2022 GPA Conference Scholarship Reflection, by Christine Heft

It was both an honor and a privilege to receive a scholarship from the GPA South Florida Chapter to attend the GPA National Conference. The City of Louisville, the Omni Hotel, the GPA Staff and the incredible Vendors and Volunteers were friendly and welcoming. From the “Call to Post” Bugler who was featured on stage from the Kentucky Derby to the annual spelling bee to great rap songs about the grants profession, I enjoyed it ALL.

The GPA conference was an excellent opportunity to spend time with current vendors (including Tammy Tilzey from Foundant) while meeting new grant consultants and vendors. The event also provided a venue to network with grant professionals from across the United States and Canada who spoke my “grant” language and understood my day-to-day challenges. Each of us had great stories to share about our trials and tribulations of working in the field of grants.

At the GPCI reception at the hotel’s Speakeasy, I felt a strong sense of camaraderie and felt very fortunate to attend the event in person. I enjoyed spending time with the experienced professionals who have each given so much to the profession.  I also enjoyed participating in the GPA South Florida Chapter Dinner which also included additional friends from Canada.

I focused very heavily on professional development to support the maintenance of my GPC.  I found the following sessions to be very helpful: “Navigating the Federal Budget Maze,” “The Cost of Doing Business: Does your Budget Tell Funders the Whole Story?” “Latest Census Bureau Data and Tools for Your Grant Applications,” “Adobe Pro as an Essential Tool for Grant Professionals.” and “Become a Healthy Grant Pro: Anti Burnout Strategies for the Advanced Grant Professional.”   These sessions provided excellent information and the speakers were highly engaging and knowledgeable.

The impact of this scholarship is that I am invigorated and excited about being in the grants profession, the South Florida Chapter and the Grants Professional Association.