Join us for our Speakers Series

At the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA), we are focused on leadership, excellence and advocacy amongst our peers so that we can work with credibility, confidence and character. Please join your peers in volunteer leadership and engagement for our speakers series.

Neurodiversity and Volunteerism with Sarah Philippe
Thursday, August 15, 2024 from 1pm - 2:30pm EST
Register here.

The terms neurodiversity and neurodivergent have gained prominence in recent years, with new HR hiring trends emphasizing their significance. This presentation explores the benefits of fostering effective volunteer programs by embracing and celebrating neurodiversity within organizations. We will discuss how to create inclusive volunteer environments that promote the idea of grace and meeting each of us where we are at. Throughout this session, we will delve into key aspects of neurodiversity, including defining the terms neurodiversity and neurodivergent. We'll also explore strategies for creating an environment that fosters belonging, crafting comprehensive position descriptions, and ways to secure staff buy-in. This presentation encourages organizations to embrace diverse perspectives, challenging conventional notions of normal.

The Speaker:
Hi, I'm Sarah Philippe (she/her), and I'm passionate about volunteerism, accessibility, history, and ice cream! I have 14 years of experience working with volunteers, including the last eight in volunteer administration. In 2021, I earned my Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA), and always a consummate learner, I have completed certificates in DEIB at the University of South Florida, SHRM, and LinkedInLearning. I have presented "Neurodiversity in Volunteerism" at conferences and webinars since 2022, most recently I presented at the ASC training conference in April 2024. Additionally, my work can be found in "New Voices and Perspectives in Volunteer Engagement 2023," edited by Erin Spink. When not advocating for accessibility and inclusivity in volunteerism, I enjoy new ice cream flavors or read the Magic Treehouse series to my nieces and nephews.

Future Career Paths for CVAs - A Panel Discussion with Amira Barger, Jerome Tennille, and Sasha Kress

Thursday, September 19, 2024 from 1pm - 2:30pm EST
Register here.

When you were a child, do you remember anyone asking you what you want to be when you grow up? Was your answer your current career? Many individuals grow up learning they should identify a career path early on and stick to it to climb the professional latter to success. Sometimes that path leads you to curiosities about creating a new path. This session is an opportunity to hear from CVAs who have used their transferable skills to forge careers in new industries. Bring your questions, ideas, and curiosities as we dive into the exploration and discussion around future career paths.






The Panel:

Amira K.S. Barger, MBA, CVA, CFRE is a strategic communications and marketing counselor working at the nexus of health equity, DEI, and employee engagement to aid organizations in addressing society’s most pressing public issues. She is a multi-award-winning Executive Vice President at a global consulting firm, providing senior Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and Communications counsel. She is a scholar-practitioner and thought leader who brings strategic communications experience that reaches stakeholders, mobilizes the community, and inspires action. She is a marketing, communications, and change management professor at California State University East Bay. She is a data-informed organizational architect who leverages design thinking to advance DEI and solve complex challenges.

Amira contributes writing on Black women in the workplace, Black motherhood, and actionable steps both individuals and institutions can take to advance Black liberation. In her spare time, Amira and her family collect stamps in the National Park Service Passport Cancellation Book. They plan to visit all 417 national parks in the U.S. #RoadTripWarriors. She lives in Benicia, CA, with Jonathan, her life partner of 20+ years, their daughter Audrey, and two furry sons, Bucky and Potato.

Jerome Tennille is currently the Senior Manager of Corporate Responsibility for HITT Contracting Inc. In his day-to-day he leads and supports HITT's corporate philanthropy, employee volunteering and enterprise-wide DE+I initiatives. Prior to joining HITT, Jerome was a sought after Corporate Social Impact & ESG consultant at The Uplift Agency, where he worked with the firm to design social impact & ESG strategies and programs for corporate clients seeking to do good in the communities where they operate. Over the course of his social impact career, he also led Marriott International’s global volunteer program on their social impact team where he managed national partnerships and designed the strategies, guidelines, and toolkits that empowered and equipped associates to serve their communities across the globe. He's also the co-author and co-editor of the book Transforming Disruption to Impact: Rethinking Volunteer Engagement for a Rapidly Changing World and is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Sasha Kress, MPA, CVA (she/her) is the Chief Operations Officer for Care Harbor; a non-profit organization focused on providing accessible healthcare to underserved populations. While initially studying to go to law school, Sasha completed an AmeriCorps State and National Service program for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles, which re-directed her career path towards social impact and volunteer management. She attests her initial interest in a different career to a mentor who motivated her to think big and try new things. Her continued interest in the non-profit sector motivated her to get her Master’s in Public Administration and become a CVA. She started as a volunteer for Care Harbor almost 10 years ago and currently brings her passion and skills to the organization as a leader and changemaker.

Examining Decent Volunteer Engagement: Anti-Oppressive Approaches to Recruitment and Screening with Sammy Feilchenfeld
Thursday, November 14, 2024 from 1pm - 2:30pm EST
Register here.

Over the last few years, formal volunteering rates have been declining and organizations are reporting sustained shortages of volunteer labour. While efforts to recruit and retain volunteers are ongoing, this session will ask us to consider how organizations can promote Decent Volunteering (as aligned with Decent Work philosophies) and foster anti-oppressive approaches to volunteer recruitment and screening. Come ready to engage as we critique how systems of volunteer engagement exclude, harm, or marginalize some community members and imagine new ways of fostering communities of belonging in volunteer programs.

The Speaker:
Sammy Feilchenfeld, CVA (he/him)s is an adult educator, volunteer manager and lifelong learner. As Senior Manager of Learning for Volunteer Toronto, he uses his nearly 20 years of experience as a volunteer manager to inform responsive and accessible learning experiences for non-profit engagement professionals, grassroots leaders and volunteer seekers. Sammy has a strong focus on a variety of educational interventions that support the changing needs of volunteers and volunteer managers. He also develops training for aspiring and established non-profit board members, and contributes to regular connections for the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN). Sammy's experience as a high school teacher, theatre producer, and policy volunteer inform his training development, professional goals, and outlook on the future of the sector.