You may or may not know Joan Sullivan. VHA Leadership team members have worked with Joan for eight years. Fred Briggs recruited Joan to be Secretary of the VHA. Joan worked with Fred, then Phil Walker, and now me as President. During those eight years, Joan told me she missed six meetings. That is dedication!

Joan told me in December 2023 that she would be retiring from the Secretary position at the end of May 2024. She also told me that she was working on and would complete what became a full three-inch, three-ring notebook of the procedures of managing her jobs as Secretary. Joan did not just do agendas and meetings. Anything and everything that needed doing was handed to Joan. Just give it to Joan, she can get it done! Or just ask Joan, she will remember what that was all about. Joan, we need a room for a meeting. Can you manage that? The list never ends. Being Secretary and working with the often-changing members of our Leadership team is a daunting task. Joan never failed to get the job done.

If there is a poster picture for our “Get Involved – Make A Difference” initiative, it would have to be a picture of Joan Sullivan. Joan is exactly what we mean with “Get Involved.” Joan found an organization that was suited to her belief in positive, constructive dialogue to solve problems. She became a member and Neighborhood Representative before her recruitment as Secretary. Her work with The VHA has made a significant difference in our organization and the community.

Joan is not leaving The VHA; she is simply eliminating the stress of managing the Secretary position. She has indicated she wants to do other things to help us with projects that are on the horizon. I will miss my multiple daily interactions with Joan. She has been a determining factor in the development of new initiatives over the last 18 months.

Joan, from all members of the VHA: Thank you for your dedication!

Peter Russell
The VHA President