As I drove home a few weeks ago from a meeting in Seattle, Washington, I listened to one of the presidential debates on National Public Radio. As I listened, it struck me that the speakers did not emphasize or stress any future goals and only discussed problems without any hint of solutions. Now as I am composing this column, my first President's Message, I have the duty, responsibility, and privilege to enumerate my goals for NEHA in the upcoming year.
This year will be very important in the evolution of our association. I say that because I believe this year will be like few others in the history of NEHA. We are growing, we are becoming more fiscally robust, we have expanded our professional capacity, we have broadened our resources, and we have increased our connectivity to local, state, and federal institutions and agencies. It is in this positive and dynamic operating environment that I share my goals for NEHA.
Make NEHA inclusive of all the disciplines, practices, and professions that work in and contribute to the environmental health field. Although we now have a Business and Industry Affiliate that is dedicated to our colleagues working in commercial operations, there are many more professionals working and contributing to environmental health that do not have a professional association to call "home." I have traveled around the country and have met many of these practitioners at seminars and trainings. There is a myriad of professionals seeking an association where they can learn, contribute, and grow. Occupations such as industrial and governmental environmental health and safety, hospital environmental services, and educational environmental services are but a few of the occupational areas that are seeking a suitable professional home. NEHA must become an inclusive association that promotes professionalism throughout all environmental endeavors.
Make NEHA an active, vigorous, and dynamic association through the actions of its officers, board of directors, staff, and members. As a profession we must continue to promote and implement high standards, and practice sound fiscal operation, connectivity, stakeholder involvement, and elevation of the profession and our reputation. During the last year, our board of directors and executive director have made great strides in restructuring our organization and expanding our presence and influence in Washington, DC, and with federal institutions, agencies, and officials. It is vital...