By Miki Lane, CPT, ISPI President

Miki Lane Bio Photo

Historically this month’s “From the Board” article for PerformanceXpress is written by the outgoing President as a “here’s the state of the Society” communication. While I will reflect on the past year, I would also like to focus your thoughts and efforts to the coming years of our Society, I came into the role of President through a special election that ended up putting me on the Board without the normal lead-up time of a President-Elect. While it is true that I had previous Board experience, economic, social, and political issues changed the Board and the Society in many ways since my last tenure. So I came in, with some trepidation, but also knowing that the Society would be in good hands with the existing and new Board members, an excellent staff, and an incoming President-Elect (Judy Hale) with vast experience and vision.

Judy and I looked at developing a consistent plan for the next couple of years. Due to the yearly changeover, many boards seemed to start fresh and strive to make a positive impact on societal affairs. This also occurs at the committee and task force level, and much of the great work done in one year by this hard-working group of volunteers seems to lose traction during the subsequent administration. By thinking we were going to operate in a two- to three-year window, we felt that we would have the opportunity to make some real progress within the Society.

What this meant for me was that my (and therefore my Board’s) task was to lay all of the groundwork for moving ahead. This meant increasing the transparency of the Society’s processes, ensuring financial stability, aligning committee and task force goals to the strategies of the Society, creating new and expanded revenue streams for the Society, and, most important, ensuring that our members (individual and corporate) find value in belonging to our professional home.

We first looked at what had been started by previous boards that would provide significant impetus for what we were planning. We found that previous boards had set success measures for the Society that looked reasonable and achievable, and we incorporated these (with considerable help from our Treasurer, Lisa Toenniges) into the Society’s financial dashboard. The previous board, under Darlene Van Tiem’s direction, had made significant strides in cutting back on societal expenditures and working with staff to reduce several consecutive years of deficit spending. We continued with those measures, and working with Executive Director April Davis, we added new revenue sources and turned a profit at the end of our last fiscal year (September 2010). The previous board started a revenue sharing process, which continued this year under the direction of Carol-Lynn Judge. Eleven proposals were submitted, of which four were selected, and we are looking forward to these providing additional revenue to the Society.

Under Director Paul Cook, previous ideas of creating a “One Society Concept” and bylaws revisions, took on new life and are moving toward realization. The “One Society” concept has been kicking around for a while and we are now putting some meat on those bones. The Society’s bylaws have required some revisions, as we still mentioned sending messages by pony express. Correct and updated bylaws are critical to effective running of the Society and these should be completed in the next year.

Director Dawn Papaila has worked hard with the Chapter Partnership Committee to ensure that chapters are a vibrant and growing part of the Society. We are hoping to launch a new “Chapter Ambassador” project that will provide more hands-on help and service to chapters.

International Director Luise Schneider has led the charge for both a volunteer survey and a volunteer performance management system. This will go a long way in ensuring that our volunteers are both recognized and developed for themselves and the Society. Luise has also focused the Board in its efforts to align the committee and task force goals to the strategies of the Society.

All of this work by the Board and the rest of the committee and task force volunteers has helped the Society gear up for the future. This future looks bright with a committed staff that is moving ahead with marketing efforts and improving our information technology capabilities.

It now looks like we are ready for phase two and Judy’s Board to continue this process. It has been an honor to serve all of you this year, and I look forward to talking about these initiatives and our Society with you at the conference.