By Taylor Niemann-Ingles, Development Intern
I had the privilege of talking with Jeff Webster, a valuable member of the Arts for Learning Board of Directors. I discussed with him the importance of the board, his life, and he even gave me some great insight on how to be successful in my professional career.
Currently, Jeff is Senior Vice President of Gregory & Appel Insurance, a generous corporate donor to Arts for Learning. Jeff has not always been in the business world, however. Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Bloomington in Education. He spent some time as a secondary education teacher, a football coach, and wrestling coach, but he later decided that the education world just was not for him. But his love for education still lives on, which is why he is a strong advocate for arts in education and Arts for Learning.
Jeff’s favorite Arts for Learning event is Chocolate Fest because he says it is fun for all and nobody is left empty handed. He says his favorite programs are Melli Hoppe’s dance and Bob Sanders story telling. In his personal life, Jeff enjoys music, specifically Pink Floyd, and seeing films. Movie dates with his family are among his favorite pastimes. Jeff also enjoys college sports, pro golf, and traveling with his family when he finds time in his busy schedule to relax.
Since 1998 Jeff has given much of his time, talent, and treasure to Arts for Learning as a board member. Jeff gave me some great insight into what makes a fantastic board member. Of course a board member must attend meetings, but there is much more to making an organization successful. One must get involved in a committee, be an advocate and develop advocates for the organization, network, create relationships, and donate to the organization financially. Jeff says the more diversity on the board, the better. Diversity amongst the board brings in different audiences and advocates for the organization. He says that there is no controversy amongst board members; they are all there to help the organization succeed.
I asked Jeff if he had any advice for me as a college student and young professional and his response was, “Network! Network! Network!” Jeff thinks it is very important to get to know as many people as one can to promote your cause. He also told me to learn from my mistakes, the mistakes of others, the successes of others, and not to be afraid to be different.
It was a joy to speak with Jeff and to get to know him a little better. He is a kind, funny man, who wants to see everyone succeed. Thanks Jeff for taking time out of your busy schedule to have a little chat!