President's Message


Oh what a year . . .

Can it possibly be November?  : - 0

2016 has been an amazing year for NAEPSDP with the construction of our new digital home (with lots of rooms), the emergence of strong and active committees, the expansion of volunteer leadership, the establishment of new scholarship opportunities, and a record year for association membership. 

I want to thank those members who worked with Dr. Debra Davis this time last year to complete a strategic plan that has guided the work of the board of directors this year.  You provided a roadmap that made the 2016 path clear.  Our board discussed progress on this plan at each monthly board meeting.  Thanks for the contributions you made to move us further faster. 

I hope you are making plans to join us December 5-8, 2016 for our national conference at one of the top resorts in the country, Big Cedar Lodge.  Big Cedar provides us with an ideal setting to relax, renew old friendships, develop new ones, and gain ideas, strategies and skills for serving our Extension organizations in our respective roles back home.

I want to thank the Program Committee for their excellent work this year.  Please take a look at the conference program if you haven’t done so already.  It is truly outstanding.

It has been an honor to represent you as president.  Carrie Stark will assume the office of president in December at our annual meeting and Mike Lambur will accept the position of president-elect.  You have selected an extremely capable new slate of officers who will provide strong leadership. 

NAEPSDP has an exceptionally deep talent pool.  I encourage each of you to consider a formal volunteer role in 2017.   There are a range of committees that will be forming soon.  Volunteering on the national level through our association will strengthen your professional network and support your professional growth on so many levels.  It has been well worth the investment of my time.  I hope you will become an active NAEPSDP volunteer based on your interests and abilities.  It is our collective work together that provides the rich collaborative environment that NAEPSDP is known for. 

Thank you again for the privilege you have given me to serve the association this past year. 

Hope to see you in December at Big Cedar. 



As Bob Dylan sang, “these times, they are a’ changing.”  I couldn’t have said it better.

NAEPSDP is an association committed to the historic values of the Extension land-grant mission with an eye to the future.  Our multi-disciplinary membership brings a wealth of experience to the table.  More times than not . . . it is a lively table.

If you are an NAEPSDP member – We are glad you are using your association site.  I would like to personally invite you to roll up your sleeves and get involved virtually with multi-state colleagues in support of the association membership.  Standing committees include: Marketing, Membership, Programs, Nominations, Resolutions and Policy, and Finance.

If you are “just visiting,” check out our open access professional development video resources and schedule for upcoming educational webinars.

The NAEPSDP web page supports our association’s newly developed 2016-2020 strategic goals to:

  • Provide opportunities for all members to be engaged in the Association
  • Demonstrate the relevance and excellence of quality Extension teaching and outreach
  • Improve multi-state collaboration
  • Provide professional development opportunities
  • Deliver member benefits

Our membership includes Extension professionals from all subject matter areas as well as middle managers, staff development faculty, evaluation specialists, IT specialists, instructional designers, and administrators.  Collectively we share an interest in and commitment to Cooperative Extension organizational development and program excellence.  NAEPSDP supports the ongoing relevance of Extension programming through testing, development of best practices, and adoption of emerging educational technologies for both internal and external audiences.

If you are a member we hope you are actively engaged in our organization this year through multi-state committees, educational webinars, the sharing of educational resources, our soon to be launched member blog, and by participation in our annual national conference.

If you are a Cooperative Extension professional, and not a member, I welcome you to join us.

It is an honor and privilege to serve as the 2016 President of this wonderful and relevant professional association.

If you have questions, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to contact me directly.

Karen Ballard, 2016 President
National Association of Extension Program and Staff Development Professionals (NAEPSDP)

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