President’s Message – Winter 2012
My first applause will go to our outgoing President, Beverley Wilks; she has led FASSW to another level and I look forward very much to working closely with her, as I have done over these wonderful past two years. Our Executive Board remains strong and needless to say looking for members to get involved. I also want to give a special thanks to Dr.Benita Tillman Brown and her team for chairing our 2012 FASSW Conference in Cocoa Beach. It was a fantastic conference and we are looking forward to a 3-day weekend cruise for our 67th Annual Conference in October 2013. Please join us as we are planning great things during this next conference. Information to sign up is on our website.
Our newdynamic Executive Board of Past President Beverley Wilks; Vice President Dr. Laurel Thompson; Treasurer Bruce Vankirk; Secretary Kim Fredrick and myself as President have great plans but we need your involvement. I also want to give thanks to our Board’s Committees, especially our legislative committee member, Sandy SanMiguel for the wounderful job she has done informing us of important and related legislative issues.
For many, this is the Holiday Season, a time to reflect, to count our blessings, to make resolutions to do better. I ask you to appreciate the opportunity we have to serve others. I hope that one of your resolutions is to get involved in our state Association. FASSW believes deeply in our service mission.
The year 2012 is nearly gone and we have reached the midpoint of this school year. It is time to take stock of the goals we have set for ourselves, and the progress we have made toward them. Are we on track to achieve what we set out to accomplish?
I am a great believer in the importance of setting goals that are high, but realistic. A worthwhile goal should be within your reach, but still require you to stretch. Opening yourself to a new challenge helps you find out what you are really capable of, which may well be more than you think.
FASSW has set for ourselves a simple and vital goal: to do the most good we can for our members with what we have. To do this, we need your help; to improve accountability, transparency, and state visability; and to focus our service more intensely in the areas where we know we can have the most impact.
It is not enough to bring new members into FASSW. We want them to stay. We want the new members to become longtime members. We want them to be FASSW leaders in the years to come.
When we invite a new member to join and that person’s answer is no, we should ask why. This is not to pressure someone into joining. It is to find out more information. What are the obstacles to membership? Is it an inconvenience? Is it too much of a time commitment? Is it something else that we have not thought of?
It’s easy to get discouraged, but I encourage you to get involved in your profession. Don’t wait to be asked. As most of you know this is my second time becoming state President and it is with a great sense of privilege that I accept this responsibility. I feel very privileged to work with a committed and engaged Board, an incredibly talented and hard-working group of volunteers who are distinguished by their dedication and focus towards our state Association. I hope to have the support of all Florida School Social Workers, not only the members, but those who have not joined yet. FASSW needs the support of all, as we are agents of change. We are very grateful for your loyal support through membership. You form the core of our strength as we move forward to our 68th year as an Association. If I can be of any assistance do not hesitate to contact me. My goal this year is to recruit front leaders that are willing to take our Association to the next level.
Thank you for the hard work you do every day.
Your New President,
Dr. Wilfredo (Freddie) Nieves