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Up Close: Meet the SNMA Headquarters Staff—Jacquelyn Lendsey

Posted By Cynthia Bell, Monday, May 2, 2016
Jacquelyn Lendsey joined the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) in August 2013 as interim executive director during a time when the organization was experiencing considerable uncertainty. As a consultant replacing the previous executive director, Ms. Lendsey’s role quickly expanded to meet the complex needs of SNMA’s operations. Initially, she took stock of the organization – its finances, membership, communications, etc. – then made recommendations based on her extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. She has been successful in managing the operations of SNMA and leading several new initiatives to improve current systems.

In June 2014, Ms. Lendsey assumed the permanent role of executive director. Despite the magnitude of the work and the rapid changes at SNMA during that time, she believes her transition was seamless because of the time spent as interim director, as well as the cohesiveness of the headquarters staff. "One of the things that I think is important for someone who steps into a new organization is being able to work as a team with existing staff,” Ms. Lendsey said. "I believe the staff is great and I can’t say enough about them. It definitely made my transition very easy and very seamless.”

Her driving force at SNMA is her commitment to the mission of the organization. One of the things she enjoys most about the SNMA is its membership. With a background in education, she believes strongly in the goals of the organization and in working with student leaders. "I really like being able to share what I know about how to run an organization and have members say, ‘yeah, give me more.’” She also takes great pride in building and helping to shape people that are in the community, who will become future leaders and play critical roles in improving the status quo.

Although there are inherent challenges to running a nonprofit organization whose leadership and membership comprise students, such as high turnover and limited resources, Ms. Lendsey considers these challenges simply as parts of the job with opportunities to apply her expertise. Among many things recently, she has been busy with the roll-out of a new communications and social media platform for SNMA’s Annual Medical Education Conference (AMEC), increasing awareness and understanding of how to use the capabilities of the SNMA website, and securing funding for the continued growth of the organization.

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