The fasten seat belt light has just gone off and the chime had sounded to tell us it was OK to stand and gather our belongings when my cell phone rang.
I could see Marjorie Brody, a member
of the NSA board of directors, listed on
the caller ID.
As soon as I walked into the gate
area, I returned Marjorie’s call. She was
calling to ask for some help for a fellow
NSA member and speaker colleague who
had just been diagnosed with cancer, and
would be unable to speak or consult for
a number of months as she goes through
treatment and recovery. Marjorie
suggested that she contact the NSA
Foundation for some financial support,
but she was hesitant to ask for help.
When an NSA
member is suffering
from a health issue or
other personal crisis
and requires short-term
financial support, PSBF
is here to help.
I called the NSA member and asked
some questions, without being too personal during such an emotional time.
I explained that the specific purpose
of the NSA Foundation’s Professional
Speaker Benefit Fund (PSBF) is for
this kind of circumstance, and that
her request would remain confidential. When an NSA member is suffering
from a health issue or other personal
crisis and requires short-term financial
support, PSBF is here to help.
I explained that if and when she was
ready to ask for some help, all she needs
to do is call Mandy Schulze, the NSA
Foundation Specialist, at (480) 968-2552.
Mandy will take the information in confidence and pass it on to Al Walker, CSP,
CPAE, who is a past NSA president and
now chairs the PSBF Committee. Al and
his team will discuss the member’s situation and decide how much they can grant
to the member based on the member’s
needs and the amount of money remaining in PSBF for the year.
In the fiscal year ending May 31,
2011, the NSA Foundation Professional
Speakers Benefit Fund distributed
grants to 10 NSA members totaling $86,500. Another eight members
received dues waivers, and 10 members
received registration scholarships to the
NSA Annual Convention.
If you know a member who is expe-
riencing a life crisis and is in short-term
financial need, please call Mandy Schulze
or email Mandy@nsaspeaker.org and she
will get the information needed by the
PSBF Committee. Al will talk with the
individual member to determine the need,
and his committee will decide how much
they can help. Because of the confiden-
tial nature of these discussions, the NSA
Foundation does not release the list of
PSBF Committee members. They remain
anonymous and do their work in total
Stephen Tweed, CSP, is a past president of NSA, and a chair of the NSA Foundation Board of Trustees. You can reach him at (502) 339-0653 or Stephen@