Working Together for a Shared Goal
As I take the helm of AEIRS, I am honored to have the opportunity to share my goals and plans with the readers of Spectrum. As you read about the initiatives I plan to pursue as president of the organization, I hope each of you will reflect on how you can become more involved by volunteering your time, talent, and energy as we start a new year and with it a new strategic plan.
Last year Kelli Welch Haynes, now our immediate past president, focused on professionalism and celebrating a major milestone in AEIRS history, including commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first annual meeting. My installation as president continues the focus on historical moments. We have had some changes within our professional staff and will now focus on a new direction for our strategic plan. I am proud that my peers believe that I am deserving of the privilege and possess the ability to serve the membership in this capacity, as many on this board and those within the AEIRS membership are my mentors, advisors, and colleagues. But my message is less about me and who I am, and more about what I want to see us do this year to best serve and represent AEIRS.
My involvement with AEIRS over the last decade plus has given me so much as an educator, board member, and member. I remember how it felt to attend my first AEIRS meeting as a novice educator so many years ago. I was truly amazed by the membership and speakers. I was greeted with a smile and, immediately, it felt like home. I always tell others that I love this organization because the annual conference lectures are relevant to our needs as educators. We can take the information and sometimes use it in the next class we teach, which I have done on multiple occasions.
This profession has given me my livelihood, a profession to be proud of, and a purpose beyond just a job! Russell Ballard once said, “Be involved; be informed. Make meaningful contributions to society through service and involvement.” I will never forget Carole South- Winter calling me out one year as “the greatest volunteer,” which was something unexpected. I won’t lie. I turned a little red when she had me stand up. I do not volunteer or serve so that people know who I am or what I have done; I volunteer because this profession has given me so much. I hope that I can someday give just half as much back to it! Volunteering has helped me meet new people, which I am thankful I have been able to meet along the way. It has taught me about leadership, making a difference, reviewing budgets, participating in governance meetings, but it is the camaraderie from my peers that I value the most. Our AEIRS members are truly amazing, and I am blessed to have been a part of the AEIRS board first as secretary/treasurer, president-elect, and now as president.
I do not take the responsibility of being your president lightly. In fact, for several months now I have been working hard to develop my plans for the 2018-2019 year with a dedicated board, who have helped me shape my goals for next year, and who are committed to assist me implement them. Team, I thank you for all of the time and energy that you have provided toward this effort and future endeavors. We have already started this work with committee appointments. As I considered appointments, I worked to reach out intentionally to individuals who I know have the same values as a volunteer. fresh ideas. It is important that all of our committees not only do their work, but promote the As I considered appointments, I worked to ensure our committee members are committed to service and dedicated to fostering new, work they are doing! In addition to these new efforts, I plan to continue to build upon several initiatives created by my predecessors.
It is going to be a busy year. I am convinced that if we work together, we can build on an incredible foundation and legacy and do even better. I am committed to working with all of you to make the organization more responsive to those in need of our services, more engaged with our next generation, and more beneficial to our members. I hope that you will support me in these efforts. I wholeheartedly agree with Mattie Stepanek, who said “Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved” (www.brainyquotes.com). ow do you plan on getting engaged in AEIRS? I look forward to our work together. My question to you: H Let me know what you will do to help!
Tiffani Walker, MSRS, RT(R)