Prior to InitLive, Sheri Piecuch Vyfvinkel, ACM Volunteer Manager, was constantly on her phone, texting volunteers and responding to long queues of inquiries. Communication was overwhelming because there was no efficient way. Volunteers would miss their shifts and it wasn't anyone's fault; it was just too difficult to communicate without the proper tools.
"A volunteer manager is so much more than just a volunteer manager, we're operations. We must understand every aspect of the event to ensure we put people in roles where they'll be successful and be prepared to represent the brand," said Sheri. It's a dynamic position; requirements are consistently in flux and she must be prepared to respond to changing requirements quickly. Changes typically happen not 4 days in advance, but 4 hours. “It's like a puzzle that the pieces keep moving.” Sheri believes that the key to success is a team of volunteers with the right skills and attitude combined with the ability to communicate key information to ensure that volunteers know what's expected of them and have what they need to be successful in their role.