“We had been co-chairs of the DEI committee together and worked well together,” Dewberry says, “so she asked me if I would be willing to take it on.”
Dewberry agreed and will be in the position for the duration of Benton’s presidency: a two-year term.
Because it’s a newer position, the vice president’s responsibilities are somewhat undefined, says Dewberry.
“I love roles that are undefined,” she adds. “I think it’s fun to be able to help spot where the needs are and figure out where I can best be helpful. And it’s interesting to be part of the leadership team: to have more of a view of what’s happening and what our possibilities are as a group.”
Since Dewberry started, she and Benton have worked on strategic planning, goal setting, and reassessment of the VWC committees’ structure and responsibilities.
Dewberry is looking forward to connecting more with the VWC board and committee chairs over the coming months, to present these ideas and possibilities, and to map a path for collaboration and involvement through the years ahead.
“I’m excited about getting to talk with all the other leaders,” she says, “and see what ideas they have that we might be able to implement and collaborate on.”
LAUNCHING THE PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASS
Since becoming VP, Dewberry has also played a key role in in the launch of the VWC Public Speaking Class, one of Benton’s first initiatives as president, which will start this fall and feature training by Sara Krisher, a public speaking coach.
“I just happened to have attended an event that Sara Krisher was the presenter at and really found it valuable,” Dewberry shares. “So I reached out to her and introduced Jen, and we all talked, and it seemed like a great fit.”
Whether those who join the class are accustomed to public speaking or are new to it, Dewberry believes it will help to develop and hone their skills.
“I think that’s a great opportunity and a great way for the VWC to be giving back to Valbridge,” she says.
The goal of the class is to prepare participants for a speaking engagement, such as being a panelist at an Appraisal Institute conference. Because of this, Dewberry believes it will help “showcase the talent” in Valbridge and “grow who we can offer as speakers.”
“That will be valuable,” she says, “both to the company and to the individuals.”
Why Join the VWC or its Leadership?
Dewberry encourages those in Team Blue who have considered joining the VWC but haven’t yet, to try it out and get involved.
“The name, I know, probably gives the perception it’s only for women,” Dewberry says, “But it’s not. And we have a lot of men involved [in the VWC].”
“I’ve made such amazing connections within the VWC,” she shares, grateful for the role these personal and professional connections have played in her life.
Involvement in the VWC is a great way to expand your knowledge base, learn about different practice areas, and participate in leadership opportunities, she adds.
“The opportunity to get involved and become a leader is much easier, I think, than anyone probably guesses,” Dewberry says. “All I said is: ‘Oh, I might be able to help with this task force.’ And now here I am… If you have an interest and you volunteer, you can do it.”
“And it’s a safe place to learn and develop your skills,” she adds. “It’s a very supportive group of people.”