From MPA's President Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., L.P.: Introductions

It is with humility and enthusiasm that I introduce myself to you as President of MPA. Ever since I took my very first psychology class in high school, I have been passionate about and intrigued with the field of psychology. Over the years, my passion and interest have not waned. To serve as the 2013 President of the Minnesota state psychological association is an honor and privilege.

I come to this position with a good deal of optimism which is warranted by the talent MPA is able to attract. Case in point: I introduce you to the new editor of the Minnesota Psychologist, Beth Lewis. Dr. Lewis is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Lewis completed her doctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University, where she specialized in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Her vitae list over 40 refereed publications, and she has served as a reviewer for a score of academic journals including the Journal of Health Psychology, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine—to name a few. What’s more, she has taken on the role of editor of the Minnesota Psychologist with energy and enthusiasm! MPA’s ability to attract such an accomplished psychologist bodes well for our future.

I am also heartened by the kind of volunteers MPA is able to retain. I cannot introduce the new editor in this letter without paying a debt of gratitude to our outgoing editor Susan Rydell who edited the Minnesota Psychologist from 1981-2012; that’s right, for over 30 years! Anyone who knows anything about professional associations knows what a rare gift that kind of commitment, dedication, and dogged follow-through is. In addition to three decades of service to the Minnesota Psychologist,Susan continues to serve as Chair of the Education and Training Committee, and she is an active contributing member of the Annual Convention and Diversity Committees. In a time where many professional associations struggle to attract and retain members, MPA has not only been able to attract new talent but also retains its most talented, committed, and hardworking volunteers. Thank you, Susan Rydell.

An additional new element to MPA’s talent pool is Rhea Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan is the new Administrative Director (AD) of MPA. She works 30 hours a week for Intrinxec to take care of our customer service needs. Ms. Sullivan comes to us with over a dozen years of experience working with neighborhood associations, and in her work she has earned a reputation for being a team player who brings people together to get things done. On top of our volunteer talent pool, MPA is fortunate to be able to expand upon the pool of talent in our staff.

Strategic Directions

This year MPA will build upon the strategic directions identified in 2012. Under the guidance of Intrinxec and Past President Dan Christensen, last year we spent time developing the foundation for this work. Victor Frankl and existentialists would be proud of how we began the discussion at our 2012 Strategic Retreat by asking the fundamental question of why MPA exists. The answer: MPA exists for the connection, protection, and growth of psychologists. As Dan Christensen so aptly stated, “Psychology exists to help the world, MPA exists to help psychologists.” A focus on connection, protection, and growth is the overarching lens I will use to guide my efforts as President this year. I have defined my role as primarily one of facilitating progress on each of MPA’s strategic objectives. To facilitate connection, protection, and growth, my goals include regularly checking in with our Public Education Coordinator (PEC) Jenna Bemis and the committee chairs. I also aim to stay connected with you through the President’s Letter, where my goal is to communicate and update you on the strategic directions and progress of MPA.

In the last months of 2012, the Governing Council (GC) and Executive Committee (EC) began thinking through the kind of infrastructure that MPA needs to have in place in order to facilitate connection, protection, and growth for psychologists.  We determined the need to shore up our foundation in 4 areas: Leadership and Governance, Fiscal Solvency, Operations and Structure, and Member Engagement. This year we will be working on building blocks in all 4 areas.

In the first months of this year we have focused on Leadership and Governance. To that end, at our March 23 Governing Council meeting, we provided Board Training for all council members and adopted leadership position descriptions for Committee and Division Chairs. In addition, we adopted a MPA volunteer application. By developing clearer expectations for leadership and volunteering, these steps will facilitate a sense of connection and cohesion within MPA. In addition, to underscore the value of members in MPA, we have included a “New Member Spotlight” in the Minnesota Psychologist as well as informal recognitions at the beginning of each Governing Council meeting. Recognizing and valuing our volunteers is paramount to connection, protection, and growth, especially given that we have some extraordinary MPA members.


MPA volunteers are taking on leadership in exciting directions. For example, our very own Rebecca Thomley, Chair of the Disaster Relief Network (DRN) has recently been named State Lead for the Red Cross in Mental Health. The Disaster Relief Network (DRN) works under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which defines a working relationship between the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American National Red Cross. Through the DRN, MPA provides an avenue of cooperation between these two entities assisting victims of disaster nationally and internationally. Congratulations to Rebecca on her state appointment!

MPA is lucky to have Robin McLeod and Ken Solberg, Co-chairs of the Membership Committee. They have spearheaded the highly successful Membership Renewal Project. The first phase of this project included mailings to those whose MPA membership had lapsed. Within the first week or so, MPA received $4,154 in renewals—an excellent return on investment, where the total cost of the project excluding staff time was about $1600. Thank you, Ken and Robin, for your leadership, and as the renewals continue to come in, thanks to all of you who stuffed envelopes at the February 4th event!

In closing, if you have been on the sidelines, there is no better time to get involved in MPA. We are building the infrastructure for an organization focused on the connection, protection, and growth of psychologists now and well into the future. Moreover, MPA as an organization is experiencing a period of generativity and growth. It’s an exciting time to be part of it. Stay connected by following me on Twitter. My handle is @MPAPres.

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