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Wednesday, November 1

From the Pen of the Executive Director: November 2017

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE
NASW Illinois Chapter Executive Director

I am writing this column just a few days after another successful and well-received NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Conference. If you have never attended one of the chapter’s conferences over the years, the education reflects a cross section of practitioner knowledge and social work academic research. Over 800 participants took advantage of these offerings over the three days. Former Second City improv comedian Judi Holler energized an overflow crowd with her opening keynote address, “Are You Playing It Safe? How to Amplify Your Personal Brand and Stay Relevant.” This participatory presentation saw several social workers demonstrating their improvisational skills! I want to also thank our main sponsor, NASW Assurance Services and Assurance 4 You, as well as the many vendors who participated in our exhibit hall. The following are just some of the additional conference highlights. Pictures, commentary about the conference can be found on the conference app or on Instagram and Twitter.

We presented our 2017 NASW-Illinois Chapter Statewide Awards in a networking reception. This year’s winners were as follows:

Public Citizen of the Year - Angalia Bianca

Emerging Leader - Sarah Buino, LCSW, CADC, CDWF

Social Work of the Year - Mary Abbott, MSW, LCSW

Lifetime Achievement Award - Gerda J. Schell, AM, LCSW

You can view bios and information for each of the awardees in the conference app or on the NASW-Illinois Chapter website.


Congratulations to Aryn Geiger of Morton Grove, Illinois, and Journey Care, as well as Veronica Perkins of St. Joseph, Missouri, Northwest Health Services, the winners of the iPad drawings.

It was also great to see many of the NASW-Illinois Chapter’s leadership with our biennial meeting of past chapter presidents including Mary Gollings (current chapter president), Don Phelps, Yolanda Jordan, Candi Gray, Andy Teitelman, and Gary Kenzer.

Our conference could not have taken place without the incredibly hard work and dedication of NASW-Illinois Chapter professional staff members Kyle Hillman and Nina Nguyen. I want to also thank Kathleen Miller, our graduate student intern from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Jen Prewitt-Zingg, who was brought on to help on-site.

Moving forward…the countdown is starting! Social workers have one month to complete all of their CEU requirements. Your November e-blast includes a listing of all the chapter trainings at our offices in Chicago and in districts across the state.

A couple of more updates:

  • Please take some time to complete the Legislative Survey that was sent to you. It really helps assist the chapter in crafting its legislative agenda for the coming year.
  • 2018 Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins tomorrow November 1st and ends December 15th. Read more here.
  • SAVE THE DATE! The NASW-Illinois Chapter will be hosting our first one-day school social work conference on Tuesday, May 22, 2017, at the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation in Chicago’s West Loop.

Enjoy the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE, has served as executive director of the 7,000 member Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) since October 1999. He has over twenty-five years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience including extensive work with boards of directors, committees and volunteers, and advocacy around a wide variety of social work, human service, and international political issues. Joel is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Fellowship Leadership Program and a current adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work as well as Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

Posted on 11/01/17 at 08:00 AM


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