This year has thrown us many curveballs, but it has been amazing to watch how resilient our staff, partners and membership have been. Now more than ever the value of FCCMA and the sense of community it brings is powerful, but we need to keep it going. Its easy for the President to have a well-structured network of colleagues, but we have new members and early career professionals who have not had the opportunities that some of us have had to form bonds within the membership. To that end I want to call on each of you, veteran, rookie, or otherwise to reach out to someone new this next month and just have a conversation.
Now for those of you who read the newsletter last month, you may remember me mentioning that we would be tackling systemic challenges related to diversity and inclusion during the August board meeting (last Friday). Following our regular business, the board spent about an hour on the subject with Dr. Larry Schooler facilitating the discussion. This represented the beginning of the conversation and it set the stage for a special meeting dedicated to diversity and inclusion in September, and I am very happy with the level of energy and engagement my fellow board members brought to our first discussion.
On the training front, our Professional Development committee has been working with Dr. Lee and the Center for Local Government Excellence (CFLGE) to amplify our virtual training opportunities which include recorded webinars on various topics available for free on our website here. These webinars can also count towards education requirements for becoming a credentialed manager of fulfilling your ethics requirement. In addition to the recorded webinars, we have published recordings of some of our most popular district trainings and made them available for purchase for our members here.
Our staff and the Annual Conference and Winter Institute committees are also working hard to determine what our conferences and the fall symposium look like. I know we all want to see each other in person in the next year, but we also want to do it in a way that is safe for each other and the employees of our conference hotels. To support this work, as well as the work of the Professional Development committee, I want to ask each of you to take the time to complete the Professional Development online survey. I know we all get a lot of surveys, but completing this one will help ease the burden on your fellow members volunteering their time to serve on the committees, as well as our staff. The survey closes September 4, so you don’t have a lot of time, but we will post the results in an upcoming newsletter so you can understand how your fellow members are thinking about these things as well.
I also want to recognize the work of affiliate member Rob Duncan. Since April Rob has taken the time to provide virtual networking in the form of virtual happy hours, a virtual think tank, and sometimes just a virtual conversation with a group of members. Rob is doing his best to fill a networking void created by the Coronavirus and it has been working, at least for me!
I look forward to seeing what the next few months have in store for us, even more I look forward to hearing ideas from each of you about the opportunities for change you see or have created. Lets focus on the road ahead and how we can make our communities, our colleagues, our association, and ourselves better. Stay safe and stay connected!!