Have No Fear: Engagement doesn’t mean a big time commitment

President's Message

Have No Fear: Engagement doesn’t mean a big time commitment

Years ago, there was a tract of undeveloped land behind my house owned by a local cemetery. The cemetery received an offer to use that land and held a public meeting to get input from those of us who lived in the vicinity. I went to the meeting, and when I found out what they wanted to use it for, I spoke up in opposition. I suddenly found myself the leader of the neighborhood group lobbying against the development.

I know first-hand why everyone, from time to time, is hesitant to participate in or speak up at meetings: you’re afraid you’re going to be asked to take something on you’re not ready for or feel you don’t have time to do.

I also understand the lack of time. We all have things we have chosen to commit our small amount of free time to doing. For me, it’s SBCA and our local Georgia chapter. For you, it might be your church, your kids, your aging parents, a community organization – maybe even a combination of those things.

I get it. Yet I still appeal to you to get engaged in SBCA.

This is your trade association, and its strength relies on the input and ideas of the people who make up this great industry. Maybe attending BCMC each year is as much time as you can commit. That’s great; please come to Milwaukee next year and join the conversations that occur there. All I ask is, if you hear something you want to know more about, reach out and let me know. If you think something can be improved, send me an email, and I’ll pass the message on to the people who can make it happen. Getting engaged, even just once, can help us make this association and this industry better.

If you think you have a little time to devote beyond BCMC but don’t want to travel, call into the next SBCA webinar. This new educational series is a great way to keep up on trends in the industry and to learn best practices. It’s also a great opportunity to share your concerns and ask questions in a commitment-free way.

I can promise you that voicing your opinion during a webinar, at a meeting or in an email will not result in me asking you to chair a committee on the topic. I want you to rest assured you can and should share your thoughts and ideas without fear of taking on a commitment.

I encourage you to consider all the ways you could get more engaged in influencing the direction of your industry. As the market slows down over the next two months, I ask you to visit the SBCA website, keep an eye on the SBCA calendar, and pick one or two ways to get involved in 2018. Without adding to your current commitments, you can make our association stronger and our industry more successful.