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NABE News - April 2017 - President's Message
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NABE President's Message - April 2017

By Zoe W. Linza

Zoe W. LinzaCycles, Changes, and Where’d the Time Go?

At this time of year, we often make comparisons between the cycles of life and the seasonal changes around us. Harsh days and cold nights give way to azalea blossoms and sunshine and baseball…and in the blink of an eye, schools will close for the summer…and then reopen for fall. In our lives, we work, we play, we learn, we teach, we love, we suffer losses, we see grey hair (well, some of you do) and then think “where did the last 10, 20, 30 years go?”

Zoe with daughter, Hilary, and granddaughter, ZoeOur bars also go through life cycles. I tell new staff they won’t really know the bar until they’ve worked a year because so many of our activities are once a year. The same is true for our presidents. They have many duties and events they only preside over once and then pass on to the next president. They have agendas to get done in a year and sometimes it can be a challenge for staff to complete massive projects in this time frame. Sometimes we see the enthusiasm of an early presidency wane as the year comes to an end and a “kick that can down the road" mentality” sets in when they realize there’s not enough time to do it all.

I’ve shared with some of you that it has been interesting for me to be on “the other side of the coin” serving as NABE president. All of a sudden, I’m the one with only one year to accomplish my presidential goals. I’m the one when NABE staff calls with a concern or even crisis when I’m in the middle of the bar’s yearly party for 3,000 kids and I say “I don’t have time for this right now. Call next week!” It has been very educational for me to be “on the other side” of that call and I’ve become more knowledgeable and sympathetic with the roles our presidents play in leadership. I also find myself like many of our presidents, winding down. What can I accomplish with only 2½ months left? At the beginning of the year, my goals were: 1) have an awesome 75th Anniversary Party—I think I can put “check” by that thanks to the awesome committee that worked on that event; 2) have a cohesive and functioning board and association (it is important to me that every person’s position and thoughts be respected, with all members equally able to present ideas, and I have been fortunate to have a great group of board members, committee and section chairs, and NABE staff to help make that goal achievable); and 3) create a living, breathing strategic plan. That one is still a work in progress, but I think something that will continue to evolve and change and I think that is actually a good thing for a strategic plan—not a bookend on the shelf, but an ongoing process of analysis and thought. That is what I’m telling myself as the weeks go flying by!

So, like some of our presidents, I, too, am experiencing some days of “short-timer” syndrome. I know I won’t get it all done and someone else can deal with what’s left, but I hope you, the NABE members, know how much I appreciate the opportunity to serve as your president…and to experience a president's “life cycle.”

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