About 11 years ago I learned that when someone offers you something you don’t think you need, it’s probably a good idea to consider it anyway. You never know what new opportunities and possibilities can come from keeping all your options open! I was at a lecture by spiritual teacher Ram Dass when I was approached by a man I had met previously, who told me that he knew a great person to work for ABC as an excellent executive assistant. I told him that I had just hired a new assistant only a few weeks earlier, yet he persisted in extolling this woman’s virtues as a brilliant, top-drawer worker.
Keeping options open, I invited him to have her come out to our office for a visit, just to get acquainted. I was immediately impressed with her intelligence and clarity. Knowing that we were not able to hire any new staff, she nevertheless started coming to the ABC offices several days a week to volunteer and help us in any way possible. Smart move—for both of us! Shortly after Tara Hall began as an ABC volunteer in the summer of 1993, we obtained funding for both the translation and publication of the German Commission E Monographs and the initiation of our Ginseng Evaluation Program. Tara became the manager for both of these strategic ABC projects.
In the past 11 years, Tara has excelled as ABC’s Special Project’s Coordinator, as well as taking on a host of other important ABC functions. She coordinates planning for meetings of the Board of Trustees, including preparation of the quarterly and annual reports to the Board; conducts analysis of multiple ABC projects (determining plausible timelines and quantifying necessary resources) to ensure their parallel development and timely completion; manages production of the new HerbalEGram electronic newsletter for ABC members; coordinates communications with ABC’s consultants on IT and Web site issues and conducts her own trouble-shooting (including tutoring employees on software upgrades); gathers all statistics on usage of ABC’s Web site; coordinates many aspects of ABC marketing efforts; establishes internal systems for information management (e.g., designing an in-house literature database for ABC employees); supervises ABC’s commission salesperson (for HerbalGram and other revenue generating sales projects); and serves as the team leader for the receptionist/administrative assistant.
She is obviously an important and integral part of the organization and we have been blessed to have her as a dynamic part of the ABC team!