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  • 07/14/2023 9:47 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    Sarah Mackey is the Chief Network Development Officer at National Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardians ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Association for Children.  Sarah leads the training and development opportunities to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of CASA/GAL local programs and state organizations in the US. She is also focused on  advancing strategies to develop, train, inspire and retain more volunteers to engage with CASA/GAL.

    Sarah is a CVA and recently joined the GAVA Board of Directors. Connect with Sarah.

  • 06/14/2023 9:43 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    There are many ways to engage with GAVA. You can continue to read and share this newsletter, attend our programming, or consider one of the below opportunities to engage with us:

    Board Members: The GAVA leadership team is looking to expand our Board of Directors! Our group is a working Board made of volunteers of various levels of experience within the field. We meet once monthly, and most of our team does 4-10 hours per month of work (definitely flexible) to support GAVA. We can always use help with social media, outreach, member engagement, programming, etc.

    Presenters: The GAVA programming team is always looking for new or experienced presenters who are interested in offering industry-relevant presentations, trainings, or discussions with our members. We typically schedule 1-2 programs per month, and each is about 1-1.5 hours long. If you are interested in presenting, but don't have a topic fully fleshed out, please let us know, we can help!

    Volunteers: We are looking for a few volunteers to assist us with various tasks to keep GAVA moving forward. If you have a talent or skill that you believe would be beneficial to GAVA, we would love to hear from you. If you are interested in volunteering, we have opportunities with communications, design, planning, etc.

    If you are interested in learning more about any of the above opportunities, please let us know by sending us an email:

  • 02/01/2023 8:29 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    April Anderson is Manager of Volunteer Programs at Zoo Atlanta. She has been with Zoo Atlanta five years as of January of this year! Prior to Zoo Atlanta she worked in an Art Museum Education department for approximately eight years managing volunteers for the entire Museum, teachers and art classes. She was also a volunteer with the American Red Cross in New Jersey from middle school until 2017 when she relocated to Georgia. April served as a volunteer supporting programs like Service to Armed Forces, Disaster Services, etc. Her main passion was supporting youth service and she served as a youth volunteer coordinator for many years helping to train high school students to become disaster volunteers and support their growth as leaders.

    April's Volunteer Programs team (staff) at Zoo Atlanta is two full time persons, a Supervisor of Adult Volunteers and a Supervisor of Youth Conservation Leadership Volunteers (Teens and Interns). The Zoo's volunteer team is 350 active persons with another approximately 400 people who serve in an episodic fashion.

    The volunteer program consists of eight different programs. They have volunteer opportunities available for ages 8 - adult. The team supports the Zoo through guest experience and educational means as well as through behind the scenes assignments like husbandry, maintenance, administrative roles and more.

    The Zoo's programs have consistently been growing over the past few years and April am so proud to say we have returned to our pre-pandemic status. Her number of volunteers and number of service hours has rebounded, and they are off to a great start with 2023!

    April's major focus for 2023 is recruitment! She have an overall initiative to grow and diversify our program participants. To accomplish this goal, she is looking for any and all ideas or suggestions on recruitment strategies. April is looking forward to being more involved with GAVA in the coming months.

  • 01/04/2023 8:28 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    The GAVA team is looking to expand our Board of Directors! Our group is a working Board made of volunteers of various levels of experience win the field. We meet once monthly, and most of our team does 4-10 hours per month of work (definitely flexible) to support GAVA. We can always use help with social media, outreach, member engagement, programming, etc. If you are interested in learning more, please let us know by sending us an email:

  • 12/07/2022 8:27 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    Elizabeth Rachchh is the newest GAVA Board Member.  She moved with her husband cat and dog from Massachusetts to Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, earlier this year.  Currently her role is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Lewy Body Dementia Association.  While in Massachusetts Elizabeth was the Volunteer and Program Manager for a statewide organization that partnered with homeless shelters for volunteers to go and play with children allowing parents to have a break.  She was there for years before the pandemic and figuring out the changes through COVID.  Elizabeth is looking forward to getting her CVA in 2023 and continue to strengthen professionalism of Volunteer Administrators. 

  • 11/02/2022 10:37 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    Mary Jackson has been involved in community volunteer work for over 20 years. Whether it was a brownie leader in a local church or team parent for children’s little league at the parks. She has held office for three years as a secretary at a local Civitan Club. Currently, Mary serves as treasurer at a local senior services center in East Point. She also serves as chairperson for the club newsletter committee at the AARP Cascade Chapter. Mary believes that seniors 55 and up should have a voice in the educational and recreational process. Ms. Jackson enjoys traveling, swimming, and storytelling at community libraries. In her spare time she volunteers as treasurer on the Board, of Friends of Bowden at the Bowden Senior Service Center in East Point.

  • 10/05/2022 10:36 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    Join us for GAVA's 2022 Annual Meeting, which includes a presentation by industry leader Kayla Paulsen:

    Irresistible Organizations and Supportive Environments: Keeping Volunteers and Attracting Their Friends

    We all know that there is no closet of volunteers waiting to connect and serve your organization, but we do have a captive audience with our current volunteers and need to maximize that potential. Together we will explore the assets your organization already has, identify low-hanging fruit for some quick wins, and workshop an approach to help create an even more supportive environment for staff, volunteers, and clients to thrive together!

    The event is on October 6, 2022 at from 12pm-3pm and we will have door prizes! This event is free for all attendees! Register here

  • 09/09/2022 10:34 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    New to Savannah by way of Seattle, Paige Petrangelo relocated late last year for her Marketing & Patron Services role at Savannah Music Festival. While she wears many hats at SMF, volunteer coordination is one of particular interest. With a database of over 400 volunteers to support the annual festival and year-round education programs, Paige seeks to diversify and replenish an aging volunteer community. What she enjoys most about working with SMF volunteers is befriending community members who are passionate about live music. Music has the power to bring so many different kinds of people together, which is especially powerful as our world continues to be rocked by bad news. She plans to foster a like-minded group of volunteers interested in making new friends, supporting the arts, or simply having fun.

  • 09/07/2022 10:33 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    In August 2022, the Atlantic Area Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Inc. was honored and awarded the 2022 Established Affiliate of Excellence Award at the Georgia CASA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlantic Area CASA Inc. is led by Executive Director Petula Dunston-Gomillon who has been a GAVA member since 2019! The GAVA team sends congratulations to Petula and the team at Atlantic Area CASA!

    Atlantic Area Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Inc. was established in 1999 to recruit, train, and supervise passionate adults to advocate for the best interest of children who have been abused and neglected and placed in the foster care system. In the 23 years since then, the Atlantic Area CASA team has continued to do the work of advocacy!

  • 08/03/2022 11:23 AM | Tim Suda, CVA (Administrator)

    Created in 2012, Volunteer Gwinnett increases awareness about Gwinnett County’s roles and responsibilities, supporting government operations and community nonprofits. 

    A team of two full-time staffers, Muriam Nafees and Kelley Uber Sterner, Volunteer Gwinnett collaborates with Volunteer Liaisons within more than fifteen County Administrative and Elected Offices in addition to government subsidies. Muriam Nafees, Department of Community Services’ Collaboration Manager, has programmed Volunteer Gwinnett for the past six years. Muriam enjoys her role which allows her the ability to pair resources with communities. She considers her job interesting as each day is not the same, whether it be meeting with new people or working on a new community-based project. Kelley Uber Sterner works as the Program Coordinator for Volunteer Gwinnett. Kelley programs day-to-day operations and special projects. Kelley has enjoyed the variety of operations as well and considers it a privilege to serve the community. In 2021, Volunteer and considers it a privilege to serve the community. In 2021, Volunteer Gwinnett facilitated 721,133 volunteer participation hours for Gwinnett (link to 2021 annual report), creating an economic impact of over $20 million dollars saved for county residents.

    For management platforms, Volunteer Gwinnett uses Constant Contact to publish their quarterly e-newsletter and CERVIS, a webbased volunteer management system. Volunteer Gwinnett service projects range from ongoing opportunities, government internships, to one-time events and more. In 2022, Volunteer Gwinnett expanded to create Gwinnett Serves, which offers even more volunteer opportunities in collaboration with community organizations throughout the county to partner. Volunteer Gwinnett also serves the community weekly through a Mobile Food Distribution Program. You can learn more about Muriam, Kelley and Volunteer Gwinnett by visiting 

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The Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration

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