“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sitting at my desk, writing my final column as SAME President, I find myself awash in emotions. I am certain my feelings parallel those of my predecessors, and believe they will help inform my successors. Though every National President brings forth their own personality and set of life experiences, we all have one goal in mind: to do our very best to leave the Society just a little better than we found it.
I recall last spring at JETC in Columbus how Capt. Mike Blount, F.SAME, USN (Ret.) joked about his reluctance of passing the baton. His thoughts then, and mine now, focus on how much more still needs to be done—unfinished matters to be addressed, Posts to be visited, outstanding volunteers to be recognized. As with every command tour I had the honor to serve in, I left each wishing for more time, like the song goes “…just five more minutes.”
Our national priorities of enhancing industry-government engagement, increasing member participation, producing STEM graduates, preparing veterans for transition, and developing leaders for our profession was evident at every turn.
But these feelings are quickly surpassed by excitement and hope. As SAME continues to gain momentum on the “Run to 2020 and Beyond,” one cannot help but feel the building wave of enthusiasm. Our Centennial is an opportunity not to be missed.
I have been fortunate to travel to two dozen Post events and industry days, and the eagerness to advance our shared agenda was simply palpable. Our national priorities of enhancing industry-government engagement, increasing member participation, producing STEM graduates, preparing veterans for transition, and developing leaders for our profession was evident at every turn. I am invigorated by all our volunteers who give so selflessly of their time to these efforts. And I am truly inspired by our Young Members who have embraced our mission and are posturing SAME for the next 100 years. Finally, there is pride—not individual pride of accomplishment, but the kind that team members feel when they reflect upon collective achievements.
As I think about what our Society has accomplished, I am heartened by the level of commitment displayed at all levels. Whether it is leading collaboration in our industry through strategic relationships with sister associations; the record number of attendees at national and regional events; or our Posts’ countless impactful STEM outreach programs: We are redefining excellence and reinforcing why SAME is the professional society of choice.
I assert with absolute confidence this upward trend will continue under the inspirational leadership of Col. Marv Fisher, F.SAME, USAF (Ret.), who will become our next President at JETC in Kansas City.
TOWARDS NEW HEIGHTS
One year ago, I asked you to consider three simple themes that would help us gain momentum towards 2020.
Go Big: Approach everything you do in the Society with energy and purpose.
Find Your Passion: Evaluate the opportunities SAME offers and discover where you can do the most good.
Have Fun: If you are not having fun, you are not doing it right; and as we are a 100 percent volunteer organization, this is imperative.
Not surprisingly, you all exceeded my loftiest expectations and elevated our Society to new heights. We made the last year a very good one, because we knew what to do with our time. Please accept my most sincere and heartfelt thanks for allowing me to serve as SAME President. It has been the honor of a lifetime.
[Article first published in the May-June 2018 issue of The Military Engineer.]