After the current UNC General Alumni Association President Douglas S. Dibbert announced his intention to retire after nearly 41 years last October, the GAA commenced the search for a new president.
The selection process took about six months in total and involved two rounds of interviews. Ultimately, the GAA selected Veronica Flaspoehler to succeed Dibbert as the next GAA president. She will assume office on July 17.
“We had to find someone who could not only continue to do what we’ve been doing well at GAA, but also think about the future,” Lowry Caudill, head of the selection committee and chair of the GAA Board of Directors, said.
The GAA is a self-governed, nonprofit membership organization that connects UNC alumni to resources and each other, while the role of the president is to oversee the programs, committees and publications run by the association.
When she heard about Dibbert’s retirement, Flaspoehler said that she didn’t immediately think of herself for the position because she didn’t have a career background in nonprofits or the University.
“I thought that whoever gets it is going to be really fortunate and lucky because it’s really a dream job,” Flaspoehler said. “To me, it felt like that would be getting to do something that I do in my free time and as volunteer work as a full-time job.”
Flaspoehler graduated from UNC in 2008 and started working at Wachovia, since renamed Wells Fargo, where she’s been doing risk management for almost 15 years.
Although she said that she was always drawn to nonprofit work, as a first-generation college graduate, Flaspoehler prioritized financial security to support her family in her initial career search.
“That was something I did after college as a more practical way to sort of kick off my career, and it’s been great, but it wasn’t really ever my passion,” Flaspoehler said. “I didn’t really ever realize that there was this career that I could have at UNC with the track that I took.”