As many of you know, I’ve held a seat on APTA’s Business Member Board of Governors (BMBG) for several years, affording me the opportunity to contribute to the association and the industry and, importantly, to view the contributions of others.
I’ve seen hundreds of hours of work volunteered to the association by individuals already burdened with incredible workloads at the office. As APTA representatives, they attend numerous face-to-face meetings and conference calls, prepare reports and presentations, travel widely and rarely complain about the additional burden.
This perspective was broadened recently as I took on new responsibilities as a member of APTA’s Nominating Committee. Each year, this group is convened to evaluate transit professionals who are seeking positions for the upcoming year as officers and vice chairs on APTA’s Executive Committee, as well as vacancies on its board of directors.
To be considered for these positions, applicants must submit a statement of qualifications that describes their background and experience and reflects their commitment to both the association and industry.
Strength in every corner
This year’s group of applicants represented a cross-section of the industry. Some are employed by small agencies and companies, while others work at medium-sized and large concerns. The applicants’ diversity also included gender, race and geographic location. Their only common trait was the compelling nature of their qualifications.
In reviewing these statements, I can’t tell you how impressed I was by the breadth of work experience, knowledge levels, industry involvement and talent displayed by the candidates. Each applicant offered an extraordinary resumé of accomplishments during his or her career, and many had decades of experience in the transit industry.
There’s no doubt that the association will be well served by this crop of candidates. The only difficulty was deciding which of them should be nominated. They all presented such strong cases for inclusion that it was incredibly challenging to create a single slate of candidates to send forward for nomination at this year’s APTA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
My experience on the Nominating Committee has given me a renewed appreciation of the talented people who lead our industry. Fact is, many of them are modest about their accomplishments, almost to the point of self deprecation. But when you see their accomplishments on paper in black and white, you have a better understanding of their capabilities.
We’re in good hands
The extraordinary guidance provided by APTA’s leadership has served the industry well for many years, and judging from the most recent applicants for Executive Committee posts, things are going to continue in the same vein.
Although we’re all facing challenges that seem to grow daily, the association is in good hands. Not only is it superbly run by President Bill Millar and his fine staff, but the Executive Committee and all of its board members, are among the most hard-working, committed and talented professionals that you’ll find in any industry.
If you have the opportunity, please thank them for the generous amount of time and energy that they donate to the betterment of the association and the industry. Until you’ve walked in their shoes for a year, you would have a hard time believing how much spirit and enterprise they contribute to the association.