July President's Message
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Well, here we go…
On July 17, the 2017-2018 Board will meet for the final time and transfer the leadership of the organization to the 2018-2019 Board. At that time, we will bid a fond farewell to outgoing Directors Ayse Hortacsu, Kevin Moore, and David Ojala. I served on the nominating committee the year that Ayse, Kevin, and David were nominated, and I am happy to say that each of them not only met but also exceeded my expectations of their abilities to serve as a SEAONC Director. It was an honor to serve with them this past year.
We will also be saying goodbye to outgoing Past President Dick Dreyer. It would take an entire newsletter to describe the service and dedication that Dick has given to both SEAONC and SEAOC over the years. Not that he is done with that though, as Dick has already signed up for his next leadership role. After serving on seven previous SEAOC Convention committees, Dick has agreed to chair the 2020 SEAOC Convention committee. He is already assembling a team of volunteers and begun planning for the convention. Knowing Dick, it is bound to be fun.
Joining the Board this year will be Vice President Janiele Maffei and Directors Randy Collins, Megan Stringer, and Bill Tremayne. I had not met Janiele before she agreed to run for Vice President. I only knew that she was a well liked and respected SEAONC Fellow and not related to Joe Maffei, another well liked and respected SEAONC Fellow. Even still, I could not think of a better running mate, and now that I have met her I feel even more confident that Janiele will be a strong leader of our association for the next three years. I also could not think of a better group of incoming directors. Each of them brings a diversity of backgrounds and experiences to the Board that can only make our association better. I look forward to working with all of them the next two years.
I don’t want to leave out Emily Guglielmo, Marko Schotanus, and John Silva, our Directors who will be continuing on the Board for another year. Everything that I said about the outgoing and incoming Directors applies to them as well. It was an honor to serve with them this past year and I will forward to working with them again in this coming year.
Last, but certainly not least, there is our new Past President Taryn Williams. One of the reasons I agreed to run last year was because I would get to serve as her Vice President. Taryn is organized, thoughtful, considerate of everyone’s opinion, willing to take on challenges head on and willing to challenge us to move the association forward. Most significantly, all of our Board meetings ended on time, and if you have ever served on a SEAONC Board before you know how challenging that can be. I have a hard act to follow, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the achievements that Taryn led the Board to achieve this year was the update to the association’s Strategic Plan. Rather than adjust the plan as most previous boards have done, this time the Board overhauled the plan from beginning to end. We stripped the plan down and built it back up by developing a new mission statement, a new vision statement, and eight areas of focus for the next five years. My goal for this year is to develop and begin initiatives in each of these focus areas. I am happy to say that we have already gotten a head start on some of them. The Board and many of our committees are already working on initiatives related to these focus areas that I will be highlighting in my messages over the next year.
However, there is still more to do. We can increase our presence in the community. We can develop more initiatives for promoting equity and engagement in our profession. We can improve upon how SEAONC serves its members and the firms that they work for. We can be more active in defining and promoting resilience. We can strengthen our presence on university campuses where our future building technologies and the future leaders of our profession are being developed. We can more actively address our public relations challenges. We can serve the public by making it possible to build safer, more durable, more sustainable buildings. We can make the world a better place. We can save lives.
This is the vision that I have for this year. I look forward to working with our board, our committees, and all of you to start to make that vision a reality.