July 1, 2016
July 1, 2016
Organizationally we are in a good place. Over the past few years the ACEC/VA Board of Directors, along with staff and other leaders within the organization, have worked hard to ensure the positive impact the organization has on the engineering community is sustainable. I know, there is that word again. Sustainable has become a buzzword, but in this context it is the right word. Webster defines sustainable as pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse.
We have been blessed with an extremely competent and committed Executive Director and equally dedicated volunteer leadership over the past several years. However, to be sustainable the organization needs to have its proven processes and competencies documented in a way so that the next generation of leadership can assume their roles with the knowledge and support necessary to continue and improve upon the organization’s successes. This effort really started when Nancy found Cassie White. Cassie brought talent and energy to the staff that helped Nancy realize she didn’t have to do it all herself. Since then the Board authorized the use of outside consultants to help organize and codify those things that help folks (staff and board members) know what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. One of the most visible results of that effort is the new “Board Binder” that each board member receives when they assume their role. The binder includes everything a new board member needs to truly initiate themselves in the functions of the organization and their role in it. There is still work to be done regarding the definition of roles and responsibilities but we have made great progress over the past few years.
This may all sound a bit wonky, but it really is helpful when one considers the “hit by a bus” scenario. It is part of leadership’s responsibility to make sure that the organization is healthy and sustainable in order for membership to reap the benefits of ACEC/VA regardless of who is in charge.
We have also taken the first steps in renewing and revamping the organization’s strategic plan. There are some exciting ideas and plans that are just starting to take shape. There will be more detail shared in the months to come but the plan is focused on three goals:
- Advocacy – ACEC/VA is the voice of the consulting engineering community in Virginia
- Education – ACEC/VA provides education, leadership opportunities and training to shape the future of the engineering industry in Virginia
- Business – ACEC/VA provides resources and tools for members to grow their business
Please reach out to me, the staff, or anyone on the board if you would like to participate in refining that new plan in the coming months. I am honored and humbled to serve as this year’s president. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to your help over the next several months.
Paul E. Diggs