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2023 Kennedy-Kafer Award Recipient: Brandon Carman

2023 Kennedy-Kafer Award Recipient: Brandon Carman

The Kennedy-Kafer Service Award is presented to a 3RNET member who demonstrates the same passion, dedication, and loyalty toward 3RNET's mission as the awards namesakes: Nikki Kennedy-Kafer and Jerry Kafer. 3RNET staff members select the Kennedy-Kafer Service Award recipient. The first Kennedy-Kafer Service Award was presented in 2014.
As a Kennedy-Kafer Service Award recipient, we’d like to showcase your connection to and service of 3RNET. Please answer the below questions. We’ll use your responses to put together a write-up featuring you as our most recent Kennedy-Kafer Service Award recipient. 

We sent a few questions to our 2023 Kennedy-Kafer award recipient, Brandon Carman (West Virginia) to learn more about his history with and service toward 3RNET, and what these mean to him:

Tell us about when and how you were first connected with 3RNET.
I believe it was 2007 when I was first introduced to 3RNET. I just made myself feel very old with that revelation. One of my early roles within the West Virginia State Office of Rural Health (SORH) was to promote 3RNET during our conferences and exhibit opportunities. 
Tell us about your history with 3RNET. How long have you served as a Network Coordinator? What committees, projects, events, and more have you helped with?
I have been the Network Coordinator for West Virginia for at least the last 7-8 years. During that time I have worked on several state-level initiatives leveraging 3RNET. Most notably, the Balance West Virginia Nursing Relocation Initiative spearheaded by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Office of Governor Jim Justice. We have also had great success with allowing our partner organizations to embed 3RNET job opportunities directly into their organizational websites. I am currently serving on the 3RNET Board of Directors and seeking to be more involved in future event planning. 
What does ‘service’ mean to you?
I believe ‘service’ is providing something of benefit to someone else. It means looking at the task at hand and identifying the expertise or resources I possess to help accomplish the desired outcomes. 
What does the 3RNET Network of membership organizations mean to you? 
When I discuss 3RNET within our bureau I describe it as “the cornerstone” in the West Virginia SORH's workforce programs. And that’s what our membership is- without 3RNET the ability of our office to effectively address recruitment and retention issues is severely, if not irreparably, damaged. For the investment, the tools and support provided are integral.  Membership strengthens the services our office can provide. Not only are we gaining access to the expertise of the 3RNET team but we have access to our other state peers. The friendships and informational sharing are beyond value. Hearing the successes of our counterparts inspires me in ways that will make me a stronger Network Coordinator. Knowing you aren’t alone eases the stresses of the challenges we face!
What advice would you give to someone new to 3RNET or new to recruitment? 
Lean on your peers; ask the dumb questions. We all started out somewhere and many of us weren’t in recruitment. 3RNET staff as well as the other members have been some of the most welcoming and genuinely helpful people I have ever met. I know each year that I am surrounded by friends and folks who genuinely “get” the work we do. 
Anything else you’d like to add? 
Thank you so much, I am truly honored to be the recipient of the 2023 Kennedy- Kafer Award. 
Congratulations, and well deserved, Brandon!