Sunday, January 4, 2004
Posted by: George Koscho and Sam Luke
My, how 2003 flew by. It is now early January and this will be my last column as your association president. It has been an eventful year for me and for our association. It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your 2003 association president and it has certainly been "A Year of Personal Growth and Professional Development" for me.
I have decided to use as my last column a reprint of The Association President's Report to the Members. This report is contained in the 2003 Annual Report to the Members, which is now posted on our Web portal.
To my AITP colleagues and friends, I wish you all well, and to Sam Luke, our 2004 president, I say, "Take it away Sammy."
When I became your president at the beginning of this year I chose as a theme, "A year of personal growth and professional development." I chose it because I believe that it speaks to the primary value of membership in our association. As an association leader I have often heard the question, "What do I get for my $80?" The one answer to that question that dwarfs all others is that, as a member, you get a structure and a framework that provides you with the means to grow as a person and develop skills that you would not be able to develop on the job.
I established five objectives for the year:
- Develop and manage an organizational structure that works effectively to carry out our mission
- Enhance the management of our financial resources
- Oversee the roll-out of the new AITP Web portal
- Improve the communications among leaders at all levels of the association
- Turn around our membership decline
In order to carry out the first objective, I introduced a new management structure. Department charges were written, committees were developed and committee charges were prepared. An association board member was named to head each department as follows:
Events - Kevin Jetton
Membership - Mary Reager
Communications - Mark Gilfand
Marketing/Planning - Craig Kennedy
Advocacy - Beth Pirrie
Governance - Jerry Buckland
I worked closely with my fellow officers and the finance committee to assure that we were on the right track regarding our fiduciary responsibilities and I'm pleased to say that we have done good work this year. Much of the credit for our success rests with your 2003 secretary and treasurer, Dr. Brian Reithel, who provided many more details in his portion of this report.
I am very pleased to report to you that through some very fine work by our communications department, headed by Mark Gilfand, our new Web portal became a reality in July.
In order to improve communications with region and chapter leaders and the membership at large, surveys were developed and the results were analyzed at the summer board meeting in Chicago. Conference calls with region and chapter leaders are planned to improve communications. We hope to complete these calls and draw additional input from these leaders by the end of November.
Regrettably we have not yet turned around our membership decline, but I am confident that our accomplishments this year have laid the foundation for growth in the very near future.
In 2003, we've had a great team made up of some very dedicated volunteers and a fine headquarters staff. However, to effect a turnaround in membership in the near future, it will take the efforts of every member of the association at every level of the organization. Theodore Roosevelt once said:
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena - whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows the triumph of high achievement;and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
So, please, do not be one of "those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." Get involved in 2004. If you are a region leader seek an association office. If you are a chapter leader seek a regional leadership position. If you are a member who has never sought a chapter leadership position - do so - because it is in accepting these leadership positions that you get the real value of association membership.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the 2003 officers, board of directors, committee chairs, committee members and headquarters staff for all their hard work. You have my undying gratitude.
George R. Koscho, CDP
2003 AITP Association President
"A Year of Personal Growth and Professional Development"
A Special Message from the Incoming AITP President
Greetings fellow members,
Your 2004 Board and Officers began organizing back in October at the annual meetings in St. Louis. I am very impressed with our team and the dedication shown to revise some goals and the way we do things. With only a few delays caused by the holidays, we are set to give a huge effort to work harder and smarter for all of AITP.
We ask for your faith and trust and we welcome your participation to guide us in our work for effective operations and building value for members. We have no theme for the year as yet and may never settle on one, but your entire leadership has the foremost goal of nurturing and increasing member benefits with true value.
Offerings to make members' work lives easier, more economical and more satisfying, while adding personal growth are the highlights of our daily efforts for a better AITP. Daily? Yes, some days there will be fewer minutes available, but your entire leadership will have thoughts and efforts toward AITP daily.
I would be remiss in not thanking the 2003 President George Koscho and his team. It was a difficult year. In fact, thanks to all the participants in leadership over the past years. I know everyone tried their best to provide AITP with their best efforts and intentions. None of the recent past administrations could boast of any overall success, but we have to commend their efforts and intentions.
Thanks all for the dedication and loyalty and more commitment for 2004. In December, we hope to report to all members that we have made significant improvements in operations and have successfully changed and accomplished much to satisfy the need for meaningful member benefits.
May the New Year bring us all the blessings we need to be happy with the progress that will be made.
2004 AITP President