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Building the Connection Between Volunteers and Staff
In mid-May, EAA Headquarters welcomed Dave Mercer, EAA #379378, to Oshkosh to train staff on building a strong volunteer partnership. The training provided staff with insight into why people volunteer, effectively working with volunteers, and the importance of collaboration and building a solid partnership.
Dave began his volunteering career as a program director for the YMCA in Los Angeles. In this role, he created and led one of the largest volunteer groups at the YMCA at that time. Dave’s success in understanding and appreciating the role of the volunteer led to his future promotion to CEO/president of a local YMCA. He is now retired from his role as national executive director of YMCA.
Dave had an interest in aviation as far back as he can remember. When his son went off to college, Dave’s wife encouraged him to fulfill his dream to fly. Dave is now an active private pilot with an instrument and multi-engine ratings.
Dave began volunteering at EAA more than 14 years ago and was instrumental in building the Camp Scholler Volunteer Center into what it is today. While Dave opens up the Volunteer Center prior to convention and is busy matching volunteers to identified needs, when the convention opens he is busy introducing speakers in the Honda Pavilion #7. Dave is also on the Volunteer Advisory Committee at EAA.
“An interest in aviation and a passion for people are the two biggest reasons people volunteer at EAA,” Dave said. “Some people enjoy using their skills and knowledge to make a difference; others like to learn new skills.” Good communication, setting clear expectations, listening and showing appreciation for their dedication were among the messages Dave shared with staff.