A friend of mine recently took a job as CEO of a major health care facility. It's a BIG job. I asked him how things were going. He started to snivel about the huge learning curve and multiple major challenges. However, he caught himself after 10-15 seconds and said, "It's a great job. It's an easy job." I knew that last sentence simply wasn't true. He saw the quizzical look on my face and continued, "We have so many great people on both the medical side and the administrative side that they make my job easy."
I'd never been able to put my thoughts into words before, but my friend summarized my attitude toward serving as president of ATA better than I ever could. I won't name names, because I would inevitably leave someone out. However, you can rest assured that the leadership group within our organization is top-notch. We have a bunch of smart, committed, hard-working folks who strive to make ATA the best it can be.
And I'm not referring only to the ATA Board of Directors. I include the leaders of our South-Central and Kenai Peninsula Chapters, and the evolving groups in Southeast. They are all working hard to make ATA more effective, too. We should also include our Editor, Business Manager and Webmaster. Those folks help the organization run smoothly in ways that enhance our image and the services we provide to members.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the members who volunteer to help at all of our major activities. From the Fur Rondy auction in Anchorage to "shared trails" workshops in Juneau to the Litter Patrol in Fairbanks, our Association survives and thrives due to the hard work of our volunteers. We appreciate and encourage your efforts.
We've made major improvements to ATA over the past 10-15 years. Some of those changes are visible to you as a member. Others are more subtle. We are always trying to come up with additional ways to make the Association more productive. We welcome input from the membership, because good ideas can come from anyone. We all have the same goal of making ATA function efficiently and preserve our way of life. If we all pull a little of the weight, the burden doesn't fall on any single individual or small group.
I'm glad that I had that conversation with my medical friend about his new position. His comments helped me to clearly grasp a vague concept that had been bouncing around inside my head for several years. Thanks to the talents, commitment and hard work of so many people within ATA, my job as president is " … a great job. It's an easy job." I look forward to working with all of you to make ATA the best it can be.