Celebrating Our Volunteers

AIIP members contribute extraordinary talent to making our association all it is today — their work is essential to our success as a professional community.

AIIP's Volunteer Spotlight recognizes members who have contributed exemplary service to the association and their fellow members. Volunteers in the Spotlight are selected by the AIIP Board.

January 2024 | Eric Magill

Eric Magill photo

The AIIP Board of Directors recognizes Eric Magill for his work on the Website Committee

I have long felt that you get out of an organization what you put into it. With AIIP, I sat on the sidelines for years as a member percolating an information business in my head while running my existing IT Services business. I knew when I got the info pro business off the ground that I should do my part to make AIIP even more valuable to its members.

Knowing that increasing membership creates a wider knowledge base for all of us to pull from, I volunteer with the Membership and Website committees, both of which are central to membership signups and retention.

—Eric Magill, EDM Info Pro

January 2024 | Amelia Kassel and Jan Sykes

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The Board of Directors recognizes Amelia Kassel and Jan Sykes for their years of service on the Inquirers Committee

As a long-time member and literal old-timer at this stage of my life, it gives me great pleasure to share my knowledge with prospective AIIP members, something I have been able to do while serving on the AIIP Inquirers Committee for many years. 

Moreover, volunteering enhanced my business during its growth years. Meeting and working with other members via volunteering for a range of AIIP committees and positions created opportunities for cross referrals because working together made it possible for committee members to get to know each other better. Those with different skillsets and business specializations sent referrals my way, leading to new clients and substantial project work. I was able to identify members with skillsets I could use for subcontracts and backup while on vacation or away at conferences. 

All in all—very satisfying!

—Amelia Kassel, Retired AIIP member

Volunteering is a great way to get to know AIIP colleagues better and learn from them. All efforts to contribute to an organization that so uniquely caters to interests of independent business owners in the information/knowledge space are essential to keeping the association vibrant and moving forward.

—Jan Sykes, Information Management Services, Inc.


Janette Lonsdale photo

Janette's digital marketing and marketing knowledge overall has really helped to craft AIIP's email marketing strategy and our communications as a whole. She recently led a group of volunteers in revising the Getting Started guide. She's also supported the AIIP23 conference communication strategy while leading AIIP's social media and the blog.

—Janel Kinlaw, AIIP President, 2023-2024

Joining a professional organization is like committing to be in a relationship. And, like all good relationships, if you build on a foundation of give and take, the potential for it to be productive and enjoyable goes up.

At AIIP, I was lucky to have the opportunity to leverage my marketing, writing, and editing skills as the creator of the newsletter and later as the chair of the External Communications Committee. Whether working with my committee or other teams, I can honestly say I've been surrounded by some of the most engaged, hardworking, and generous volunteers I have ever met. Thank you to everyone for sharing your energy, expertise, and knowledge with me.

—Janette Lonsdale, The Red Stairs

July 2023 | Elizabeth McLean

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Liz has been an active volunteer and advocate for AIIP since she joined the organization in 2018. She served as President-Elect in 2022-2023, greatly assisted me in my dual roles as President and Chair of the 2023 Conference Committee. Liz has also served as the Virtual Events Committee Co-chair from 2019-2020 and was on the Conference Committee for the 2021 event.
—Denise Carter, AIIP President, 2022-2023

I've found AIIP to be foundational to my business's success. As a volunteer I'm able to learn new skills, form strong relationships, and give back to this essential infopreneur community.

—Liz McLean, Knowsaic Information Services

April 2023 | Andrea Carrero

Andrea expertly manages the day-to-day operations of one of AIIP’s most valued benefits, AIIP-L, our listserv. She is always incredibly professional, responsive and willing to troubleshoot whenever required. Andrea has been quietly serving AIIP for many years and her generosity is critical to the success of both the listserv and to AIIP overall.
—Maureen Shields, Director of Professional Development

I joined AIIP in 2008, not as a librarian or researcher, but as a communications professional. The synergy was great and the support I received as I continued to build my business was excellent. I began volunteering almost immediately and have served on a number of committees over the years. Volunteering is my way to give back to AIIP in gratitude for all I've gotten. I highly recommend volunteering for AIIP--volunteers are the lifeblood of our association.

—Andrea Carrero, Word Technologies, Inc 

April 2023 | Denise Claridy, Connie Clem, and Margaret Harrison

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Connie Clem photoMargaret Harrison photo

Connie, Margaret, and Denise thoughtfully worked to refresh the public-facing webpages for SEO optimization as well as reworking the members-only navigation and content organization. This work over the past 6-8 months has given the website a much-needed review and helped to establish key data that any new webpage needs to include going forward.
—Janel Kinlaw, Director of Outreach

I volunteer to enhance my skillset and to learn new skills. Volunteering is also a good way to get to know AIIP members.

—Denise Claridy, Evandy InfoSolutions  

Volunteering keeps me connected with other members, and it keeps me learning. I’ve enjoyed making AIIP’s content more discoverable.

—Connie Clem, Clem Information Strategies  

I volunteer to give back to the community that has given me so much over my career. The field has been good to me and I continue to see the importance of our work as we evolve into the next phase.

—Margaret Harrison, Harrison Data and Information Services  

January 2023 | Rhonda bowen

Since joining AIIP three years ago, Rhonda has generously shared her time and talent presenting the Recipes for Business Progress webinar series, giving AIIP members the opportunity to learn from her and each other. Rhonda has also presented at the annual conference and is an active supporter of the association.
—Karen Klein, Immediate Past-President

I believe that membership in a professional organization, as with most things in life, brings a responsibility, both to give and to receive. In addition to having the benefits of membership by paying dues, there is such a greater level of satisfaction when we make the contribution that only we can make with our background and experience to advance the causes of the organization. One vital aspect is acting as a volunteer to provide the insights and skills unique to us as a way to interact with others and receive so much more in return.

—Rhonda Bowen, bells 

january 2023 | amelia kassel

As a volunteer on the Inquirers Committee, Amelia handles inquiries from the public that require more involved responses – her unique gift to all of us in AIIP and to others in the info pro world. Even as an emeritus member with many AIIP volunteer positions behind her, Amelia continues to share her knowledge and insight with generosity, thoughtfulness, and thoroughness. And not only on the Inquirers Committee. We’ve all seen it on AIIP-L and on other lists she participates in. Her responses are considered “must-read” by many of us. It’s that consistent willingness to share her expertise in such a generous spirit and her willingness to continue to put that sharing in the service of AIIP by volunteering on the Inquirers Committee that merits this recognition.
—Susan Baerwald, Director of Membership

As a long-time AIIP member, I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering over the years and found it extremely rewarding. Although I am now retired, AIIP volunteer work in my earlier years, importantly, led to not only long-term friendships but referrals from other members for my then growing research business. I still love contributing to AIIP-L whenever a question arises that I think I can help with or guide in terms of sources or research methods. My long-term volunteer work on the AIIP Inquirers Committee has given me the opportunity to respond to prospective new members’ questions about AIIP and the field itself.

—Amelia Kassel, Retired

October 2022 | Jan Knight

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Jan is currently serving as the chair of the Peer-to-Peer Support Committee. Jan’s inspirational focus on service, her professional and approachable style, and her willingness to tackle whatever the task at hand are invaluable to AIIP.
—Maureen Shields, Director of Professional Development

Since I joined AIIP in 2001 I have always been a volunteer in some capacity. Some were ad hoc responsibilities, some were committee member and Chair roles. I even served on the board for two years. ALL of those experiences have allowed me to support an organization that has helped guide me in my business for over 20 years and as importantly, have connected me with other members many of whom I can now call friends. An extra bonus, as long-time chair of the Industry Relations committee I also got to create relationships with vendors and products that were integral to my success.

—Jan Knight, Bancroft Information Services, LLC

July 2022 | Marcy phelps

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Since 2019, Marcy has kept the AIIP Blog updated with content that helped with AIIP’s outreach efforts as well as sharing information between AIIP members. Her innovation on new series and standardizing of blog procedures has crucial to maintaining the AIIP Blog.

—Janel Kinlaw, AIIP Director of Outreach

Volunteering is is how I give back to an organization from which I've gained so much. It's also one of the best ways to connect with and get to know fellow independent information professionals.

—Marcy Phelps, Marcy Phelps & Associates

july 2022 | rachel Yang

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As Chair of the #AIIP22 Program Committee, Rachel designed and delivered an exceptional and engaging conference program. 

—June Boyle, AIIP22 Conference Chair

I believe in being of service to the community and helping wherever I can, and that usually proves to be of mutual benefit. Volunteering at AIIP lets me give back, pushes me out of my comfort zone, and allows me to exercise new skills. What keeps me coming back is, as a newbie to my independent info-pro endeavors, knowing other members, who are an invaluable resource for getting feedback and gathering input to help make decisions.

—Rachel Yang, Poplar Consulting

April 2022 | Betty Nording

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As a member of the Virtual Events Committee, Betty is always present, friendly, and helpful to all.

—Denise Carter, AIIP President-Elect, 2021-2022

I find it rewarding to assist others and give back to organizations that make a difference in communities and the lives of others. Volunteering provides an opportunity to stay connected, get to know other AIIP members, to build upon the skills I have, learn new ones, and to help connect members with the benefits and tools AIIP offers to help members to learn and grow their businesses.

—Betty Nording, Willowriv Consulting

November 2021 | cathy muth

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Cathy analyzed and prepared a comprehensive SEO site audit and recommendations report of the AIIP website. Her work as a member of the Web Committee provides us with a roadmap for improving the usability and functionality of our website.

—Karen Klein, AIIP President, 2021-2022

Volunteering for me has absolutely guided my career journey, both as a concept, a way to consider and adopt new ideas, and as a practice, to assist those in need, solve a problem or simply as an opportunity to "talk shop" with colleagues, to connect.

—Cathy Muth, CE Muth Information Services

August 2021 | Kirsten Smith

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As chair of the External Communications Committee, Kirsten scheduled social media posts for the full summer and created a social media content library prior to taking a well-deserved sabbatical. Her efforts kept our social media feed alive, and built out an ongoing resource library.

—Janel Kinlaw, AIIP Director of Outreach, 2021-2023

Kirsten is a digital "smith" for the information age and the owner of Digitalsmith, Inc. Kirsten has been a professional librarian since 1990 and an Independent Information professional since 2014.

APRIL 2021 | connie clem

Connie Clem photo
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Connie has written a weighty tome for the association in the form of graphics, clip art and other illustrations . . . She is a Canva master in 'dark navy blue' and 'light lime green' and her contributions have been invaluable to me as director of outreach.

—Kirsten Smith, AIIP board 2019-2021

Visual communication is faster than words. That's one reason graphics are an important part of AIIP's digital presence, and Canva has been an excellent tool for us. Developing graphics for AIIP has given me plenty of opportunity to plumb all the nooks and crannies of what Canva can do. I'm happy to share what I've learned with other AIIP volunteers ;)

—Connie Clem, Clem Information Strategies


Photo:  Rachel Yang

Rachel Yang, REYang Consulting, is a first-year volunteer on the Virtual Events Committee. She was nominated for the Volunteer Spotlight by committee chair Mary Ellen Bates.

I have really enjoyed contributing to the Virtual Events Committee and lending a hand in any way I can. The committee members are a delight to be with as we plan and share ideas, and getting to know so many information professionals at the events has been a real treasure to me. The pandemic has brought many challenges to us all, but one of the silver linings has been having the time to learn from other AIIP members.

—Rachel Yang

I really appreciate Rachel’s proactive approach to improving access to a valued AIIP member resource. The Virtual Recordings webpage (member log-in required) will be easy to update and is easy for members to use.

The AIIP Virtual Events Committee offers monthly events to AIIP members including webinars, Member to Member panels and a monthly networking event called Info Pro Café. These events are recorded for members to watch after the event if they aren’t able to participate.

In addition to her role hosting and facilitating events for the committee, Rachel stepped up to create a much more useful way for members to find relevant virtual event recordings. She worked with webmaster Connie Clem to design the page and then manually coded all the entries. This page now allows members to find recordings on a particular topic easily, greatly enhancing the value of this benefit to AIIP members. Please join the AIIP Board in thanking Rachel.

—Mary Ellen Bates, Chair, Virtual Events Committee

March 2020 | Rhonda Kleiman

Photo:  Rhonda Kleiman
Rhonda has really run with the sponsorship committee. She put together her own group of committee members and worked closely with Industry Partners and the annual conference's local arrangements committee to make connections. She also brought her own connections with potential sponsors to bear. This has resulted in more corporate sponsorships than we have seen in the last couple of years.

—Beth Plutchak, AIIP Treasurer

October 2019 | ALISON HAMILTON

The way that AIIP communicates with its members and associates has changed over the years, and in recent years we have been refining our outreach through our AIIP Connections Blog. Alison Hamilton has been a tremendous asset to the blog committee, assuring that articles have been posted regularly, updates installed, and other administrative tasks taken care of throughout the editor transition process, as well as during the conversion of the print publication over the past year. We couldn’t have done it without her!

—Marcy Phelps, Editor, AIIP Connections Blog

Congratulations Alison – not only were you extremely capable in your role as blog tech & graphics whiz, you were a pleasure to work with.

—Heather Carine, past Editor, AIIP Connections Blog

May 2019 | Kelly Berry, Elizabeth McLean and Betty Nordeng

AIIP’sPhotos:  Kelly Berry, Liz McLean, and Betty Nording Webinar Committee was transformed into the Virtual Events Committee in January 2019, in response to requests from our members for different ways to present valuable content and provide virtual networking opportunities. Since that time, Kelly Berry (ResourceAbility, LLC), Elizabeth McLean (Knowsaic), and Betty Nordeng (WillowRiv Consulting) have imagined, created, tested, tried, evaluated, and improved AIIP’s virtual event program with creativity and grace.

Because of their hard work, AIIP members now have a well-received selection of virtual meetings and other virtual events. Kelly, Liz and Betty are willing to try out new technology, make mistakes, break things and nevertheless, persist. AIIP thanks these dedicated volunteers for making the Virtual Events Committee and its offerings a huge success. Read more on the AIIP Connections Blog.

2017 | Jennifer Pflaumer - Paroo  | Becky Leung - BlueNote Research Group

AIIP’s video hosting service needed an upgrade for the the functionality and the flexibility needed to keep up with growing demand. Jennifer Pflaumer and Becky Leung volunteered to take on an analysis of products and services we might use to upgrade our capabilities. They created a list of requirements, prioritized those functional requirements, and then began the hard work of analyzing the alternatives and providing fact-based recommendations. Jennifer and Becky’s hard work resulted in the AIIP Board selecting Vimeo as our new hosting platform. We would like to thank Jennifer and Becky for stepping up to the plate and hitting it out of the park!

—Scott Attenborough, AIIP President-Elect

“As an information technologist, Jennifer lends her technical chops to AIIP as the Web Team lead. She gracefully juggles a chorus of requests from across the organization. Jennifer is a leader with strong shoulders. Becky is a technical content expert who loves to take on important projects. For every new idea tossed her way, Becky says, 'Bring it on'. Her strong technical expertise was invaluable to the hosting platform discussion. I'm grateful that Jennifer and Becky stepped up to help push AIIP's digital presence forward.”

—Jane Langeman, AIIP President

Photo:  Becky Leung“I enjoyed working with Jennifer Pflaumer and the AIIP Web Team to evaluate potential audio/video hosting platforms to replace the existing platform. I learned about the current AIIP webinar uploading process. I look forward to working with the AIIP Web Team and Webinar team on the migration to the new Vimeo platform.”
Becky Leung — AIIP Web Team

Photo:  Jennifer Pflaumer“It was great to work with Becky on the project. Her tech knowledge and ability to assess systems against the requirements was exactly what we needed to make the best recommendation for the video platform. In the process I also learned a lot about what to look for when evaluating these types of systems, and most of all, the value of knowing what the requirements are – if you have the requirements locked in, it can help whittle down the potential systems quite efficiently.”
Jennifer Pflaumer — AIIP Web Team

2016 | Peggy Garvin, Garvin Consulting  

Photo:  Peggy Garvin

AIIP’s diverse mix of information professionals has exacting expectations. Every year, for many of us, the AIIP Annual Conference is the highlight of the entire year. At the center of it all in 2016 was Peggy Garvin. 

Peggy wrote, "It was an honor for me to lead the conference planning for AIIP 2016 in Pittsburgh, where I grew up. . . I have volunteered to work on two other AIIP conferences in the past, one in Pittsburgh in 2008 and another in Baltimore in 2014. Before that, I took on program planning and leadership roles for SLA and several local groups, and helped as staff for the conferences hosted by past employers. What was special about coordinating the AIIP conference is that it requires bringing all of the pieces of a conference, from start to end, together into one cohesive experience for your audience. It is a bit like staging a major performance."

She continued, "The experience made it clear to me that AIIP is what individual members, working together, make it. There is no 'they' to innovate and get things done. It takes you. I was fortunate to have a great team that came up with creative solutions and carried them out, and I am truly grateful to each and every one of them."

Peggy has been a star in her role as Conference Chair. I admired Peggy’s leadership of the conference team scattered around the world. She is calm, forward thinking, across the detail, happy to delegate and very appreciative. The proof of her skills is in the wonderful Pittsburgh conference and the legacy she is leaving to run a great conference in New Orleans in 2017. 

Heather Carine, Workshops Coordinator, AIIP Pittsburgh 2016

How lucky are we to have had a leader like Peggy Garvin for our 2016 conference? She preserved what was best of our conference traditions while shaking things up in ways that tickled. Peggy is a first rate project manager and an even more valuable AIIP leader.

Jane Langeman, AIIP President, 2016-2017

"If you've worked on a conference planning team, you know what a herculean job it is. If you haven't, a) you should, and b) hope like heck for a leader like Peggy Garvin. Peggy led the team with grace, patience and professionalism, and the results demonstrate her effectiveness. 5 stars for Garvin!"

Anne Hengehold, 2016 conference volunteer

2015 | Cathy Chiba, Dauratus Research

Photo:  Cathy Chiba

Cathy has been an enthusiastic member of the AIIP webinar team for several years and is crucial to delivering the high-value professional development that AIIP offers to members via its webinars. Said Webinar Chair Mary Ellen Bates, “Cathy has been a great asset to the webinar team, providing the backstage support that enables webinars to run smoothly. She always brings a fresh perspective, sense of humor, and generous spirit.”

With her trademark green hair, fiber-optic light-up umbrellas, huge smile and infectious laughter, Cathy is a creative force to be reckoned with and easily spotted at AIIP events! Marketing Director Jennifer Burke said, “Cathy is simply one of the biggest and best brand advocates that AIIP has!”

The AIIP Volunteer Spotlight award always pleasantly surprises its winners, and Cathy was no different. When informed of recognition of her volunteer contributions, Cathy replied. “Whoa! I didn’t expect to be recognized! But thank you: it’s a delight and an honour.” Cathy likes the opportunity that AIIP gives to work on teams and projects of varying length, intensity and duration - all opportunities to learn as well as give back.

2014 | Jennifer Burke, IntelliCraft Research

Photo:  Jennifer Burke

Jennifer says "Can do!” and does it—which is a wonderful attribute in a volunteer. We had aggregated information from similar organizations to AIIP. Jennifer analyzed it, organized it and came up with recommendations for the Board to coordinate all of AIIP’s marketing opportunities in one document. Her marketing and information background helped develop an important guide for AIIP’s future growth.

Jennifer says: I appreciate the opportunity to give back to an organization that is now quite dear to my heart and invaluable to my professional life and business. It’s been great to work with Susan Berkman and others on the AIIP board to craft documents and plans to help others see how wonderful AIIP is and make a difference in growing the organization. I’m honored for the recognition and look forward to more opportunities like this one!

Page updated January 15, 2024

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