An open letter of thanks!
While I may be a bit prejudice, I felt that the UPCEA annual conference in Portland was a success. To make sure that I wasn’t looking at the conference only through my glasses, I reached out to members and vendors to get their impressions and I was pleased to hear a number of positive comments.
Peggy and I arrived home this morning about 1:30 am (April 1, I don’t believe there is significance with the April Fools date) and to be honest I spent the trip back as well my time today thinking about how lucky I’ve been to have served as president of UPCEA. I have some many people to thank for their contributions and support.
First, many thanks to Tom Gibbons for his leadership of the Strategic Plan and thanks to all those who helped draft the plan, to those who provided feedback on the plan and for those who supported the plan.
Second, thanks goes to Alice Warren and Burt Bagerstock for their leadership of the Transition Team and to the Transition Team for their willingness to step up to providing direction in terms of next steps with the implementation of the strategic plan.
Third, I was very pleased and humbled by the support of the Commissions, COPs, and Global Associates in the writing and implementation of the strategic plan.
Fourth, I must have been like others that present a new plan to the membership in that I was a bit anxious, so many thanks to the Institutional Representatives for the rich discussion of the plan and the bylaws and for the unanimous support of the plan and the bylaws at the business meeting.
Fifth, as I indicated at the annual conference, as president I stood on the shoulders of those who came before me and I enjoyed the support of the past presidents, thank you.
Sixth, we instituted a number of new things with our annual conference and I can’t thank David Schejbal and the planning committee enough for their vision and their willingness to try new things with the annual conference. It was an exciting conference with great content as well as great opportunities to interact with fellow members, our corporate partners as well as the city of Portland.
I need to pause and thank our hosts in Portland; this includes the local higher education institutions as well as the staff at the Hilton, well done and thank you.
Seventh, I had a super board. The best phrase I’ve found to describe this board is that they did a great deal of heavy lifting. The association and I asked a great deal of the board this year and they delivered.
Eighth, we could not have accomplished what we did this year without the support and leadership of Bob Hansen and the Washington office. So much of what the office does is behind the scenes and often invisible to the greater membership and to their credit they strive to keep it that way as they provide service to the members and our field.
Ninth, how luck am I that my presidency was sandwiched between Judy Ashcroft, past president and Tom Gibbons the new president of UPCEA. Judy your insights and encouragement were invaluable and Tom, you took on so many responsibilities and were so supportive, thank you.
Tenth, any president of UPCEA will tell you that there is no darn way that he or she can take on the challenges of being president without outstanding support from their home office and I learned this in so many ways this year. Many thanks to the JMU Outreach and Engagement crew, without you this year simply wouldn’t have happened.
Eleven and finally, I want to thank my wife, my partner, and my friend, Peggy. You were always there to give me the push that was needed, the perspective when I may have felt overwhelmed, and the gentile guidance and love when I needed it most.
I will finish with the wonderful home run call from Harry Carrey, it seems most fitting given what happened at the annual banquet and I think best describes this year.
“It might be, it could be, it is a home run! Cubs win Cubs win!”