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MetroMFT: A Message from the President

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 1:45 PM | Kirsten Sidell (Administrator)


February 26, 2020

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT:

A belated welcome to a new year with MetroMFT! I am excited to start this year with our newly elected MetroMFT Board!:

  • Kirsten Sidell, President

  • Jennifer Fang-Brehm, Vice President 

  • Taylor McMahon, Advocacy Officer

  • Krista Zerby, Officer of Operations

  • Eric Slaughter, Secretary

  • Jordan Madison, Treasurer 

  • Jessica Brenneman, Member at Large 

Three of the Board members, Jennifer, Taylor, and I, served on the previous Interim Board, during MetroMFT’s first year as an organization. With this continuity, we have the resources to continue to build on the strong foundation that we established last year.  

As part of this strong foundation, we made important decisions about how MetroMFT is organized and run. For example, we created a Policies and Procedures manual that outlines Board meeting procedures, the roles and responsibilities of each Board member, policies around elections, and workflow for conferences and other types of events. I am especially proud of the 72 memberships we gained in 2019 and the 8 events that we hosted! Our two large CE opportunities took place through our partnership with University of Maryland and Bowie Youth and Family Services, and we benefited from the generosity of our presenters, Jeff Jackson, Opher Ganel, Bowman & Company, and Tydings & Rosenburg, to provide formal continuing education to our community. Our smaller networking events geared towards community building were equally as successful.

In this first year as the elected President, it is my desire to empower our organization by challenging our members and prospective members to become more actively involved. That means getting more of our committees up and running, holding open Board meetings, and continuing to host CE events that promote our expertise. My goal is also to increase collaboration with other State or regional MFT professional organizations nationwide, and sow the seeds for partnerships with other mental health agencies in our local area, especially when it involves the unique and powerful way that our systems training and licensing enables us to support individuals and families experiencing transitions and difficulties. 

Our new Board is very eager, and we have already come together as a cohesive team. We are working on various initiatives that I would like to share with you: 

  • First, for two Board members, there will be an anticipated absence from Board duties while on maternity leave. Baby Fang Brehm is due in early March, and Baby Sidell will be arriving sometime around mid-April! The Board has worked on a plan for managing roles and responsibilities while Jen and I are on our respective maternity leave.

    • Do you have updates you want to share with your community of MFTs? Let us know!! 

  • Advocacy Day: SUCCESS! Taylor led us through a productive Advocacy Day! Thank you to the many volunteers who participated and spoke on behalf of our profession. Our task was to meet with Delegates about House Bill 303 and Senators about Senate Bill 182. The Bills were in support of the Sunset Legislation, extending the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists’ timeline for making quality improvements to various processes that provide structure for our profession. Primarily, the Bill is important because it defines our MD Professional Board, allowing it to exist and for Marriage and Family Therapists to exist as a licensed group. 

  • It was fun to be together! I also enjoyed seeing that the legislators recognized our profession as Marriage and Family Therapists and I heard comments on the great work of our lobbyist, Willie Harris, who arranged the meetings and was present to support us. Amongst the group, we met with 17 legislators and many even recognized some specific MetroMFT members who have been present in the past for our Advocacy Day. It shows how important it is for us to have this annual tradition of showing up to advocate for MFTs. 
  • Member Forums: To increase two-way communication, transparency, and member involvement, the Board is instituting two member forums this year. Our first forum will be in early April. The forum gives the Board an opportunity to share with more detail the projects we are working on. It also gives members and prospective members an opportunity for a dialogue with the Board. We will be sending out an event announcement soon! 

  • Fall Conference: Mark you calendars for a late September conference! We are excited to be planning for a full day of workshops. If you have ideas for local presenters, send us your ideas!

  • Committees: As an organization born from a grassroots movement, we need your continued support. We have various committees, and we need your voice to ensure we continue in a direction that is relevant to our local MFTs. Look for our future announcements regarding information about how to get involved.  

    • Public Relations Committee, led by Jennifer 

    • Events Committee, led by Krista and supported by Jordan

    • Advocacy Committee, led by Taylor 

    • Membership Committee, led by Jessica

    • Volunteer Committee, led by Krista 

  • New Logo: We have a new look! Over the last year, we have worked on a logo to represent MetroMFT, the four regions we serve as a professional organization (MD, DC, DE, Northern VA), and our systemic approach to supporting our clients. With its smooth, interconnected lines and colors, it embodies our perspective as clinicians in the therapy room.

  • Contact Us: In addition to our website, we have an email and phone number for your comments, questions, and concerns. We want to hear from you! 

  • You can also see what is going on in our membership by logging onto our Facebook page and group. Feel free to share with your community here!

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

I look forward to engaging with you this year to promote our profession! 

Best, 

Kirsten Sidell, M.S., LCMFT

President, MetroMFT 


#metroMFT

metromft@gmail.com

Silver Spring, MD 20910

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