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Local Leaders Use Summer for Association Training

Association leaders gathered at the Local Presidents Retreat (LPR) in Richmond checked off two major items on their summer to-do lists this week: First, they sharpened some key skills for the big tasks that lie ahead, such as building bridges with local government; and second, they acquired lots of valuable information for their members, such as how one colleague saved over $1,000 on car insurance through NEA Member Benefits, or the value of allying with homeowner associations on community issues.

“I’m very glad I came,” said A. Ramon Moore, vice president of the Richmond Education Association. “I’ve expanded the leadership skills I’ll need as VP, and I also feel better able to provide our members with the bigger picture of the Association.”

That bigger picture came into clearer focus during sessions on topics such as engaging the community, building a healthy system of building representatives, working with other local Associations, communicating effectively, and grant-writing.

The outside-of-session times were equally important to many participants. “There’s great value in developing one-on-one relationships with colleagues around the state,” said Toney McNair, vice president of the Chesapeake Education Association, “and understanding the gifts each of them brings to the Association.”

Leaders, including Arlington Education Association President Gerry Collins, are heading home ready to reap LPR’s benefits. “I’ve gathered information I can use in recruiting new members this fall,” he said.

The retreat winds up Tuesday afternoon. VEA’s Reggie Smith Organizing School starts up at the University of Richmond campus on Wednesday.

 Visit the VEA's Flickr site to see photos of the events ( and check in with VEA on Facebook ( and Twitter (@VEA4Kids), too.


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