BONUS Steering Committee

Winter News Brief 

January 2005

BONUS President

Rudy Gomez

Assistant to the Dean

University of Texas Health Science Center

At San Antonio

School of Nursing



Many exciting things are happening as we prepare for our next conference next April in Washington DC.  The theme for this 20th Anniversary celebratory event will be “Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Present and Embracing the Challenges of the future”.   Mark your calendars -  Conference dates are April 20,21,22, 2005. The program brochure which will be distributed soon.  

Your steering committee has been working very hard and has been in contact via monthly telephone conference calls as well as attending our semi-annual planning meeting in New Orleans which is the site for 2006 conference.  Although planning conferences is a major role of the steering committee, this is by no means all that we do.  Since our last communication, we have approved two additional honorary members. Dan Junior and Colleen Cummins.  Both were present at the very first Business Officers meeting and played a significant role in the early development of BONUS.   I will be acknowledging their specific contributions as well as the contribution of other significant Bonus members as we recall our early and formative years.  This will be part of our exciting evening event which will include a semi-formal dinner, awards ceremony, and music for listening pleasure as well as dance opportunities.  

Jennifer Ahearnwho participates in our monthly conference calls keeps us informed of the progress that is being made for positive change that AACN has in store for BONUS as well as for other Groups such as the AACN network of Development Officers and Directors.   More will follow on this issue as we are planning a briefing from an AACN representative on what this all means to BONUS at our next Business Meeting in April. In addition, the steering committee is working hard to bring you topics that will be sure to prepare us for the Challenges that we face today and in the future.  This is sure to be a conference you won’t want to miss….. so please be sure to make your plans early.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the steering committee for their hard work this past year and wish every one of my Bonus colleagues the best in 2005. I hope you will enjoy reading each of your steering committee progress reports below as they update you on their activities.


Rudy Gomez

President, BONUS


Immediate Past-President

Selena Swartzfager

Operations Manager, School of Nursing

University of Mississippi Medical Center



Greetings to all of you,

I am enjoying serving you in BONUS this year as Past-President.  It is a bit strange serving in the senior role of the Steering Committee this year.  It seems like just yesterday I was new to the organization as a whole.  I would like to encourage all the "new" members to consider running for an elected position at the BONUS conference this April.  I was elected to the Steering committee after just two years in BONUS and I self nominated for that first elected position.  It has been a great ride for me from serving as Planning Chair to Past-President.  There is a great "bonus" added to your experience in this wonderful organization when you agree to serve as a member of the Steering Committee.  I have become extra good friends with some of the other members, which may not have happened had we not had that extra bond created by the work on this Committee.  There will be several opportunities for you to run for office this coming year, as I am sure Sherry Abernathy, our nominating committee chair has announced.  If you don't feel comfortable running for office, please consider being an active member of one of the committees.  I look forward to seeing you in Washington DC!  The Steering Committee promises you a great time and some wonderful learning opportunities.

Selena Swartzfager

Past-President, BONUS



Marilyn Hargrave

Resource Manager

University of Alabama in Huntsville



As the BONUS secretary, I can assure you that your steering committee has been busy this year.  We are planning a special anniversary meeting for 2005 which you don't want to miss.  While you are making your plans to come to Washington DC in April, give some thought to becoming more involved when the call for officer nominations is made.  BONUS is a great group of professionals to work with. 

Marilyn Hargrave,

Secretary, BONUS

President Elect

Tricia Satkowski-Harper


Greetings BONUS members!

There is a lot of excitement among the steering committee members that we want to pass along to you about plans for the upcoming 20th Anniversary meeting for BONUS in Washington DC!!  This will be a great milestone for BONUS as well as an informative and fun meeting.  We have secured our keynote speaker for the event – Dr. Pegge Bell, Dean and Professor from Barry University in Florida.  Dr. Bell has served as Dean at Barry (which is a private institution) for several years and prior to that was Associate Dean at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing (which is a public institution).  She will have insight to give us as business officers about the differences in both types of institutions, what is going on in the world of nursing, and why business officers are so important to the positions she has held. Dr. Bell has an exceptional knack for putting humor into her presentations, so her talk is sure to be informative as well as give us a few (well needed) laughs at our BONUS meeting. 

To give a historical perspective of how BONUS has evolved over the years, I will be coordinating the compilation of a memento booklet with hopefully all of our past presidents containing information on where they are now, what they gleaned or remembered most about BONUS, and some other noteworthy facts or phrases.

Also, we are working on coordinating a morning when BONUS members and their guests can participate in tours of the White House.  For those of you who have never been to Washington DC before, plan to come well rested and with comfortable shoes!  We are planning a high energy meeting with special events to commemorate the 20th anniversary and we want everyone to come away from the meeting with new information and renewed energy and have a great time in the nation’s capitol in the process!

Mark your calendars!  I am looking forward to seeing you all there –

Tricia Satkowski

BONUS President-elect


Membership Chair

Diane Shimizu

Administrative Officer

University of Hawaii at Manoa

School of Nursing & Dental Hygiene



As all of you are aware, BONUS creates a great network to meet fellow business officers and share information or insight to situations or problems that are common to administrators in Nursing programs.  One of the goals of the membership committee is to promote, develop interest and increase participation of AACN business officers in this unique organization.

But like true friendships, relationships don’t disappear when friends move on in their career paths, so a new focus of the membership committee is to contact the departing members to become a “BONUS Active Alumni”.

So if you know of anyone who would like to become a BONUS member or an active alumni, please have them contact me at  So you could say our goal is to create lifelong friendships. 

Diane Shimizu

Membership Chair

Special Projects Chair

Jodi DiGennaro

Business Administrator

School of Nursing Adephi University
City, NY


It’s been a busy time for the Special Projects.  We have been participating in the planning of our schedule for the 25th Anniversary BONUS meeting in Washington DC.  Also, the trip to New Orleans to start planning for the 2006 conference was very successful.

At this time we would like to open the floor for volunteers to present posters at the Washington DC conference.  This is always an informative and fun event as you can share your expertise with your BONUS colleagues and they, in turn, will learn tips and techniques when confronted with the same task/problem.  This year’s topic for poster presentations is, “Organizational Structure”. Please email me at if you are interested in creating a poster.

I am continuing to collect list serve questions and replies from email, and will someday put it all in book format to be available to all members via the website.  In the meantime, if you are looking for a particular question/answer topic that you remember seeing in the past, just let me know and I will research my database for the emails.

May you all have a happy and health new year! See you in DC. 

Jodi DiGennaro

Special Projects Chair

Nominating Committee Chair

Sherry Abernathy

By Sherry Abernathy

Assistant Dean, School of Nursing
School of Nursing, Oakland UniversityRochester, MI

The following BONUS Officers will be elected at the BONUS 20th Annual Meeting in Washington, D. C.:  President-Elect, Secretary, Nominating Committee Chair, and Networking Committee Chair.  Nominations for these positions will be solicited by email from all BONUS members by the Nominating Committee in mid February 2005, for response by March 14th.

The President-Elect is a 3-year commitment to serve as President-Elect, President, and then Past President.  All other officer positions are 2-year commitments.  Complete descriptions of the responsibilities for these offices are in the BONUS By-laws at

In addition to the annual conference, Steering Committee officers are asked to attend a Planning Meeting in the fall to plan for the Spring Conference. 

If you know of people who you believe could make a contribution to BONUS as an officer - yourself included (self nominations are accepted) - I encourage you to do so, and also to volunteer for service on any of the five BONUS committees (Membership, Networking, Nominating, Planning, and Special Projects).  Please don’t hesitate to contact Sherry Abernathy at or other officers and colleagues if you have questions about committees or the organization, which are not answered by the information you find on the web-site.

Sherry Abernathy,

Nominating Committee Chair

Planning Committee Chair

Bill Wachob

Assistant Dean, School of Nursing
School of Nursing University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

Preparations are well underway for the 20th Annual BONUS Meeting in Washington, D.C. this coming April 20-22 at the The Marriott Metro Center, 775 12th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005.  The actual Annual Meeting program is in final stages of planning.  The Steering Committee selected topics largely in response to BONUS member comments and suggestions from last years meeting in Seattle.  We are still awaiting confirmation from our invited keynote speaker for Wednesday morning and have secured a wonderful presenter to address the subject of negotiating skills on Friday.  In between, other program sessions are planned on, among other things, the topics of grant administration, Excel and Access solutions to tracking and reporting, understanding revenue streams, managing clinical agency requirements, and a poster session on organizational structure.

Because this is the BONUS 20th anniversary, several special events are being planned, including a panel presentation by past BONUS Presidents on “How to Survive and Prosper as a Business Officer,” theme dinner options which will include a night tour of Washington, D.C., and a special group dinner on Thursday which will be a semi-formal dinner dance with DJ.

The Annual Meeting brochure will come out later in the New Year; however, if you wish to reserve your room for this conference you may do so by calling the Marriott Metro Center at phone: 202-737-2200 and ask for the Business Officers of Nursing Schools (BONUS) group rates.  The special room rate is $189.00 single/double, and the cut off date for reservations at this rate is March 30, 2005.   All sorts of information on Washington, D.C. is available at the Washington DC convention and tourism web site .

On behalf of Planning Committee members I wish everyone a Happy New Year.  We will look forward to seeing you in Washington DC in April!  In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, questions or comments for the Planning Committee or about the 20th Annual Meeting please don’t hesitate to send them to me at .

Bill Wachob

Planning Committee Chair


Networking Committee Chair

Linda Bantle

Assistant Dean for Business and Administration
School of Nursing, St. Louis University

There will be much change in the coming year for BONUS networking.  The BONUS web site will be redesigned as part of AACN’s site redesign and will be more closely linked with AACN.  We are looking forward to this closer alignment with AACN and the benefits we will recognize from it.  Also, this newly designed web site will give BONUS the opportunity to expand its networking capabilities.  The steering committee has begun discussions of resources that could be available and shared via the new web site such as templates, databases, and organizational structures.  We also discussed the possibility of professional development for the nursing business officer such as new business officer orientation via a web cast or telephone conference.  As Sherry mentioned, a new networking committee chair will be elected this year and this will be an exciting time to serve in this capacity. So, I encourage you to nominate someone you think would enjoy this opportunity, yourself included, or consider signing up to serve on this committee.

Unfortunately, this will be my last communication as BONUS Networking Chair as I have accepted another position at Saint Louis University in the Business and Finance division.  It is a great opportunity for me and I am excited to be returning to this division where I worked for nine years prior to coming to the School of Nursing.  The position is newly created at the University and I will be working closely with the President and Vice Presidents looking at ways to enhance revenues, reduce costs and redesign business processes to increase efficiency.  Although I am very excited about this new opportunity, I am sad to leave the School of Nursing, mostly because of the relationships I have developed with BONUS members.  BONUS is a very unique organization and I am sorry I won’t be able to celebrate the 20-year anniversary with all of you.  It has provided so much to me, both professionally and personally.  Although I will miss coming to the annual conferences, I plan to stay in touch and become one of the first active alumni members. 

Finally, I would like to thank Selena Swartzfager for volunteering to complete my term as Networking Chair.  I wish the best for all of you.  Take care and stay in touch.

Linda Bantle

Networking Chair, BONUS



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