Grant Professionals Association Conference Recap, by Susie Ryks

I was honored to be chosen as a Grant Professionals Association Conference Scholar. It has made such a positive impact on myself as well as my nonprofit organization.

I work for a statewide nonprofit as the Vice President of Community Development. I oversee Resource Development and Marketing Departments, as well as our volunteer centers that are located in three regions of South Dakota.  Much of the funding for our organization’s programs comes from grants. I have been involved with grant for over 10 years. Through my work, I have written, receiving, and managed community foundations grants, private family grants, United Way grants as well as Federal grants through Americops Seniors. 

By receiving a GPA Conference Scholarship, I was able to further my knowledge, access resources and network with others in the grant field. I am always looking for ways to challenge myself and grow personally and professionally. By being able to dedicate several days to attending the GPA Conference, I was able to continue to develop myself and my organization. The conference was so refreshing and a great opportunity to become uplifted and regenerated. 

I was able to attend the conference virtually, which was a wonderful experience and I feel that GPA did a fantastic job with involving those that were virtual and allowed us to communicate and build relationships with other virtual attendees. I so appreciated being able to meet and learn from similar minded professionals who want to further themselves and their organizations.

With my busy schedule, I wasn’t sure I would be able to take the time to be there in person, but attending online was a perfect solution.  I knew there is more that I needed to know about the grant writing profession and by attending the GPA Annual Conference I feel I am on the right track to continue to help my organization grow.

I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity to learn and grow professionally and connect with other professionals with a love for office supplies.