I had the pleasure of sitting down with Megan Meloon a few weeks after her term ended as our President. We discussed her term and the convention and all of the unusual aspects of 2020.
One of our first topics of conversation was the same as probably everyone’s first topic of conversation. We talked about the impact of the pandemic and how it affected her term in office. Megan’s response was both gracious (if you can really be gracious in the face of a pandemic) and enlightening. She indicated that something always happens in a term, whether it is CRESPA, licensing, or in this case, a virus wreaking havoc on day-to-day existence.
As Megan sees it, the lesson for all of us is that we had to pivot. We all did it in our offices. Work from home, settlements outside, using technology in a different way – these are all examples of us pivoting. It was the same for her and for the Board. VLTA had to pivot. Some of those modifications were internal and were unknown to the membership. However, some of the other modifications were obvious. The processes and procedures for education and the convention had to modify drastically and fast. Megan and her team went right to work on finding ways to get the necessary education out and the convention on track. Both of those went off without a hitch for those of us who attended. However, behind the scenes a great deal of work occurred.
Pandemic pivoting was not the only thing our President did. I looked back on my interview with Megan at last year’s convention. One of her main goals was retention and recruitment. To that end, her administration created the Workforce Development Taskforce, which was created to help define who we are and get that message out to the public in order to recruit and retain. The Taskforce started its work, even with the challenges of COVID-19. They were able to meet virtually and have already set several milestones. The Taskforce created job descriptions that eliminated industry jargon for many of the different occupations available in our membership. These can be used by agents to advertise for new employees and tweaked to fit the processes at their agencies. They created a schematic showing the many career paths available within the industry. They also developed a salary survey that will go out soon to VLTA members so that we can accurately discuss salary ranges in the different regions of the state. Her work will continue on into the future!
We owe Megan our thanks. She led with grace and determination in a time when VLTA faced a host of challenges. Megan will be a great Past-President and it was my distinct honor to have a few minutes with her.
Donald W. Tomlinson
Don currently serves on the VLTA Board of Directors
as the Director/Editor of the Examiner Magazine. Don received his B.A/B.S degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned his J.D. law degree from George Mason University Scholl of Law. Don is Regional Vice President/Attorney for RGS Title in the northern Virginia area.