The Years Coming and Going
This time last year I was packing for St. Louis and walking into my new role as ICHRIE Vice President. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into I attended my first Board of Directors meeting with a little excitement and a lot of trepidation. Having served previously as a Federation President I had been loosely involved with the ICHRIE leadership team but knew little about the machinations of the association and/or its day to day operation. One year on and I have to admit I am hooked. Both by the selfless leadership that has been displayed over the past year by volunteer committee members and by the passion and dedication these folks constantly demonstrate towards the ongoing development and success of our association.
Before speaking to my agenda for the next year I believe it is important to reflect on some of the major accomplishments of the last year. There have been many and it’s important that members have a sense of the work that has been done.
First and foremost we now have six grounded and fully functional federations with strong and vocal membership bodies. Federation by-laws are in place, elected officers are stepping up to the plate, annual research and development meetings are being held and member interests are being heard and shared with ICHRIE on an ongoing basis. This federation structure has enabled ICHRIE to advance the interests of current members, grow in terms of new members and member interests and reach new and developing regions of the world in very good form.
Second, while we maintain our monthly subscription to the “Frugal Bugle”, we are finally in a position to invest in the financial market. Indeed our newly formed Financial Investment Committee has just met for the first time while in San Diego to discuss our investment portfolio and/or options for the coming year. Naturally, low risk/high reward (not likely but if possible) will inform our decision making.
Third, we have continued to develop a number of excellent industry partnerships to provide an array of value added benefits to members. For example, the Knowledge Matters ProSim Restaurant Challenge has proven very competitive over recent years. The Smith Travel Research STAR Certification Program has gone truly global and the Johnson & Wales Case Study Competition and Publications Series continues to go from strength to strength. Last but not least ICHRIE has just entered into another wonderful strategic partnership with Penn State to produce the ICHRIE Penn State Research Reports series, which are designed to translate academic research findings into practical applications.
Finally, the Strategic Planning Committee has begun the process of investigating the formation of a new 501(3)(c). The goal is to establish an ICHRIE Foundation to facilitate organized, systematic, and targeted giving which can then be utilized to serve member interests. It should be stressed that this will be a long and costly process and members will have to be patient as we progress.
As you can see much has been accomplished over the last 12 months and folks have kept themselves very engaged with moving the association forward. In terms of the next twelve months I can state that I will be working hard to represent the platform I ran on some two years ago – namely to look for new ways to grow our membership, knowledge capital and member services and to solicit and respond to member feedback on continuously improving the services we currently offer. Priority number one pertains to working with the Strategic Planning Committee on our next strategic plan and those priorities that will guide our development over the next planning horizon. I am a firm believer in informed decision making and as such member feedback will inform this process from start to finish. So I very much look forward to engaging with you all over the next year with a view to securing our standing as the peak professional body for members globally.
In closing I want to offer a sincere word of thanks to Dennis Reynolds for his mentorship over the last year and to Cynthia Deale and Josette Katz for giving me the encouragement to stand for office. I also want to thank the many members of the ICHRIE Board of Directors for their unlimited giving and energy in representing the best interests of the association over the last year. And finally I want to extend a very special thank you to Kathy, Kevin, Amie and Sam for all of their help and guidance over the last year.