The origins of NSA Virginia (formerly known as the Virginia Speakers Association) can be traced back to a group of women who all shared a seminar platform for a program held in Norfolk, Virginia in 1991. Desiring to network with other professional speakers, the group expanded their circle to include a few men.
By spring 1992, ten to fifteen professional and aspiring speakers were meeting regularly over lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia. Hope Mihalap and David Meinz served as co-chairs of the group.
In 1993, they recognized a need for broader educational opportunities for members. Therefore, they began to work toward qualification as an official chapter of the National Speakers Association.
In 1994, NSA Virginia offered three full-day quarterly meetings featuring national speakers. In January 1995, David Meinz was elected to serve as the first president.
Members currently come from all parts of Virginia (and some from as far away as North Carolina) to attend monthly meetings and special events.
NSA Virginia Past Presidents
|1995-96:||David Meinz CSP|
|1996-97:||Steve Kissell CSP|
|2002-03:||Kristin Arnold CSP|
|2013-14:||Captain Jim Gordon|
|2015-16:||Shirley T. Burke|
Chapter Member of the Year
The “Chapter Member of the Year” is awarded to the Chapter Member who has consistently contributed outstanding service to the chapter in multiple ways during the current year and is also deserving of national NSA recognition. Selection is at the discretion of the Chapter President.
|1997-98:||David Meinz, CSP|
|2012-13:||Captain Jim Gordon|
The “President’s Award” is bestowed upon Chapter Members who have contributed outstanding service during an event or within a particular service area in support of NSA Virginia during the current year. Selection is at the discretion of the Chapter President.
|1998-99:||Patrice Carlock, Steve Kissell, Pat Moore|
|1999-00:||Kristin Arnold, Roger and Kathy Cawthon, William Persinger|
|2000-01:||Gloria Thomas, Jim Meisner, and Harold Wood|
|2001-02:||Rick Chess, Hayley Foster, Julia OConnor, Milt Saunders, and Harold Wood|
|2003-04:||Rich Chess, Doris Young, Lois Gallo and Gloria Thomas|
|2004-05:||Gloria Thomas, Will Turner and Sandy Dumont|
|2005-06:||Will Turner and Steve Philbrick|
|2006-07:||Tom Davidson, Sandy Dumont, and Dorothy Erlanger|
|2007-08:||Tom Davidson, Terrie Glass, and Laura Cardone|
|2008-09:||Lois Gallo, Nhat Pham, and Mary Lee Hardcastle|
|2009-10:||Dorothy Erlanger and Coleen Kenny|
Founders’ Legacy Award
In honor of the chapter’s founders, the “Founders’ Legacy Award” (formerly the “Members Emeritus” award) is reserved for Chapter Members who have provided exceptional service to the development of the chapter over a number of years. Recipients must be shown to have a history of consistent service and to have demonstrated commitment to NSA’s founding vision.* Chapter Members may submit written nominations to the Board by April 15 of any given year, describing how the member has distinguished himself/herself in this way. Selection is made periodically by unanimous vote of the NSA Virginia Board.
* NSA’s founder, Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE, had a vision for an organization where professional speakers could convene to improve their presentations, exchange ideas and share experiences. He felt that everyone involved in the speaking profession would benefit from growing the number and quality of professional speakers. He referred to it as “making a bigger pie.”