The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, The second best time is today.
– Chinese proverb
Volume 75 | Issue 3
May 2007

Pro-File: Anita Gabbard, Indiana State University

Q.  What do your job responsibilities entail?

A. Supervision for event services staff who reserve approximately 6,000 events per year; supervision of auxiliary services supervisor who supervises 12 student employees working in two visitor pay lots and the information center; supervision of student marketing team consisting of Web designer, photographer, and graphic design students; oversight of human resources for full-time, part-time, and student employees; oversight and development of training and ongoing staff development programs for full-time and student employees, [including] all instructional and training manuals; coordinate and troubleshoot computer/information technology/audio-visual issues.
Q. What would your staff, colleagues, or students say about you?

A. A full-time staffer and event services coordinator said:“Anita is a person who is dedicated to Hulman Memorial Student Union. She is a very enthusiastic person who is always willing to do what it takes to make something happen. We have a lot going on, and Anita is at the core of everything, from working on policies and procedures in Event Services to problems at the information center of a parking booth. She is up on everything, it seems.” And a student employee at the information center said: “Anita is a very motivational person who tries to make the environment in which she works interesting, exciting, and effective.”

Q. What’s one innovation or project of which you’re proud to have helped implement?

A. Because I have had wonderful working relationships with my supervisors, who have given me the autonomy and opportunities to develop my skills and talents, I have been fortunate to have been involved with a variety of projects. It is hard to single out only one. I developed and implemented a parking pass program that brings in $10,500 annually. In conjunction with the student employee supervisor, we revamped and streamlined our complete student employment program. Together we presented our program at an ACUI Region 9 conference. When the union began operating our own A/V equipment, in conjunction with the building operations manager, I developed visually appealing and easy-to-follow instructions for the operation staff and clients on operating the information technology and A/V equipment installed in our meeting rooms.

Q. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working in the profession?

A. My nature is to be a task-oriented person. I like lists that I can just check off as I complete them. While I have always enjoyed working with people, I would catch myself shortening my relationships to get my task completed. Then one day, I woke up and I realized that this was not what it was about. The most important thing you can do is build relationships. Tasks are meaningless without the people to share them with. My background is human resource development, and we are told that you must have three things to be successful: knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA); and those are important, however it doesn’t mention relationships. To be successful, you must develop relationships with those around you. I much prefer to do projects and tasks with others. So, if you take those three things, KSA, and combine them with togetherness (relationships), look what you complete (TASK): working Together with others, Abilities, Skills, Knowledge.

Q. What is one phrase to live by or bit of advice you might have for future generations of union professionals?

A. Build relationships, seek out people, and develop friendships that will last forever. Those are the things that will add value to your life. “To do” lists are great, but they won’t give you a hug or make you laugh when you need it the most. We impact the lives of students as they pass through our institution, and it is our job to make sure it is a positive experience.

Name: Anita Gabbard
Title: Building Services Manager
Union: Hulman Memorial Student Union
Institution: Indiana State University
Location: Terre Haute, Ind.
Years in the profession: 21