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Message from the NVLPC President
AMHCA Leadership Training Trip and an Invitation to Volunteer!

Maria Mercado

Hello NVLPC Members:

During one of the last board meetings of the 2013-2014 Fiscal year I was asked, what is the value of the attending AMHCA Leadership Training?  The leaders that had not had the opportunity to participate in the training yet wanted to understand what they were voting on in regards to budget and benefits to the organization.  My 1st AMHCA Leadership Training experience was in July 2013 here in the DC area.  Four of us, Donna Fortney, Past President, Joan Normandy-Dolberg, Supervision Chair (at that time) and Lizbeth Sam our President and I as the Vice President, joined many other representatives  from different states in discussing what everyone has learned from their experiences with each of their organizations. 

As the new Fiscal year 2014-2015 started, a new opportunity to attend AMHCA Leadership Training arose.  This year the training was held in Seattle, Washington; John-Mike Nelson our Vice President and I attended.  The experience was exciting and productive.  Exciting because as John-Mike and I discovered during our plane ride neither of us had ever been to the West Coast.  We had the opportunity to get to know each other better, have a little fun and down time, and discuss our views and hopes for the work that we are starting together as leaders of the organization.  It was productive because we had the opportunity to meet with leaders of many other states and learn about how they do their work, the challenges they have faced, how they approach those challenges and we also networked.   What stood out to me about these leaders was that though most of them, like us, are volunteers and have a strong drive and passion for the work they do.  Their common goal is to meet the needs of our growing profession in the mental health counseling fields and those of the clients we serve.  It was an honor to have been able to share this experience with them.

The subjects discussed included creating a state chapter, bylaws revision, and leadership role definition, among others.  We also had the opportunity to participate in a Regional Breakout Session.  Among the states represented, Tennessee caught my attention because they are facing situations such as having multiple groups representing them due to geographical distance and needs of their state.  Virginia has some similar issues, given our State Chapter VACC is geographically distant to us.  We were provided materials and suggestions to do our work and support the organization that will be shared with the leadership team.  I have to admit, I was hesitant to go to the training but I came back feeling reenergized, motivated and looking forward to what it is to come for NVLPC. 

I am thankful to John-Mike, whom was a great travel companion, a lovely human being and a high quality professional.  NVLPC, we are lucky to have him as our Vice President. 

As usual, I want to close by encouraging everyone to explore opportunities, and to get involved with the work NVLPC is doing.  Our organization is growing strong and many exciting opportunities may come in the near future.  Know that attending Leadership Training could be one of the benefits of getting involved with our leadership team.  Do you want to be our part of our team representing NVLPC in Philadelphia next year!? We hope you do!  It would be very exciting!

Maria P. Mercado, LPC, NCC
NVLPC President



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