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Across the Board … Positive Changes and Additions to GNHUSA Leadership Team

The past few months have seen a surge of activity for the Board of Directors of GNHUSA. We have expanded our board to include members from across the country, who offer a wide variety of skills and interests that we feel will serve to move the GNH mission forward.

At our April Board meeting, we formally voted in Cheryl Lopriore and Brian Kaminer, who have been serving as Advisory members for many months. Paula Francis was thrilled to pass the baton as Treasurer to Cheryl, a CPA. Paula then stepped into the role of co-Vice President, sharing this role with Brian Kaminer. With Ginny Sassaman as President and myself as Secretary, this filled our slate of officers.

In addition, the Board welcomed two new faces from opposite sides of the country: Michael Moser of the Vermont Data Center and Liz McGahan, a Seattle-based writer. The two new members reflect two key elements of GNH: data and the human touch. They also add some age diversity to our mix!

Michael Moser has been involved with GNHUSA since 2012, when he worked with our former Board member Tom Barefoot on the Vermont effort to do a statistically valid survey of Vermonters’ wellbeing.  “Volunteering with GNHUSA relates to my work as census data liaison with the Vermont Data Center. The happiness and wellbeing realm provides an excellent counterpoint to the traditional indicators that we use as a proxy for wellbeing. Having hard data about wellbeing helps to provide a more holistic picture of population conditions,” he says. “That’s why we (the VDC) are supporting this project in 2017 and why we would like to see these data collected over time.”

On a personal note, Michael added, “I am a firm believer in work-life balance [one of the nine GNH domains] and have come to the realization that it is very important for each of us to make sure that what we are doing makes us happy. Not everyone has the luxury of making those decisions,” which is one reason he feels the mission of GNH to promote human values like work-life balance is badly needed.

Meanwhile, in Seattle,Liz McGahan made time to chat with us in the midst of a busy work day. Her connection with GNH is a personal Liz MacGahanone. “I went to high school with Ginny Sassaman’s daughter. She came to stay with me while doing some happiness work, right around the time that a close friend had died. I needed someone to tell me that I could be happier if I wanted to. Ginny’s approach to life WORKS. It just WORKS. If you calm down and pay attention and savor what’s good.” When Liz realized that she could be a part of an organization that seeks to promote happiness as a social goal, she said, “Sign me up!” Liz looks forward to applying her experience in journalism to our GNHUSA’s communication needs.

In addition to voting in new Board members, we have formed workgroups for Communications, Fundraising, Projects and Policies, and the Executive team. Further reports from each of these groups will be forthcoming on the blog, so … stay tuned!

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