|From the Chair
By Sally Wakefield
Wow – another year come and gone already! I can hardly believe it. It seems like yesterday that I was writing to introduce myself to the membership as the incoming board chair; now I’m writing to say good-bye.
It has been quite a year. Another successful conference has come and gone, and we are already looking toward 2009. I would like to take this opportunity to do two things. First, I want to welcome the incoming board chair, Rebecca Foster. I am confident that Rebecca will keep the board on its toes and operating in the best interest of the members – the mark of a good chair! Second, I would like to highlight a few of the accomplishments made by the board in 2008.
Establishment of Scholarship Endowment Fund
Earlier this year, at the direction of the Scholarship Committee, the board established a dedicated fund to protect and increase money to support scholarship activities long into the future. Until now, all scholarship proceeds from fundraising at conferences and other events was held in the organization’s general operating account and was used to subsidize each year’s cash awards.
The general fund will still support scholarship awards, but now all funds raised go into a protected account with the intention that eventually this account will become self-sustaining. This will allow the Consortium to solicit finds expressly directed toward building a sustained endowment.
Spring Workshops Revived
Under the capable leadership of Jane Mueller, Professional Development Committee chair, the Consortium sponsored a day-long, multi-topic workshop slate for the first time in several years. It was a hit! We were able to offer low-cost, high-quality training to more than 100 members and nearly filled every available seat in all 11 concurrent workshops. Plan ahead for the next spring workshop day, scheduled for May 21, 2009, at the Mn/DOT training facility in Arden Hills.
More Conference Fun
The Conference is getting so full we might have to add an extra day!! New this year was the well-attended Fun Run/Walk, held immediately following Thursday’s sessions. Also, wine was added to the libation selection during the annual beer tasting and the Consortium booth got a make-over. Look for more exciting activities in Duluth next year; maybe even a return to the beer train???
Overall it has been a great year to chair the organization, and I am grateful for the opportunity. If you are interested in helping out through committee or board involvement, let us know. There is always a spot for hardworking volunteers to help move the organization forward. I can guarantee, it is well worth the effort and the experience.