clients and families.  With the members we have now and in the future, we can make this happen.

Vice President Member Resources

Michelle Allen Wright 

Click here to view full Candidate Application 

NEAFCS has been a breath of fresh air for me since 2009. Over the years, it has provided me with a plethora of opportunities which has allowed me to grow by leaps and bounds professionally and personally as an Extension professional and parent. As VP for Member Resources, I want to encompass every objective valued by our organization to ensure that the needs of the members are met. Providing resources in the areas of mentoring, leadership, membership, life members, diversity, member benefits and marketing communications. Most importantly, I want to serve as a strong foundation which will enable the members to be elevated in order for them to achieve bigger and greater endeavors in NEAFCS.

I want to be able to create a professional network that spans across the nation which truly makes a difference. In addition, I want to provide a powerful platform for the members which will keep them connected and engaged with this great professional association and all that it has to offer. It’s critical to continue exploring ways to increase membership and find innovative ways of doing it. Most importantly, I want to encourage our membership to take the time to learn from each other. Life-long learning enables us to recognize our natural drive to explore, and grow which encourages us to improve our own quality of life and a sense of self-worth by paying attention to the ideas and goals that inspire us as past, present and future members of NEAFCS.


 Vice President Professional

Pat Brinkman


Click here to view full Candidate Application

I am honored to be a member of NEAFCS. NEAFCS Annual Sessions have inspired me and provided me with so many ideas for programming and working in Extension. I cherish the friendships I have made with FCS Extension Professionals from across the United States. Thus, I would like to give back to NEAFCS. 

I have enjoyed working on the Program sub-Committee and have some ideas of what the VP of Professional Development does. For two years I was program chair or co-chair for Annual Session. Thus, I feel I know and understand the job expectations. I would like to help NEAFCS assure that the conference will provide Educators with the skills and successful ideas to use in their programming. I would like to see if we can offer more free webinars to our members on different topics which will help expand their knowledge and programming. 

I would have two top priorities:

1. I would like to expand the number of webinars offered to our members. I would like to encourage each state to submit at least one webinar one of their members could provide to increase the knowledge or skills of our members. 

2. I would make sure the program committee has what they need to facilitate getting the message out about proposals and reviewing proposals for next year's conference. This year we had 173 proposals. This is a very good number. I would like to encourage members to submit proposals. 

I would like to involve the committees by having Zoom meetings at least quarterly through the year. 

Eastern Region Director

 Lisa McCoy

Click here to view full Candidate Application

I would like to serve as Eastern Regional Director for NEAFCS to give back to the organization and provide leadership for the success of this organization for many years to come.

My goal would be to engage more members from the Eastern region: attending the annual meeting, networking with other members, serve on national committees and receive the value for their dues with the many programs that we offer in NEAFCS.

Western Region Director

Rick Griffiths 


Click here to view full Candidate Application

I’m running for NEAFCS western regional director because I feel I can contribute to the association and profession by serving. Previously, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as the New Mexico affiliate vice president of awards and recognition, president elect, and I’m currently serving as the New Mexico affiliate president.

In addition to being a NEAFCS state leader, I have also been heavily involved in the Extension Education Disaster Network. I served for three years as the elected chair of the information clearing house committee which had the responsibility of overseeing the networks distribution of information and its website. Currently, I service as the network’s elected professional development committee chair.

I believe these experiences have enabled me with the skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to NEAFCS on the national level.

My top priority as the NEAFCS western regional director would be to increase member engagement. NEAFCS has many outstanding opportunities to help members grow both professionally and personally, including opportunities for recognition, networking, professional development and gaining inspiration for new programming. My focus would be on working to increase member involvement throughout the year.


 Western Region Director

 Holly Miner

Click here to view full Candidate Application

As the Western Regional Director, it is my goal to bring a greater awareness of NEAFCS to the Western Region and an enthusiasm for being a member of this great organization.  Keeping states and members informed of all the educational opportunities available as part of their membership, leadership opportunities and ways to develop greater professional potential as an FCS extension professional will help make our organization stronger.

An additional goal is to increase member participation in the National NEAFCS Conference from the Western Region.  The networking is serendipitous at these conventions but such an important benefit to attending.  I want to share the wonderful knowledge gained, tips learned, educational materials available and professional friendships developed through NEAFCS and attending a National Conference with other professionals.  This is just one more way for me to give back to fellow agents in Montana and the Western Region.  Making this organization even stronger and more diverse.

Bring awareness of NEAFCS and benefits of membership to all members.

Communicate opportunities to the Western Region membership and states on a regular basis. 

Work to increase membership and participation in NEAFCS from Western Region by having each state represented at annual conferences.