President’s Message

Updated: April, 2018

Hello my dear friends! Happy Spring! I hope everyone has been enjoying the “on again off again” nice weather. Yes, sadly it has been another 8-9 months since my last President’s Message and A LOT has happened since then. Here are some highlights (buckle up, this is going to be a long but exciting ride):


We were in Durham in September 2017 for Diversity trainings titled The Experience of Muslims in the Workplace and How the EAP can Support Muslim Employees by Iman Shane Atkinson and Considering a Different 1%: Military Families in the United States by our very own NC EAPA chapter member Rachel Kaufmann. They were both fascinating topics and the trainers were outstanding. We were back in Charlotte in December 2017 where Dr. Manuel Dudley wowed us with a presentation on Listen, Learn, Lead, Repeat: A Theoretical, Developmental and Practical Approach to Mentoring for EA Professionals.

Most recently, we had quite the memorable March Conference in Winston-Salem where a lot of fun stuff happened! The theme was Client, Company, Self: The Magical Balance of EAP. And MAGICAL it was! Paul Turney really pulled a rabbit out of the hat as Conference Chair and gave us a great conference! Lib Edwards, as she has done so well in the past, took care of all of the hotel details and Gina Penland, Eileen Hodiak and Mariano Raigo took great care of the exhibitors. With the wonderful work of those named above and all other committee members any fears or worries that we had about the conference magically disappeared! Diversity Chair Liz Danielian received the Outstanding Member of the Year award for all that she has done with diversity planning, Board and conference involvement and social media expertise. She actually got us on Facebook so now you HAVE to go to our Facebook page and like us…I mean, after all she IS the Outstanding Member of the Year!


The newly named President’s Achievement Award (you’ll have to keep reading to find out) was presented to Dawn Klug who has been representing the EA profession on the state level for years (she has held about every NC EAPA Board position possible) and now on the national/international level as an EAPA Director At Large Board Member. Looking ahead, Paul has graciously turned over the reigns to the dynamic duo of Gina Penland and Eileen Hodiak who will chair in 2019 … woo hoo!!!! More to come on that throughout the year!

Okay, I teased it earlier and here is what you’ve been waiting for…the reason the President’s Achievement Award is “newly named”… is to honor John Burke! We surprised John at the March Conference Opening Luncheon and Awards Banquet (where he happened to be the Keynote Speaker) by presenting him with a beautiful award that recognized his hard work and dedication to the NC chapter and EA field in general. Several of his colleagues (some that go WAY BACK) honored him by either sharing in person or sending their written thoughts about what he has meant to them and this profession that we all love. It was awesome to see the outpouring of admiration and respect for an absolute legend and we now proudly will annually present the John Burke President’s Achievement Award.

As we honored one NC EAP legend, we will soon say goodbye to another part of NC EAP history…the LEAP. As most of you know, North Carolina is currently the only state to have a license for EAP work and that will soon come to an end for us too. The LEAP Board has been in communication with the NC EAPA Board about the concerns with the dwindling number of LEAPs (from 125 in the early years of the license to 46 now) in recent years. For many years NC EAPA has offered to pay for someone’s initial LEAP fee in an attempt to encourage all CEAPs to become LEAPS and strengthen the license, but numbers have not improved. Ron Begley, Secretary of the LEAP Board, asked that this be shared at the Business Meeting on 3/9/18:

Looking at the financial realities and the downward trend in people seeking the LEAP credential, the Board has decided to officially dissolve the LEAP Board and the NC LEAP credential. This is not something we have the power to do on our own, so we are starting the process of working with the NC State Legislature to change the law to eliminate the LEAP Board and credential. After the Board dissolves, there will not be an entity to monitor the existing licenses.

We are not in control of the timing of this process, so at present we cannot answer questions about when this will become effective. In the meantime, we would recommend against current LEAPs renewing their credential and we would recommend against new LEAP applications. We will be working out details such as how to address people who have paid for LEAP renewals in the past one or two years. Again, we do not know when the legislature will take action.

So, please know that we will share updates with you about this as we receive them.

On a brighter and sunnier note, we had the IEAPA Conference from 10/3/17-10/6/17 in Los Angeles! As always, NC EAPA was well represented as we sent the President, VP and Treasurer to sunny L.A. for good times and good talks. Renee’ Evans did a great job on a panel about Internships that was moderated by Dawn Klug! There were SEVERAL NC chapter members there giving us a great presence IEAPA! What a chapter we have! Our membership is awesome…we can attend, lead and moderate with the best of them!

Soooo…that was A LOT about the past, what about the future? A couple quick things:

*It’s almost time to elect Officers! Be on the lookout soon for information from the Officer Nominating Committee about how you can nominate and ultimately vote for officers that you want to represent you at NC EAPA!

*We have a training quickly approaching in May in Greensboro! The training link just went live today so register now at:

I want to give one last shout out to the current NC EAPA 2016-2018 Board (this Board will change in September). They have been AMAZING to work with and given their time and dazzled us with their talents and deserve to be recognized:


President: John Waller

Vice President: Renee’ Evans

Treasurer: Judah Segal

Secretary: Eileen Hodiak

Treasurer Assistant: Kerry Paksoy

Membership: Jon Murphy

Bylaws: Cynthia Fox

Research and Information: Alex Gnilka

Certification: Wendy Kimball

Legislative/Public Policy: Tess Lineback

Technology: Gina Penland

Diversity: Liz Danielian

Outreach: Eileen Hodiak

Immediate Past President/Standards and Ethics: Paul Turney

Awards: John Waller, Paul Turney, Alex Gnilka, Judah Segal


As this is most likely my final President’s Message, please know what an honor it has been to serve you and to represent the best EAPA chapter in the world for the past couple of years. I have frequently said that NC EAPA is family to me. There are such strong bonds that can be formed both personally and professionally in this group. I encourage each and every one of you to get involved in some way with the chapter if you haven’t already. I promise you’ll be so glad that you did. We want and need to hear from you about opportunities you want to explore within the chapter so your life can be enriched and you can enrich the lives of others. I hope to see you in May or soon thereafter. Peace and love to you all!




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