April 24, 2017

Long Live the Past

"History has to be rewritten in every generation, because although the past does not change the present does; each generation asks new questions of the past, and finds new areas of sympathy as it re-lives different aspects of the experiences of its predecessors."

It's true; you can't relive your past or even apply revisionism to alter what was. It happened and, more importantly, it will be remembered.

 Our association has a lot of past, decades worth. I remember my association past and it is one of quite a few emotions. Great fundraisers, packed networking events, great friendships and outstanding mentors. I can only imagine our association at its beginning and what those members were thinking when our past was their present. What will our future look like as our present slides into past memories? I haven't a clue but I do know this; things have changed quite a bit from my early days of volunteerism to today. Today's volunteers are not as engaged as they once were. I'm sure the horrific downturn in our industry played a significant role in the decline of dedicated volunteers. We are still looking up at the potential for our industry but we are a long way from the dearth of permits.

What happened to the passion of volunteerism?

There are still volunteers who give a damn but those ranks are dwindling. We lost some great mentors over the years which is one reason the more recent volunteers are contributing with less frequency and dampened passion. 
The relevance of committee work may also be on a decline. Maybe it's because it seems like every discussion tends to go off point or maybe it's because any direction feels like it takes an eternity to arrive at a decisive point.

We have to figure out what our association needs to focus on for success and apply those needs to our areas of volunteerism. Today's present can help tomorrow's present but we have to be committed to reshaping our association for tomorrow's needs.I offer no direction, no examples or even a nudge in the right direction. It's up to each local's leadership to figure this one out and bringing the Young Professionals into the mix, now.

My volunteer days seem to be trending downward. I'm not leaving anytime soon; I'm just realizing I have many yesterdays and my amount of tomorrows are certainly shrinking. I have to pick and choose where my talents are best suited and hopefully can help one or two more members with guidance a long the way.
I do hope that we can all focus on what we will look like and how we will conduct association business in the days, months and years ahead.

submitted by Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP

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