It’s a question I’m often asked but one I have no good answer for: what is a typical day like as executive director? There is no such thing. Any job at the ANCA, including the directorship, is the nightmare of the cubicle-inclined.
First rule at the ANCA: do what needs to get done. Titles are one thing but a small staff means everyone must be ready to do everything. Office needs organizing? Everyone rolls up their sleeves and does it. Dishes need washing in the kitchen? Whoever sees them first has dibs.
The other very important factor is the work to personnel ratio. Although the ANCA-WR enjoys the benefits of volunteerism from an extraordinary bunch of community members, it relies on staff to run the day-to-day operations of the office. And, given the breadth of the ANCA’s work – on national, regional, and local issues – the workload requires all hands on deck, all the time. The resulting environment necessitates that teamwork come first and the needs of the Armenian Cause transcend personality. Thus, an executive director may be making copies or fixing the printer while an intern is drafting a letter while a volunteer is making phone calls to Members of Congress. Although not always the case, it’s never surprising when it is.
Whether volunteers or staff, the strength of the ANCA is that each of those individuals is committed to going beyond the typical expectations of their roles. That makes for atypical days.