We’re kicking off a series celebrating some of our amazing conference volunteers, who bring the ONA spirit to life with a number of crucial roles at our annual event — starting with Kelly Jones and Megan Combs, Co-chairs of the General Volunteers team. Say hello when you see our volunteers at the conference, and if you’re interested in volunteering at ONA19, you can still join the volunteer waitlist.
Name and the number of years volunteering with ONA:
Kelly Jones, seventh year volunteering
Megan Combs, fifth year volunteering
Special thanks to our ONA19 sponsors, including:
What’s your favorite memory as a volunteer?
Kelly: I have so many! ONA13 was my very first conference, and my very first year co-running the volunteer program. So I had a “1” button, and a “Conference Chair” badge. For some reason, that really resonated with me. Now, celebrating my seventh at ONA’s 20th — it’s just so meaningful.
Megan: The opening night receptions are always my favorite and are in great venues. It’s fun to mingle and meet people.
How has volunteering impacted you?
Kelly: ALL THE FRIENDS! This community is so close, and I *hope* the environment and culture we’ve fostered sticks with others as much as it’s stuck with me.
Megan: Volunteering has helped me meet so many interesting, helpful and inspiring journalists. All our volunteers are so committed to their roles and this conference. We’d be lost without them.
What’s your best advice for a new volunteer?
Kelly: Enjoy! Talk to others, learn from others and remember, we couldn’t do it without you. Take pride!
Megan: Soak in every minute. You may not get to attend every session you want because of your volunteer shift, but you’ll be surprised by what you still learn. It could be a perspective you never thought about or a new way of using a piece of technology. There are so many smart people around. Just be open to their ideas.