Get to Know Gale Macke, AMHCA's New Treasurer
Advocate: What is your current job and what drew you to it?
- Gale Macke: Currently I am the executive director for the AMHCA Georgia chapter, LPCA of GA. This position was the perfect opportunity for me, as LPCA of GA was looking for someone to run the “business” side of the association, including raising membership and building bridges with the other mental health organizations in the state. At that time, in 2002, LPCA of GA had 700-plus members. The board gave me the freedom to use new technology and updated marketing techniques, and to offer members enhanced benefits, which allowed us to quadruple the chapter’s membership—which now stands at more than 2,800.
This freedom also made it easy for me to meet monthly with the executive directors of NASW–GA (National Association of Social Workers–Georgia Chapter), and GAMFT (American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy–Georgia Division) to discuss sharing ideas, workshops, legislation, and networking. Our next joint workshop takes place later this month, on February 25.
Advocate: Why did you join AMHCA?
- Gale Macke: My favorite association quote says it all:
“No man has a right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere. Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged.”
— Teddy Roosevelt, 1908
Advocate: What made you want to serve on AMHCA’s board of directors?
- Gale Macke: I am often asked,” Why do you serve on the board of your professional organization?” AMHCA board members receive no pay, and the service is often difficult, but as stated before, “we all owe part of our time to the business we are engaged in.” As voting members, we work to develop policies, procedures, and regulations for the operation of the organization, to monitor and evaluate its finances, programs, and performance. The most effective board of directors is a group of professionals who bring a breadth of skills, experience, and diversity. I am looking forward to seeing the new projects develop, and increased public awareness of what counselors can do, as well as legislative parity with other mental health professions. By serving on a professional organization board, all board members gain more skills, knowledge, experience, and develop new and stronger relationships with their peers.
Advocate: Since you took office in July, what has been your experience on AMHCA’s board? Are there any particular projects you are working on or looking forward to accomplishing?
- Gale Macke: I am working with dedicated board members headed up by President Tom Ferro, LCPC, and AMHCA Executive Director and CEO W. Mark Hamilton, PhD. Mark has done an outstanding job bringing AMHCA to stand on its own, set up a very stable finance base, and continues to broaden resources opportunities. The board of directors, especially President–Elect Gray Otis, PhD, LPC, CCMHC, has been working diligently and will have a special project announcement shortly.
Advocate: Is there anything about the work AMHCA does that you think members may not be aware of?
- Gale Macke: Members should know about the challenging and very difficult work of our director of Legislative Affairs, Julie A. Clements, JD. Her efforts of meeting with the legislators in the House and Senate, encouraging state chapters to promote advocacy, and sending very detailed email updates have changed legislation nationally.
Advocate: Is there anything you would like AMHCA members
to know about you?
- Gale Macke: The best part of volunteering and working in a mental health professional organization is its people—members and future members. I feel fortunate: I get to work with smart, creative, dedicated people on a daily basis.
When Gale Macke ran for Treasurer in AMHCA’s 2010 election, among her stated goals were to:
- First and foremost, work with the executive director and Strategic Planning Committee, continuing a sound financial plan that will allow AMHCA to carry out its mission statement.
- To manage, account, and accurately present the financials/monies for AMHCA.
- To provide integrity, honesty, and values when accounting and dispersing the organizational funds.
- To work with the executive director of AMHCA and the board of directors to provide and assure financial peace of the organization.