ooking back over the past year of my chairmanship of IAMC, two key points come to mind. First is that this year was a watershed of sorts. While COVID variants still threaten our public health, we have learned how to maneuver — and actually be productive — within new rules of business and social engagement.
The second is that, as chair, I think I had the easy part of this transformation. The heavy lifting through the worst of the past three years was accomplished by your previous chairs: Jennifer Roth and Colleen Caravati. They were the ones who negotiated through the puzzle of maintaining association interaction and camaraderie in the face of a global shutdown. Their leadership was inspirational. Getting back to in-person Forums and growing our Professional Development opportunities was, by comparison, the easy part.
Of course, none of us does it alone, and the IAMC staff has been supporting us all, through decisions both painful and hopeful. They have been working diligently to maintain membership — and membership engagement — throughout. This is a triumph not many associations can claim.
Their collective labors certainly were rewarded as we regrouped for our Spring Forum in Fort Lauderdale. And it bodes very well indeed for our upcoming Fall Forum in Detroit, where we will be celebrating the association’s 20th anniversary. But in a broader sense, we will be celebrating much more.
I will officially hand the baton to Karen Shchuka in Detroit, and I look forward to watching her — again with the full support of the IAMC staff — continue to explore how to achieve a sense of normality within these new rules of engagement.
It will not be a simple task. While COVID and its variants have become (more or less) a threat with which we have all learned to deal, there are new issues to address, some directly related to the overhang of the pandemic, some not. Whether the topic is inflation or the still-tangled supply chain or record-breaking hiring shortages, there will be plenty of problems to talk about and, it is hoped, plenty of solutions and workarounds to share.
The past nearly three years has been an evaluation of our membership, staff and leadership, and I am proud that we as an association have passed the test. As we pivot toward 2023, Karen can certainly count on our collective support. And each of us can continue to count on the help and guidance of the IAMC staff as well as the insights we all freely share.
After all, together we are IAMC. It is what we do.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Chair. It has certainly been my honor.
Chair, IAMC Board of Directors