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Director of AmeriCorps Meets with Alums – Indy Chapter

November 16, 2011

Today’s guest post comes from Lisa Shipley, Chapter leader of AmeriCorps Alums – Indianapolis Chapter. Original post can be found on the AmeriCorps Alums Indianapolis Chapter Group Page.

On Wed, Oct. 12, 2011 at 7pmET at Scotty’s Thr3e Wise Men Brewery, in Indianapolis, IN, the AmeriCorps Alums – Indianapolis Chapter had the opportunity to Skype with John Gomperts, Director of AmeriCorps.

The experience was surreal! Initially, John was suppose to visit Indianapolis to attend the 2011 Indiana Governor’s Conference on Service and Volunteerism, and then later in the day he would attend the Chapter’s Alumni event; however, plans changed at the last minute.

Late in the day on Tues, Oct. 11th the Chapter was informed that John’s presence is needed in Washington D.C. on matters pertaining to Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and therefore would be unable to physically attend the Conference and the Alumni event. With the help of AmeriCorps Alums National Office, John’s office, Scotty’s Thr3e Wise Men Brewery and members of the Indianapolis Chapter, we were able to arrange to Skype with John.

During our conversation, which was a bit over an hour long, members of the Chapter had a chance to share their story of how they joined up with AmeriCorps, what they did when they served, where they are now, and their perspective of their individual program as well was AmeriCorps as a whole. We passed the computer around the table allowing each member to have a one-on-one conversation with John and then wrapped up by having an open group discussion for 15-20 minutes. One member that was in attendance was Liz McWhirter. Here is her take on the event:

“I was really impressed with how personable John was; he seemed genuinely interested in us as people. It was quite an experience to have the National Director of AmeriCorps skyping me from his living room, wanting to hear about my Public Allies experience. You just sort of anticipate that someone at that high a level is only going to half-listen to you; that they’re going to be more about making appearances for the sake of making appearances.

After talking to John, it seems clear to me that he is the right person for the job. He is a leader clearly dedicated to listening and learning from those he leads, and I appreciated him taking the time to listen to my story.”

Liz is right in saying that John is the “right person for the job” because he is! He is very knowledgeable about all of the different AmeriCorps programs, is laid back and has the best interest of all current and former members of AmeriCorps programs in the forefront of his mind as he works on behalf of all of us with CNCS.

We are very grateful that we had an opportunity to speak with John, are honored to be the first group to Skype with him, would love to know more as to how we can help him, and look forward to a time where John can visit Indianapolis and with more members of the AmeriCorps Alums – Indianapolis Chapter.

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