Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wow What an Eye Opening Experience!

As my time comes to an end as Vice President of ISA I thought it would be a good time to look back at some the pleasures and the pains of the past three years. Having served as a volunteer in many other areas of ISA, from Education to Ethics to Course Writing the position on the board has certainly been the most challenging to date. I came to the Board with a long list of goals and dreams that I had gathered from others as well as those developed on my own for ISA. This excitement quickly washed away as the Board was put into survival mode running very short on funds, losing our line of credit and changing association management companies. The Board had to meet one to two times a week in December which for many of us was the busiest month of the year for our businesses. I was so proud and honored to be considered part of this amazing team. The Board worked together and made solid logical business decisions which brought ISA back from the brink of disaster. 

Over the next few months, the Board spent what seemed like forever in survival mode, putting out "fire" after "fire" to ensure ISA's survival. The assistance and direction from Craig Sondalle at SenterGroup and his style of management was invaluable. He would present the facts, different options to deal with them and leave the decision to the Board. His style assisted our Board in making some very difficult decisions while still leaving the ultimate control of ISA in the Boards votes.

After that first crazy year we were actually able to step out of survival mode and look forward, setting goals for ISA, keeping in mind they had to be achievable with very limited funds and critically prioritized for the benefit of ISA and the members.
We have seen a balanced budget, the elimination of the line of credit, a Director of Education, a Core Course re-write, an increase in ISA dedicated staff at SenterGroup, an extremely successful conference, the start of revised credentialing program with the help of ICE, an excitement from members I have not seen in years about ISA's future and many more accomplishments.

I would like to thank Craig Sondalle, SenterGroup, the present and past ISA Board members and the membership for the amazing experience of being involved with the Board at such a decisive time for ISA.  Three years ago I wanted to get involved in the Board and make some positive changes for ISA and leave the Board "better than I found it". I believe I have done this and in turn I have also benefited. I encourage others to get involved and do the same.

James G. Poag GG, ISA CAPP, CM (NAJA), CJA-CAP
Vice President, ISA
 

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