Four JCC Staff Members Attend Professional Development Conference

IMG_20150318_100707-1colJewish Community Center staff members Tara Stone, Norma Cahen, Angie Hiland, and Mike Steklof attended the JCC Professionals Conference in Orlando, FL, in March where they learned about current JCC trends and best practices, which they brought back to the Louisville JCC.

Assistant Director of Membership and Wellness Tara Stone said, “When I was told that as the recipient of the Arthur S. Kling Memorial Award for 2014 I would receive funds for professional development, I immediately knew that I wanted to attend the JCC Professional Conference. This conference brings together professionals from JCCs across North America and makes you realize that you are part of something much bigger than your JCC alone.

“During the conference, we were provided with multiple opportunities to network with other JCC professionals within our own job track as well as others throughout the sessions,” she continued. “I attended most of my sessions with other health and wellness professionals.

“Beyond bringing back a lot of great programming ideas that have worked at other JCCs to incorporate within health, wellness and membership, I came back reenergized and motivated to continue to improve our members’ experiences as well as to build our community through engagement of all ages,” she added.

“I was able to gain new insight by listening to the perspectives of directors from other JCCs in regards to the challenges we face every day and ways to improve,” Stone explained. “I really enjoyed the customer service and membership onboarding sessions presented by experts in the field. It was also a wonderful learning experience to spend time with the JCCA professionals and to hear about their professional journeys through their JCCs.

“I am very grateful to have been able to attend this most valuable professional conference,” she concluded. “The experience is invaluable and I came back with my head full of ideas!”

Early Learning Center Director Norma Cahen said, “Throughout my over 30 years in the early childhood field, I have been fortunate enough to have attended many, many professional conferences. This past March it was my honor to attend my first Jewish Community Center of America’s conference.”

“What an extraordinary opportunity for me, as I was part of the SHEVA curriculum framework cohort,” she stated. “With over 100 professionals, we explored this curriculum with national educators Mark Horowitz and Allison Pepper. Our shared vision of bringing high quality experiences enhances our program in every way possible.

“What I learned will help us stay strong, current, vibrant and relevant,” she continued. “The Jewish Community Center of Louisville’s Early Learning Center is already the central address for excellence in early childhood education. It is my honor and pleasure to strengthen the Judaic component as well.”

Early Childhood Assistant Director Angie Hiland reported, “I had a great time reconnecting with Early Childhood professionals I met on the trip I took to Israel last year. I learned with Norma about the SHEVA curriculum we will be implementing in our early childhood program. I always enjoy connecting with professionals in similar positions to mine so we can brainstorm solutions to similar challenges we may be having.”

Assistant Youth Services Director Mike Steklof explained, “When I was told that I would be in the ninth cohort of the Merrin Fellowship, I was especially excited for the opportunity to attend the JCC Professionals conference and I tried to take advantage of every moment.

“During the conference,” he continued, “I enjoyed learning more about best practices around working with teens in a JCC setting, but I especially enjoyed connecting informally with my peers. Every moment during the conference, I enjoyed learning new things about working with teens and am so excited to implement these ideas in Louisville.”

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