Waiting for the call? Make the call!

Title: Waiting for the call? Make the call!

Just returned from the Central Regional Meeting in Colorado Springs.  Many thanks to University of Wisconsin Lacrosse for coordinating the meeting and to the planning committee.  Also, my compliments to the former Mid-America and Great Plains Regions for navigating the process of becoming the Central Region.  It is a merger that is clearly working well and my compliments to all who made it possible.

The conference was an excellent opportunity for me to meet new colleagues and to re-connect with old friends.  One of the most exciting things about the conference was the number of first-time attendees; it looked as if one-third to one-half of the attendees were first-timers.  Which brings to mind two things; first the rich diversity of roles/jobs that our professional members bring to our Association, and second, the importance of developing leadership for our profession and our Association.

I was struck once again at the variety of responsibilities our professional members have at their home institutions.  The portfolios of our professional members ranged from credit to non-credit offerings, from on-site to online delivery, included workforce development, as well as specializing in providing conferencing coordination.

Having this variety is strength and a challenge for our Association.  The strength is the opportunity created by the fact that our Association is the professional home for such a wonderful variety of individuals, and thus provides opportunities to network and learn from this variety of professionals.  The challenge of course is providing programming at our regional, national, and other special events that is pertinent to such a wide variety of professional responsibilities.  I think I speak for Judy Ashcroft and Bob Hansen when I say this challenge is really an opportunity and one that is continually on our minds as we work with others in planning on-site and new virtual events.

I was very impressed with the conversations I had with the first-time attendees at the Central Regional Conference.  As president-elect of UPCEA, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of several discussions about how we provide leadership opportunities for our membership and assuring the development of  future leaders for our Association.  One of the themes that emerge from these conversations is that it seems as if our members are willing and ready to serve, but they are waiting for the phone call, waiting for the invite to take on leadership positions. 

Having just returned from a regional conference, I have no doubt that our professional members are ready and willing and capable to lead our profession and our Association.  As we move into our next era as an Association, I want to challenge all of our professional members to “Moving from waiting for the call to making the call by stepping into leadership roles in UPCEA.”

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