At the 2017 Annual Conference in June, 2016-17 FloridaACE President Alicia Smyth presented the President’s Award to not one, but two recipients: Stacy Lanigan (Senior Career Coach, Lynn University) and Bill Blank (Director, Career Development, University of Central Florida). The President’s Award is awarded at the discretion of the current President and may not be given every year. It is intended to recognize the member or group’s contribution to FloridaACE and serves as an example of their impact to those in our profession.
“There are many people I would have given this award to if I could, but I determined early on who those individuals would be. The wonderful thing is that after I made my decision – which was back in November – they both continued to take initiative to do great things to better the association,” stated 2016-17 President Smyth.
Of Stacy Lanigan, Smyth said ,”Her motto might as well be ‘how can I help?’ She was crucial in helping us pull off our first annual drive-in conference. Stacy enthusiastically stepped up when others had to step down and was available to do anything that needed to be done to make the event a success. In fact, the push for FloridaACE to host our first drive-in conference began with Stacy. Stacy also volunteered at every opportunity to pitch in and help in the planning of the 2017 Annual Conference, going above and beyond what was expected at every turn.”
Bill Blank also played an essential role in planning and executing the drive-in conference. “As director at the host university, he did everything and anything to make sure the event ran smoothly and nothing fell through the cracks. Additionally, Bill took on a board initiative to increase our graduate student engagement and numbers at the conference. He is very committed to this cause and even started a job board at the conference to help graduate students find jobs, which is a value-add to everyone. Even now, he is continuing this initiative,” Smyth stated.
Stacy Lanigan has served on the FloridaACE Board of Directors since 2016, but has been an active volunteer since she became a member. She has served on numerous conference planning committees and has been Co-chair of the Communication & Outreach Committee since its inception in 2014. Lanigan began her tenure on the Board as Private College/University Member and is currently serving as Membership Development Director. She received the FloridaACE New Member Award in 2015.
Bill Blank has been the State University Member for the FloridaACE Board of Directors since 2015. He is chairing a subcommittee to increase student participation to increase interest in the fields of Career Services and University Relations/Recruiting and provide a pipeline of talent for our respective professions.
2012 marked the inaugural year of the FloridaACE President’s Award. This award was established to recognize FloridaACE members who go above and beyond throughout a given year to meet the needs of membership and provide an opportunity for the association to reach the next level. A list of past recipients is available on the FloridaACE website.