Doing “Just One More”: An Interview with SAME President Marv Fisher

Marv Fisher at 2018 JETCIn May, at the 2018 JETC in Kansas City, Mo., Col. Marv Fisher, LEED AP, F.SAME, USAF (Ret.), was sworn in as 99th National President of SAME. As Col. Fisher spoke during his introductory remarks, he outlined his focus of “Just One More.” The notion, as he described, is that as an organization of 28,000-plus members, imagine the impact that we could achieve if we all did just one more thing—whether judging one more science fair, or attending one more Post event, awarding one more scholarship, encouraging one more servicemember to earn a credential, or mentoring one more college student or young professional toward success.

Bricks & Clicks recently chatted with Col. Fisher on what he has enjoyed most in getting around the Society since becoming President, what the inspiration for Just One More was, and how he is embodying giving back in his own life.

Now that you have been SAME President for a few months, how have you been sharing the Just One More theme as you get around the Society?

FISHER: It’s been amazing how this theme has taken hold. Many of our Posts have already started their own “Just One More” campaigns and I have had numerous members share their Just One More stories with me.

So even though I like to talk about it when I get out and about, I’m actually not the first one to bring it up in many cases. That is awesome!

SAME President Marv Fisher discussed Just One More at a visit to the Anchorage Post, summer 2018.

What has the reaction been from members about Just One More, and the five pillars you are introducing that are helping shape SAME’s strategic direction as we approach 2020?

FISHER: I think many of our members understand that the power of our Society comes from the value we offer members. That “value” can come in many forms, whether it be opportunity-based or relationship-based.

The five key pillars that have emerged over the last couple years (Enhancing Government-Industry Engagement; Developing Leaders for the Profession; Producing STEM Professionals for the Nation; Preparing Veterans for the A/E/C Industry; Strengthening Resilience throughout the Country) were born out out of the implementation of the 2020 Strategic Plan. So really, they are more of an extension of what we have been offering to our members for many years and what they are already passionate about.

I think we are now just defining these key lines of effort in a more succinct way that aligns nicely to our overall mission of supporting national security.

Can you describe how the idea of Just One More came about, and what inspired you to make this your focus for SAME?

FISHER: My inspiration for giving back to my profession and to my community goes back to my great friend and roommate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Eric Garvin. Eric is one of the most remarkable human beings that has ever walked this earth and if you read the recent article about him in Checkpoints magazine, you will understand why I say that [Garvin was also featured in a Facebook video highlighting his inspiring charity work.]

Coming from a very harsh upbringing, to serving his country for 30 years, and for all the charity work he has done to serve underprivileged communities over many years, he has been a shining light of what giving is all about. So being able to do “Just One More” is an easy thing to accomplish, given everything that Eric has been able to accomplish.

Can you share some great examples you’ve learned about from within SAME of members giving back and doing Just One More?

FISHER: There’s way too many to even list here. We have individual members in so many of our Posts that contribute so much to making their Posts truly vibrant, fantastic organizations.

My inspiration for giving back to my profession and to my community goes back to my great friend and roommate from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Eric Garvin.

To highlight one example, I was very impressed with the level of programs that the Guam Post has been able to accomplish. They put on a fantastic two-day industry forum earlier this year, gave out nearly $40,000 in scholarships, put on their own local STEM camp and sent several high school students to our Engineering & Construction Camps here stateside. The Post has a great Board of Direction with a very high level of involvement from Young Members to senior Fellows. So that’s a Post to try to emulate, a group of volunteers that gets what it means to be able to do Just One More.

There are many other great Posts doing great things—and I encourage them to share their stories with the SAME National Office. Send in photos and highlights to be included in TME Society News. The more we see what each other are doing, the more we realize that we, too, can do those same things. We can all do Just One More!

As an SAME member yourself, what are some examples of how you have done Just One More?

FISHER: Julie [Fisher, F.SAME] and I like to contribute in many different ways. We make it a point to attend every Dallas Post monthly luncheon and event if we are not on the road traveling for business. This year we mentored two high school students: one got nominated to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; the other we helped raise money for her freshman year tuition costs.

It’s always inspiring to hear the great stories and hear about the neat programs that our individual members are conducting to contribute to our overall mission and how excited people are to be part of our Society.

We are actively involved in our local community. I sit on the Frisco Veterans Advisory Committee (FVAC) and Julie serves on the Frisco Education Foundation, which supports its STEM events and scholarship programs. We arranged to have the Chair of the FVAC and the Economic Development Committee be the guest speakers at a recent Dallas Post luncheon to connect the Post with all the neat opportunities to support veterans and the infrastructure development projects that are hot and heavy in the north Texas region.

Julie also serves on the Board of Directors of the SAME Foundation. This month, I put my focus on the upcoming industry-government engagement opportunity, the SAME Federal Small Business Conference, and have been able to convince six firms to attend the event for the first time this year. This month, we are hosting an event at our house to raise money for Emily’s Place, a home for domestic violence survivors in Plano, Texas.

So we keep pretty busy but we love it. It’s a great feeling to do things that help others. It’s very rewarding.

In your professional role as an executive in the A/E/C industry, what are some of the areas you see where organizations like SAME can make an impact that will help the profession and the nation?

FISHER: In today’s environment, if we can continue to find positive ways to contribute to making our communities stronger through collaboration, communication and teamwork, then I think we can be the shining example of how we can all work together to accomplish things that serve the greater good of our nation. In fact, what is unique about SAME is our Post network. Yes we are a national, really an international organization, but we are foremost relevant locally.

Our Posts are part of their local communities; they support area veterans; do community service projects; and give back at schools and charity events. In addition to being a technical resource for our nation, they are a dependable resource for the communities where we work and live.

Looking ahead over the next few months, what are you most looking forward to in your role as SAME President?

FISHER: I really enjoy getting out and talking with our local Posts. It’s always inspiring to hear the great stories and hear about the neat programs that our individual members are conducting to contribute to our overall mission and how excited people are to be part of our Society.

I’ve said it before, that our Society really feels like your fraternity/sorority post-college days. Many of our members have a servant heart by nature, and they like being involved in an organization that has so much to give.

The SAME National Leadership Team and the National Office staff will stay focused on how we can continue to increase the value we provide members, so I will be looking for feedback as I get around on how we can implement or adjust programs that support our goals now, and for our future.