I have been president now for three years, and have written more than 30 articles! I have always said that the first and last articles would be the easiest. The first was easy, an introduction of myself as the new president of IICRC and my background. As I am writing this article, I am finding it harder than I thought! I thought that all I had to do was thank everybody and say goodbye. That is not as easy as it sounds. In the president's position, you meet a great deal of people and you develop many friendships. So where do you start to thank all of these people?
The first lesson I learned when I became president is that it is a job you work for, but once you have it, you wonder why you ever wanted it. Being president of an organization as large as the IICRC is a lot of work. The first thing you do is go the local sporting goods store and buy a target to stick on your back! I say this in jest, but sometimes that is how it felt.
One of the biggest learning experiences was to not take everything people said personally. Within the first few weeks of my becoming president, a controversy ensued that included some rather unflattering comments being directed toward me personally. This resulted in my growing a much thicker skin. Out of situations like this, though, you find some real gems willing to be part of the solution, people willing to work with you to solve the problem. You know who you are, and let me personally thank you.
I have learned how to speak in front of an audience better, although I still have a lot to learn. By working with all of the experts in the industry, I have been able to bring a lot of what I learned from them back to my own business.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me to grow as a person. Overall, the positives of volunteering for the industry that provides a living for all of us outweigh the negatives.
I would like to thank my executive committee for their tremendous support. These are the people that become your extended family. You speak with most of them a couple times a week, so you know exactly what is going on in their lives as well as having them knowing what is going on in yours. They are your sounding board and your advisors. Without these people, this job would drive you crazy! Just saying thank you does not seem like enough. Good luck in your future in the IICRC!
I would like to thank the IICRC board of directors. Without their support I would not have become president. We have made some major changes, and throughout it all they were continually working hard to improve the IICRC. Some of my suggestions raised more than a few eyebrows, but even with their doubts, they cautiously moved ahead for the betterment of IICRC. Thanks again for hanging in with me, and all the great support. I would like to thank all of you for keeping me well grounded. You all certainly are not without opinions.
Last but not least, I would like to thank Kenway Consultants Inc. (KCI), our administrators and management group. Without their almost-flawless completion of board directives we could not function. They have been a great support group for me. Thank you to all of the fine ladies and two gentlemen in KCI.
This is a bittersweet time for me. I look forward to spending more time with my family and working more closely on my business, but I certainly will miss all of you folks. It has been both an honor and a pleasure serving you, and again, I thank you all.