Number CLXVIII The Newsletter of Epsilon Sigma PhiMay 2023

 President's Message

Daphne Richards, National ESP President

Hello there, my fabulous ESP friends! And welcome to May, which is just a hair past the halfway point on the national ESP calendar, and on my presidential year! I simply cannot believe how fast time has flown by since I was presented with that gavel in Branson. 

Your national board and national office have been hard at work over the last six months on so many aspects of our organization, and I could not be prouder of this team, or of you, our fabulous members! We recently saw some major deadlines pass, including national board applications, chapter annual reports, awards applications, committee applications, and several scholarship/grant opportunities. I’m pleased to report that chapter participation metrics on just about every activity are WAY up this year! More conference proposals, more committee applications, more webinar participants, and more chapter annual reports submitted on time! Woot woot!

Many big deadlines recently passed, which puts your national team squarely in the middle of crunch time for reviewing all those submissions. As a board member, one of the ESP tasks that I most look forward to at this time of year is reviewing my region’s award applications, along with applications to serve on the national board. I just love seeing all the great work by Extension professionals from around the nation and learning about all the amazing impacts on your local communities. I’m also always inspired by the words of your peers that apply to serve on your national board. Thinking about the future leaders of this organization, working to prepare a solid foundation for them as I move into the second half of my presidential year, is a big part of my focus right now, and will be a large part of the work that I give my attention to in the coming months. And I won’t be alone in that work! The entire national team comes together to assist with “onboarding” new members of the board once they’re elected—so exciting! 

Another major activity for your national team is the time that we dedicate to preparing for our annual national conference each year, alongside those truly dedicated individuals in our host-state chapters. It may surprise you to learn that we are always working on at least three ESP national conferences at any given time! While Billings for 2023 is almost to the goal line (Yay Montana!!), Virginia Beach for 2024 is just starting to come into focus. And 2025? Well yes, we’ve even already done some prep-work on that conference, too! And very soon we’ll be able to fill you in, but… not just yet, so stay tuned! 

Along with the work of preparing our own national conferences, your national board is also integral to the planning and implementation of the two national JCEP conferences each year: the Extension Leadership Conference and the Public Issues Leadership Development Conference. So, it seems there is never a time when we aren’t knee deep in one national conference or another! Which means that we spend a lot of time meeting with various teams to build consensus and bring you the best professional development opportunities that we possibly can. This is challenging work, to be sure, but also very exciting, and rewarding! I have truly loved working closely with the Montana Alpha Chapter conference planning team members, as well as the team from the Virginia Alpha Gamma Chapter, whose work will really start to ramp up soon. 

And mid-year means another thing for all of us dedicated Extension professionals: it’s time to map out those annual leave days before we lose them! During the summer “transition break,” please take the time that you need to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate, in whatever way brings you the most satisfaction, and fills your spirit with the most joy. 


Scholarships Winner Highlights Experience

Submitted by Tammy Jones, Alpha Eta Chapter, Ohio

The opportunity to attend PILD in April provided me with an amazing experience that included developing new skills when talking to partners about Extension. In addition to hearing from others across the country, I was selected to present a session to share personal experiences that my county has faced with funding in recent years. The conversations that followed the presentation made me even more grateful for this opportunity.  I have made many new connections that I will continue to connect with in the future. I encourage other Extension professionals to consider attending a future PILD Conference.


ESP Development Fund Update

Submitted by the Resource Development and Management Committee

Global Relations Committee - Virtual Mixer Invitation

Submitted by Global Relations Committee

Welcome to the ESP Global Relations Community! We are inviting you to attend a networking zoom call to meet and strengthen relationships with Extension peers interested in international service. The call is scheduled for May 26 starting at 12ET/11CT/10MT/9PT.  The call will be informal and will give members a chance to share stories of their international service and experiences. In addition to building a network of peers nationally, the goal of this virtual mixer is to find opportunities for ESP global service and co-create a list of international conferences and opportunities. We ask you register with three simple questions at this link.  Come help us explore and discover opportunities and become an engaged ESP Global Relations affiliate. 


We Thank Our 2022 Annual Development Fund Donors

Submitted by David Ross, Resource Development and Management Committee

Those who go the extra mile and support our Extension profession by giving to the Development Fund are recognized annually on the ESP website at  The money supports professional development and educational opportunities for our Extension Professionals.  We want to recognize donors for their support.  To see the list of donors, go to the website above and log in.  Then scroll down to see the 2022 Endowment Contributor List.  Click on that title to see on the first page the Endowment Contributors listed by Key Level of Giving and on the second page is the list of the chapters and individuals who gave during the 2022 Development Fund Campaign Year of June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022.

During the 2022 Campaign Year a total of 183 individual members and two chapters made contributions.  Members from 30 states made donations.  We thank you!!  

Recognition for accumulated giving is shown on page 1 where five Key Levelsof Giving are shown.  The first level - ESP Key - requires an accumulated giving of $250.00.  The second level - ESP Bronze Key - is for donations totaling $500 to $999.  Looking at the list one can see that many members have reached the third level – ESP Silver Key – for accumulative giving between $1,000 and $4,999.

The 2023 Endowment Campaign year ends onMay 31, 2023.  If you have not given yet this year, please do so now.  All dollar amounts are welcome.  The website above includes instructions for online giving and also the address to which to mail a check.  Those who move up to a new Key Level will be recognized at the 2023 ESP Conference in Montana in September.

Do you know how much you have given over the years?  If not, log into and click on your name at the top to go to My Profile.  Under that you can find Donations, click on that to see a record of your donations.  The sum of your donations can be found there.  You can determine the amount of donation required to reach the next Key Level.

Three members have grants or scholarships named after them.  Donations of $25,000 or more, with Board approval, can set up a fund named after themselves.  The Board has set up two scholarships named for Richard R. Angus and for Art Redinger to recognize their giving.  Art Redinger has annually created our wooden Key Plaque which the National President receives and it is purchased by honorariums for the national president as a fundraiser.  As a fundraiser, it has done well over the years.  Rita T. Wood established a grant to support chapter development.  There are opportunities here for other members to support ESP.  Planned estate giving is another way to help.


Member Spotlight - Allan Vyhnalek

Another vibrant Extension career celebrated in Nebraska. Allan Vyhnalek has had roles in Agriculture and 4-H Youth Development as well as administration. A career that spanned service in Iowa and Nebraska.

To read more about Allan's retirement, view this article.


UCDA Affinity Group

Equity Toolkit Available Now!

ESP UCDA Equity Toolkit

Quarterly Live Discussion

Session Title: Where do you work? The urban-rural continuum.
Synopsis: Brad and Martha will discuss the characteristics of all locations along the urban-rural continuum (remote, rural, rural regional center, suburbs and metropolitan). Then, with participation from session attendees, they’ll explore how urbanization impacts our Extension work, regardless of where we are located.
Speaker details:
  • Brad Gaolach, Director, Metropolitan Center for Applied Research & Extension,Washington State University
  • Martha Aitken, Assistant Director, Metropolitan Center for Applied Research & Extension, Washington State University


Membership Open House - Life Member Updates

Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee

Join the Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee and the National Office as we share important information about stewarding membership lists, using the membership system, and recruiting life members!

May 16th at 2:00 PM CST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting URL:

Password: 965024

Join by Telephone

Call: US: +1 971 247 1195 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 301 715 8592

Meeting ID: 934 5288 7300

Join by Polycom/Cisco/Other Room System

Password: 965024

Password: 965024


Save the Date

UCDA Affinity Group Live Discussion, May 9, 11:30 AM CST

Membership Chair Open House, May 16, 2:00 PM CST

ESP Webinar Series:

Global Relations Committee Virtual Mixer, May 26, 11:00 AM CST

2023 ESP National Conference September 24-28 Billings, Montana

2024 ESP National Conference October 27-31 Virginia Beach, Virginia

This newsletter is a publication of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Inc. - The Extension Professionals' Organization

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