I have had the privilege of being the 95th President of IAWP and the 7th from the great state of Illinois in our 107-year history, but few have experienced a year like we had this year. I am proud to have been your president and of the accomplishments we were able to achieve during these unprecedented times. As you know so many things were different. But we were all in this together, we survived and persevered.
I wish to thank our 2020-21 board, Amber Drake, Nancy Fink, Stephanie Stevens, Mary Rogers, Denise Carey, Rebekah Wilkes, Donna Glacken and Wally Roper for their dedication to IAWP’s mission to “Strengthen the workforce development system through professional development, education, and networking.” This was a tough mission to accomplished during a pandemic, still each person attended bi-monthly board meetings, participated in a sub-committee to develop specific goals and measures. It was my pleasure to work with this dedicated board.
I also wish to thank our executive director, Steve Bent. He keeps everything moving forward for this organization. I talked to Steve every Wednesday morning, and we monitored our plans. He never let me down. He has wonderful ideas and keeps up on new trends for non-for-profit organizations. I do not think we would exist if it were not for Steve keeping us on track.
We started the year by setting the following goals: Increasing membership, creating training, providing a weekly social hour, and monthly retiree virtual training. We increased paid membership dues by $5000, we had 2 successful virtual conferences with revenue of $25,000, we had a weekly social hour each Wednesday evening, monthly webinars, and we had monthly retiree virtual gathering. All the training material we created for the conferences is available online for members to view as part of their membership and non-members to purchase.
Our financial condition for the first time in over 10 years is improving. We are not where we want to be, but we are heading in the right direction. We are engaging with state leaders and providing them with valuable training to strengthen their workforce. We are using our connections to help those workers and employers who are burnt out from the pandemic. Our members were asked to help millions of unemployed and we were there to help them. We did presentations that were timely to address the problems our members faced.
We have a new proposal in the works to continue to grow IAWP by providing group membership options to purchase our products. We continue to look for ways to increase our members and provide them with access to the many products we provide, keeping in mind the importance of our values of integrity, collaboration, fellowship, inclusiveness, community, and stewardship. I am thankful for your support this year and your participation in our many activities. Thank you for this opportunity to be your president.