Message from the President
Keith Watkins, RDF, Marcellus Central School District
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Congratulations to everyone on a tremendously successful 2013 Innovative Ideas Conference and Expo! Thank you all for your continued support and incredible contributions as we embark on our 60th year as an Association. I cherished the opportunity to share stories of past years heard from some of our more distinguished members. They all share a similar message, one of breaking down barriers, venturing into the unknown, inspiring solutions when no one else could and being successful with whatever resources were available. Those stories of our past align with today's stories. Our slogan "It Takes a Professional" is truer now than ever before.
As I reflect on what we've accomplished and where we need to go, the work at hand is great, but the rewards are even greater. As we continue to experience some of the toughest economic times, the level of accountability and need for justification of what we do as facilities professionals has never been so important.
When elected three years ago, professional development and membership were, and still are, a primary focus for me. We offer so many outstanding professional development opportunities. We need to continue providing our members the latest and most efficient knowledge pertaining to our profession.
As your President, I plan to continually focus on encouraging our members, current and future, to take advantage of the many resources provided so WE can be the ones leading by example and not some "quick quote" outsource company making false promises for better or cheaper services.
Not that long ago, one of our regular discussion points was to ensure that we "blow our own horn," so our Superintendents, Business Officials, Administrators, faculty and staff, and community understood what we do and why we're doing it. In this economic climate, we can't blow our horns loud enough. We're being hit in our budgets, our workforces are being diminished, but yet the work is still expected to be done. As professionals we need to work together to get our word out, and we need to continue educating ourselves to maintain the credibility we need, and deserve.
As we move forward into our 60th year, it's imperative that we communicate our efforts in smarter avenues utilizing our network of collaborative partners and resources. We need to be committed in continuing to build stronger links with our educational partners such as NYSCOSS, ASBO, NYSSBA, NYSUT and to our State Legislators through our lobbying efforts at Advocacy Day. As Facility Professionals, we're all on the same "team" and through our unified efforts; we will continue to have a positive impact.
Finally, focusing our vision towards the future and this milestone of 60 years, we must continue to strengthen our reputation as an Association and equally as committed and effective facility professionals. Our efforts have helped us to be identified as industry leaders, so that whenever the vital issues concerning school facilities are being discussed, we have had an open invitation to sit at the table. And from my own personal experiences, that's what we've worked so hard to do and is rewarding to see it working.
We should all be proud of our accomplishments and am very optimistic and excited about the year ahead of us. Please keep up the good work and thanks for your support. I look forward to representing you!
Keith Watkins, RDF