By William Clohan, President/CEO, West Coast University
The eulogy below was given by Bill Clohan at the ABHES 2015 National Conference on Allied Health Education.
I have mixed emotions in executing the task that Florence (Florence Tate, ABHES Executive Director) has given me this morning. I am very proud and honored to be able to announce the establishment of the first Lifetime Accreditation Achievement Award for ABHES. I am sad that this first award will be given posthumously.
The Award recognizes an individual whose body of work has had a significant impact on the field of accreditation and higher education. In particular, the Award recognizes exceptional contributions within the ABHES model as related to accreditation. Awardees are to be selected and named by the Commission and will be conferred on a periodic basis based on extraordinary contributions in the field.
The first Award is given to Carol Moneymaker, the ABHES Executive Director for the past 20 years, and my friend and colleague for the past 27 years.
Yesterday morning, Assistant Executive Director India Tips eloquently and courageously shared many stories about ABHES, her staff colleagues, and Carol. Thank you for doing that, because it makes my task a lot easier today. I apologize in advance if I get weepy this morning.
I would like to share one story about Carol that is significant to ABHES and to Carol’s professional life – how she became executive director of ABHES. Probably only Mel Weiner and I are privy to some of these details, as Mel then served on the ABHES Commission.
Before Carol’s arrival, the previous executive director suddenly resigned. I served as ABHES general counsel at the time and was asked by the Board to assist in finding a successor. As ABHES proceeded with its search, the Board became somewhat frustrated because none of candidates, though very qualified, quite fit the bill.
I also served as general counsel for ACICS and its accrediting body and had worked for seven years with a staff person there named Carol Moneymaker. Though young, she seemed to have many of the attributes of a person who would be an excellent executive director.
So, I approached her with the proposal that she apply for the ABHES position. Being somewhat shy and humble, she dismissed my suggestion out of hand. She thought she was not qualified.
In the meantime, the ABHES search continued to struggle. So, even though she had not applied, I suggested to the Board that they might want to consider Carol for the position. Though none of them had worked with her, and perhaps none of them even knew her at the time, they suggested that I act as an emissary and go back to her and seek her application. For two weeks I encouraged her to apply and finally and grudgingly she applied. The rest is history.
During the course of the discussions about her resume and her work to date, they grilled me about why I thought she would be a good candidate. I said that she:
- Had a memory like an elephant,
- Never missed a deadline,
- Was extraordinarily thorough in her work,
- Was exceptionally dogged and steadfast in getting things done and meeting her goals,
- Was always objective and never expressed a bias for or against any program or school,
- Was kind and did not have a vindictive bone in her body, and
- Was pleasant to work with.
To me, these characteristics seemed perfect for the head of an accreditation agency.
They then asked if she could manage and I gave the reasons I thought she could. Then they appropriately asked me if she could lead. I said honestly that I did not know. She might not have a big enough ego to be a leader.
I stand before you this morning to say that she could lead. Perhaps not in the classic sense, but this high quality staff sitting here today and before is representative of her leadership. Chris, India, Eileen, Amy, Christy, Tom and others have worked well for and with her for many years and have been an integral part of the growth and success of ABHES over the years. Significantly, she led the staff and organization remotely from Albany for many years and supported their working remotely if necessary.
One last thing before I read a letter from her husband, Jim. Don Balassa, head of the AAMA and our next speaker, was general counsel for the AAMA when Carol, in one of her first tasks, sought formal recognition for ABHES from the AAMA. It took several years and many trips to Chicago to obtain that recognition. It was an early example of her doggedness that was replicated many times since with other accrediting agencies and associations.
I am honored to receive this award on behalf of my wife, Carol Moneymaker. I know she would have been thrilled and grateful for such a thoughtful and distinctive honor for her many years of service in accreditation.
She always enjoyed these annual meetings because so often it was the only time of the year that she was once again able to see old friends and colleagues. Carol loved her work and she was the consummate professional, she took her responsibilities very seriously and expected the same from her cohorts.
But for all of you who knew her well there was a softer side of Carol that would often show itself when one of her staff or a school owner was having trouble with their work or something was wrong in their personal lives. She would always be compassionate and understanding and willing to help in any way she could.
She showed the same trait at home with our children, especially our daughter. She would often tell me that our darling daughter was simply going through a phase. I of course shot back with “one year is a long phase!”
I miss our fireside chats when, after a few remarks about the kids, she would mention a member of her staff and how things did not seem to be working out, she was especially concerned with their family problems and if it might affect their responsibilities at work. Staff would see her as a mentor or often as their therapist. But that was Carol, she took an interest in the personal lives of her friends because they meant so much to her.
If Carol knew you as a personal friend, you could be sure she would be there for you. She touched so many lives, now I only have the memories that bring a smile to show how wonderful a person she was. Those memories and traces of our love and lives together will be cherished forever. My final hope is that you will keep her in your heart and prayers and always remember how thoughtful, loving, kind, and forgiving a person she was. She is so dearly missed.
Thanks, Jim, for that eloquent characterization of Carol’s life, your relationship to her, and her relationship to her family and friends. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
We will miss our friend and colleague, Carol Moneymaker. We respect her, we admire her, we love her, and we will never forget her. For Jim, the children, and ultimately Carol, I proudly accept this first annual ABHES Lifetime Accreditation Achievement Award.
And now, as the one who still controls the microphone, I would like to add a short postscript.
As our keynote speaker, Cea Cohen Elliott, noted yesterday – it is not easy to lose a mother at any time, but when you are a teenager it is even harder.
Carol’s children, Matthew and Madison, are teenagers and face the daunting task of meeting the world head-on without their mother. First, that means finishing high school and, then, going off to college.
The ABHES chair, Jack Yena, asked me to announce the following; I will work with Jack and ABHES staffer Christy Baily-Byers to:
- Establish two 529 College Education plans, and
- Fund those accounts, with
- Contributions from friends and colleagues like you, and
- To use those funds to assist in paying for the college education of Carol’s and Jim’s son, Matthew, and daughter, Madison.
Their children were and are joys to Carol and Jim. Every Christmas for the past 15 years or so, I anticipated and enjoyed a Christmas card from them that invariably had updated pictures of Matthew and Madison.
December 2013 was the last year I received a card with their pictures and I will probably not receive another. But, I can keep the children in my memory and support them with a gift for college.
If you were close to Carol, as a professional colleague or friend, please consider a gift yourself. Details on how to contribute will be sent to you soon.
Please understand that not participating will not reflect poorly on the accreditation of your program or institution. Carol would absolutely abhor that.