| The AAST Call for Volunteers and Director Nominations will open in January of 2014. In the weeks leading up to this event, the AAST Directors-at-Large will each be sharing their personal stories of what encouraged them to get involved in volunteering for this organization.
This week's Director Spotlight highlights a team approach to volunteering, featuring two AAST board members. Read the story of Melinda Trimble and Bill Rivers below!
Melinda Trimble and Bill Rivers
Bill Rivers (left) and Melinda Trimble (right)
In the spring of 1999, I ran for the Board of Directors of the then APT and was elected to a two-year term as a Director-at-Large. This was the first time I had been a "Volunteer" for any organization. I was a Sleep Technologist at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, AR at the time and Bill Rivers was my Department Manager.
In 1996, we started the Spring Sleep Seminar. It started out small but soon grew to the second or third largest Sleep meeting in the country.
In 2001, Kelly Million, the sitting President of the APT, came to one of our meetings in Branson. He saw the quality of our meetings and asked me (Melinda) to become Educational Chair of the APT and develop the annual meeting for the organization. I was able to talk Bill Rivers into helping (it's helpful to get the boss involved when you need time off!) and over the years Bill and I worked to host not only our yearly "Spring Sleep Meeting" in Arkansas but also helped put together a Fall, Spring and Annual Meeting for the APT. I served as Education Chair until 2008.
In 2002, Bill became the APT Treasurer. He was good with numbers and money so we asked him to run for office. He won the position and served as Treasurer for the next 11 years.
We were very lucky that our employer saw the positive effects of our volunteering and, as long as we got our work finished, didn't mind if we helped the APT also.
To date, I have been on the Board of Directors, served as the AAST Secretary, AAST President and I am the current AAST Immediate Past President. Bill Rivers served as Treasurer and is currently serving a 2-year appointment as a Director-at-Large.
Bill and I both have given over 14 years of service to our Professional Organization. But most of all we have a great amount of pride in our contributions to the organization and have made lifelong friendships that we will hold dear to our hearts forever.