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From Lux to Launch

A history of NASC, Worksop and the Launch Volunteer Staff

Lincoln Arneal

on 2 September 2017

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Transcript of From Lux to Launch

1998-01: Bevin Brown
2001-07: Jeff Wiles
2007-09: Kati Settles and Mike Musil
2009-12: Mike Musil and Kyrie Nehls
1998-01: Maher Jafari
2001-03: Jenni Luettel Schweer & Michelle Sullivan
2003-05: Rachel Beck & Brandi Roeber Schmidt
2005-07: Diane Johansen Greene-Walsh
2007-10: Charlie Stephan
2010-12: Mathew Spitsen
2012-15: Keith Wysocki
1998-99: Jason Smith
1999-02: Mike Greene-Walsh
2002-05: Maggie Stuckey
2005-07: Carrie Bahde Hjelle
2007-10: Lincoln Arneal
2010-13: Allison Chilcoat
1998-01: Ian Barnes
1999-01: Eric Westra
1999-01: Randy Hawthorne
2001-03: Carmen Barnes
2001-04: Amy Batten
2003-05: Joel Cook
2003-05: Lincoln Arneal
2004-06: Trevor Heidinger
2005: Eric Westra
2005-07: Keith Wysocki
2005-08: Mark Schulze
2006-08: Beth Haley
2007-09: Jeremy Sevick
2008-09: Trevor Heidinger
2008-11: Amy Batten
2009-11: Trevor Heidinger
2011-14: Chad Kilpatrick
2009-12: Sara Buelt
2012-15: Michelle Carlson
Services Director
2013-2017: Ali Hickman Maloy
Personnel Director
Volunteer Director
From Lux to Launch
A history of NASC, Workshop
and the Launch Volunteer Staff

The counselors' commitment to NASC is just one week in the summer for Workshop. In general, the junior counselors only volunteer for one summer and do not return the following year.
Workshop is moved to the summer, 20 delegates attend, and a new path is blazed.
Early on, NASC hires outside consultants to run Workshop, including Earl Reum, Keith Akins and
"Mr. Phil" Gugliuzza. They arrive with all the needed materials, and train the staff in just two hours.
The Workshop staff consists of 10 senior counselors, who are adults, and 10 junior counselors, who are high school seniors and attended Workshop the previous year.
Executive Secretary/Director
c.1954-57: William Jacques
c.1951-54: Dr. Don Twiford
c.1957-60: Harland Taylor
1960-65: Dr. John Lux
1965-66: Francis Colgan
1966-85: Dr. Ron Joekel
1966-85: Dr. Ron Joekel
1985-89: Rick Alloway
1989-96: Mark Schulze
1989-96: Mark Schulze
1996-98: Barb Larson
Workshop moves to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln main campus.
The first Workshop slideshow is created by Rick Alloway (voice) and new staffer Mark Schulze (photos).
The Workshop Sun, designed by Gregg Mallam, is introduced.
First year of Workshop T-shirts.
Last year Workshop uses an outside consultant — Mr. Phil.
Workshop moves to Nebraska Wesleyan College for two years.
After learning more about experiential learning activities, Dr. Joekel, Lilly, Stu and Rick begin developing a more hands-on version of Workshop. These individuals create a new Workshop; the first that would truly be Nebraska’s own.

Workshop, as we know it, begins.

Workshop moves to its present location: Wayne State College in Wayne, America.
First Workshop theme: “The Movies”
First tag ending to the Workshop Clap, then known as the Camp Clap: “Doo Woppa!”
Staff offers two Summer Leadership Workshops for the first time as the total number of delegates nears 400.
The first recipients of the Lilly Coniglio Award (Eric Westra) and the Mark Schulze Award (Maher Jafari, Jason Smith, Ben Spence, Jim Wheeler) are honored.
Staff goes out into the wild to live deliberately for the first Weekend at Walden.

Eleven high school seniors attend the first Advanced Leadership Workshop (ALW), which occurs concurrently with SLW in Wayne.
JAM Workshop expands from three days to five.
Under the direction of Executive Director Amy Batten, VSAC creates a Strategic Plan, which ensures long-term planning for Staff and sets up several large organizational changes.
NASC celebrates its 50th year of hosting Leadership Workshops.
The Curriculum online database is launched with activities dating back to 1979 and every Leadership Guide.
The Volunteer Staff hosts an Officers Leadership Retreat in June, its first Leadership Retreat.
Three students: Lilly Coniglio, from Lincoln Pius X; Stuart Lehr from Papillion-LaVista and Rick Alloway, from Lincoln Southeast; ask Dr. Ron Joekel, the NASC Executive Secretary, if they could volunteer for the organization beyond their one-week commitment as a junior counselor.

The Volunteer Staff is born.
Mark Schulze takes over as Executive Secretary and leads the movement to incorporate NASC. This change allows NASC to operate as a non-profit and manage its finances more effectively.
Pre-1976: Duane Hemminger
1977-85: Rick Alloway
1985-88: Frank Kros
1988-89: Mary (Conyers) Murray
1989-92: Rick Zaporowski
1992-96: Eric Westra
1996-98: Jody Britten
Curriculum Director
Workshop Director
1977: Lilly Coniglio
1978-85: Frank Kros
1985-89: Rick Zaporowski
1989-92: Mitch Parker
1993: Wendy Schwaniger Doty
1993-95: Barry Bedlan
1995-98: Ben Spence
Volunteer Director
Development Director
Volunteer Staff Executive Director
2001-03: Julie Bogenrief Lopez
VSAC discusses how to better fulfill the mission of reaching as many students as possible. The end result is placing more emphasis on year-round services and the creation of the Services Director position. Sara Buelt becomes the first Services Director and Trevor Heidinger moves over from Development Director to the reorganized Personnel Director, which will eventually be renamed Volunteer Director.
2011-14: Lincoln Arneal
Financial Manager
How Staff fits in the Big Picture
1961-1976: The Beginnings; Workshop Run by Outside Consultants

1977-1988: Volunteer Staff-Run Workshop; Alloway-Kros Leadership

1989-1997: Wayne State Era; Two SLW Workshops and NASC Incorporation

1998-2008: Five Directors; SLW Reduction & Rebound; Addition of JAM & ALW

2009-2016: Focus on Services; Birth of Launch Leadership & the Foundation

2017-present: Merger of Launch and the Foundation, Paid Executive Director
Eras of Workshop/Staff
A New Name
After encountering a few financially lean years in the middle of the decade, Staff examines how to ensure the long-term viability of the organization.
The response is the creation of a foundation, which would become the financial arm of the Volunteer Staff. It would oversee fund raising, scholarships and more ambitious grant seeking. The NASC Executive Board approves the creation of the Foundation in 2009 and the incorporation paperwork is filed in 2010. The Foundation renames itself the Launch Leadership Foundation in 2013.
With enrollment declining in July, SLW returns to just one session.
Two new awards begin: the Annual Award for Outstanding Contribution (Susie Sisson, the first winner) and the Eric Westra Award for Innovation, which is named for its first recipient.
After establishing the Foundation, VSAC continues to examine how to become more financially sustainable. Following an in-depth analysis, VSAC decides the best course of action is for the Volunteer Staff to separate from NASC and form its own corporation. After several months of discussions and planning, the split is approved by the NASC Executive Board. VSAC reviews the organization’s governing documents and combines the VSAC Bylaws and Volunteer Staff Constitution. The new bylaws for a self-standing organization are approved at the November 2012 all-Staff Meeting.
Launch moves into office space donated by Jay Wilkinson and Firespring/Cornerstone at 1201 Infinity Court in Lincoln.
The Articles of Incorporation for Launch Leadership are filed during the first week of 2013.
The Volunteer Staff establishes itself as a stand-alone corporation behind the leadership and work of Lincoln Arneal (Executive Director), Randy Hawthorne (Foundation Chair) and Megan Kwasnieski Falke (NASC Financial Director).
The newly formed Volunteer Staff corporation caused the following changes to the organization:
Created a contract for services with NASC.
Created the Financial Manager position.
Changed the name of the Personnel Director back to Volunteer Director.
Created a new budget only for the Volunteer Staff.
Divided financial assets with NASC.
Staff still has a seat on the NASC Executive Board and the State Executive Directors are ex officio officers for VSAC.
Overall, nothing changed in the day-to-day operations. The Staff still offers the same services and strives to develop youth leadership in Nebraska.
With the Volunteer Staff taking over Workshop, leadership to guide those efforts is needed. The Volunteer Staff establishes the Workshop Director and Curriculum Director positions with two of the original Staff members filling these roles.
In the first leadership change in almost a decade, Dr. Ron Joekel ends his legendary 20-year run as NASC Executive Secretary. The rest of the leadership steps up to fill the void. Rick Alloway moves from Workshop Director to Executive Secretary. Frank Kros goes from Curriculum Director to Workshop Director and Rick Zaporowski steps in as Curriculum Director.
The Facilitator, the official newsletter of the Volunteer Staff, makes its first appearance.
The Changes
The Process
In 1998, the Workshop Director and Volunteer Coordinator responsibilities are split and become two positions. The following year two new positions are added to the leadership team: Volunteer Staff Executive Director and Development Director.

The new structure
NASC receives an updated look.
Earl Reum
Mr. Phil
Dr. Ron Joekel
Lilly Coniglio
Rick Alloway
Frank Kros
Rick Zaporowski
Mark Schulze
Trevor Heidinger
Sara Buelt
Ali Maloy
Lincoln Arneal
Randy Hawthorne
Megan Kwasnieski Falke
Dr. John Lux
Stuart Lehr
Workshop moves to Dana College, its home for the next 10 years.
Warm Fuzzies and Candles on the Hill, which took place on a hill overlooking the Dana campus, appear for the first time, both taking place on Night 3.
The role of Personnel Director is renamed Volunteer Director.
Ali Maloy fills the new Financial Manager position.
The NASC Executive Director’s direct relationship with the Launch Volunteer Staff ends.
Jay Wilkinson
The Charlotte Sylvia Award is handed out for the first time to 10 Staffers who made significant contributions to the formation of the spirit and culture of NASC.
Keith Akins
The Volunteer Staff produces its first Leadership Guide, known at the time as a Workshop Notebook.
Workshop includes traditions such as Magic Cards, Boundary Breaking, a Banquet and a dance.
Workshop moves to Kearney State College for a year.
Ron Joekel receives the first award recognizing outstanding long-term contributions to promoting youth leadership in Nebraska. In 1981, the award is named after the late Dr. John Lux and remains Staff's highest honor.
Eric Westra
Amy Batten
Nebraska Student Leaders Foundation
NASC Executive Director
Curriculum Director
Workshop Director
Winners: Charlotte Sylvia, Mary Keane Chalupsky, Lance Fuller, Amy Miller, Dan Nuckolls, Dave Nuckolls, Beth Wernsman, Tracy Wernsman, Jay Wilkinson and Ellen Withrow.
The Junior Olympics, or NASC Olympics, are contested at Workshop for the first time.
Co-op Identity, a forerunner of Co-op City-States, appears in the curriculum for the first time.
Candles on the Hill moves a day later to Night 4 and becomes the capstone event for Workshop.
Day 1 adds another staple as delegates navigate tasks in the Co-opstacle Course for the first time.
Delegates navigate the red tape and attempt to make the first Widgets, an activity written by Jeff Conway.
The Volunteer Staff hosts its first recognition banquet in November.
NASC Bandstand, aka City-States, in 2010.
Candles on the Hill at the Willow Bowl at Wayne State College
Working on The Window portion of Co-opstacle Course from 2010.
In a meeting at Lincoln Northeast High School, the Nebraska Association of Student Councils is organized. In the first year, 31 schools join the fledgling organization. Chuck McManigal of Hastings is elected as the first NASC State President. Dick Cavett of Lincoln High is elected State President in 1952.
Dr. John Lux organizes the first Nebraska Leadership Workshop on Sept. 9, 1961, a one-day conference at the University of Nebraska East Campus, which was then known as Ag Campus.
The Volunteer Staff formalizes an official Mission Statement:
The mission of the NASC Volunteer Staff is to promote and develop youth leadership as a tool with which to better ourselves, our schools and our communities. The staff shall serve as a resource for member organizations in the areas of district conventions. state conventions, one-day workshops and summer leadership workshops.
With the rest of the changes, VSAC commissions a branding committee. The committee decides upon the new organizational name, Launch Leadership, and creates a new identity, including a new visual look and revamped online presence.
2013-16: Elena Hoff
The Workshop Workbook is renamed the Leadership Guide
The Volunteer Staff hosts its first Holiday Hoorah in December.
1992: Clayton McCarl

Staff wraps up the second year of a two-year experiment offering a returning delegates-only co-op that largely does the same curriculum as SLW. The concept begins the path that eventually leads to ALW.
The Sunrise Serenade is added to the Workshop agenda. A tradition that began several years prior, delegates would wake up early and watch the sunrise on Day 5.
NASC hosts its first Junior High and Middle School (JAM) Workshop in Kearney.
Staff develops its first set of Expectations and Code of Conduct for Workshop.
The Volunteer Staff also overhauls its leadership selection process. Previously, informal ad hocs oversaw the selection process of the coordinators every few years. Now, the task is handed over to a new board of directors called the Volunteer Staff Advisory Council
An all-delegation photo from the early 1970s
Charlotte Sylvia
Under a proposal titled, "Let's get even more sleep at Workshop," Staffers begin helping out Behind the Scenes without leading a co-op to make the week run smoother.
Staff begins hosting a March Meeting in addition to the regular all-Staff meetings in November, January and May.
2014-16: Max Wheeler
2014-present: Megan Kwasnieski Falke
Launch moves into a new office at Nonprofit Hub in downtown Lincoln.
Launch hosts its first overnight year-round Service for the MLK Leadership Retreat in Central City.
The Launch Foundation hosts its first-ever fundraiser: Fire and Fuzzies
VSAC renames itself the Launch Board and changes terms of its members, including directors, to start in January and end in December.
2015-present: Kalissa Holdcraft
2015-present: Amye Aggen
At Fire and Fuzzies, Launch hands out a new award, the Ron Joekel Award, to recognize champions of leadership development in the classroom. The first recipient is Lincoln Southeast principal Brent Toalson.
Ron Joekel and Brent Toalson
Prompted by construction at Bowen Hall, Workshop goes back to two sessions and more than 500 delegates attend during June and July.
The Foundation adds a Board of Trustees, which is led by Michelle Sullivan
2016-present: Cohagen Wilkinson
Communications Director
Foundation Executive Director
2015-2017: Lincoln Arneal
The Launch Foundation hires its first Executive Director, Lincoln Arneal, in May 2015. They extend his term with the position becoming full-time on Jan. 1, 2016.
Launch adds a new member to its leadership team as Cohagen Wilkinson is named the first Communications Director, which will handle all internal and external communication of the organization.
Cohagen Wilkinson
Michelle Sullivan
The three students get their first taste of their new roles at the first National Association of Workshop Directors meeting at what is now Hardin Hall on East Campus. They present a more interactive format for Workshop that is well received. Thanks to the response at NAWD, Dr. Joekel and the students are asked to travel to several other states and help with their conventions.
The Volunteer Staff begins a process to overhaul its leadership structure and governance. Prior to 1998, the top level of leadership was centered around two or three positions. Often the role of Workshop Director and Volunteer Coordinator were the same person. Below is a chart of the responsibilities of the leadership positions.
(VSAC). VSAC is charged with guiding the long-term goals and overall direction of the organization. The initial VSAC board consists of five members: Christine Kellogg Henningsen, Susan Townsend, Bryan Seyfarth, Thad Standley and Jenn Bernard Walker.
2017-present: Andrea Johnson
2017-present: Timmy Tamiseia
Restricted by construction again, both sessions of Workshop sell out in less than four months.
As a result of the merger, the Foundation Executive Director and the Financial Manger positions end. (Launch now pays to outsource its financial matters.) The Volunteer Staff Executive Director becomes a full-time paid position and an ex officio member of the Board of Directors.
In addition, the leadership structure changes as the Board of Directors changed its composition. First, the directors are removed from the Board. Six members are elected from the Volunteer Staff, while nine other members are appointed and may or may not be Staffers. Finally, the Board of Trustees now reports to the Board of Directors.

The new structure
Board of Directors President:
Staff launches a podcast featuring interviews with Charlie Stephan and Carl Erickson.
After a two-year hiatus, JAM returns and moves to Wayne State College, it's home for the future except for a one-year stay at St. Mary's College in 2005.
Launch Leadership and the Launch Foundation undergo a process to merge. A new set of bylaws is approved at the May Meeting to approve the merge.
2018: Kyler Jasnoch
Board of Trustees Chair:
2017-18: Kelli Cunningham
Full transcript