MAHC Board Member Profile (A New Regular Feature)
Jennifer Rhodes (Co-State Vice President Indiana, Ohio &Kentucky)
Jennifer Rhodes may be relatively new to her position on the MAHC Board in Indianapolis, but is a seasoned pro at co-op living. Jennifer moved into her first co-op in 1979 completely unaware that she would later refer fondly to cooperative living as “America’s best kept secret”. Her desire to constantly educate herself, drove the new tenant to attend a couple of Board meetings where she linked up with like-minded ladies and made her first contribution to associated living. The small group of women formed the Membership Committee, which, among other things, took the application screening process into local hands. Today, Jennifer says the most important thing she does is simply take the information that she gains from the MAHC conferences back home and not only share it, but implement it. It’s Jennifer’s rule that each member who attends a conference has to come back and give a presentation on what they gained. She remembers the San Diego conference as one of her favorites, as they launched multiple new classes.
Jennifer doesn’t seem to plan on slowing down any time soon. The last week of February she moved forward with a new committee that she is very excited about, called “Wisdom Warriors”. This is a group in her co-op for members 40 years and older to meet bi-weekly in an effort to stay active and informed. While the weather is struggling to stay above freezing, the group will stay warm with a fun pizza party for the first event. Jennifer says the group wants to incorporate activities such as morning and evening walking groups, a sewing club and already in the works is a puzzle contest.
When asked to give advice to the MAHC Board, Jennifer wanted to express her gratitude to their excellent job at education. She salutes the Board and says that without their constant effort and dedication, the continuing education about Co-ops may just fizzle out. She feels blessed to get a chance to see how they pull it all together behind the scenes.
Jennifer enjoys her position and mostly that she is able to educate and spread the word about Co-op living. Sharing with present as well as incoming members contributes towards her greatest hope, to make the Cooperative understand their sense of involvement and feel a sense of pride. She would like to share the advice she already impresses on her own Co-op, “You don’t have to be the President to make things happen! Being a member of a Co-op is enough to implement action, so start today.”