Just as Summer inevitably turns to Fall, our beloved Society’s leadership changes at the end of September each year with new local Council and Conference President elections at the end of respective three-year terms.
At the national level, the term of the National President and his/her Board is six years. The current National Council’s Board of Directors began their Board service in 2017. It concludes with that of the National President, when Ralph Middlecamp’s six-year term ends on September 30. Since 2017, well, what a ride! Allow me to share with you just some of the accomplishments made possible through policy development or direct actions taken by this Board.
- They strengthened support of local Councils though enhancements of our Model Bylaws, Standards of Excellence, and a new Safeguarding policy.
- They engaged more members in national service through regions, committees, and task forces.
- They expanded recruitment, leadership inclusion, and Conference support for under-represented ethnic communities and young adults.
- They shepherded six years of profitable National Council financial success and stability, including the policy formation of how to use restricted funds and operating reserves while simultaneously growing fundraising and operational support. Along the way, we increased financial and leadership support for the global Society, and supported three new national subsidiary organizations.
- During the global pandemic, the Board went remote for three National meetings – and doubled our attendance! They also pivoted all of us first to remote activities and then back again to in-person services and gatherings. Along the way they supported growth from 20 to more than 100 national webinars annually.
- The Board provided budgets and policies to rebuild our national public and member websites, and created oversight for better document management and online security systems.
- Finally, this board sold our national office to buy a new building just a block away that doubled our staff workspace, added a larger, interactional boardroom and a beautiful Vincentian chapel. This was accomplished without asking for any membership dues assessments or even a capital campaign, a rare feat among nonprofits!
There is more, but you get the idea. This has been a high-functioning board of directors working on your behalf to support and strengthen the Society in the United States. We recognized the Board members at the closing banquet of our National Assembly, but a few words can’t express the gratitude they are owed for shepherding the National Council over the past six exciting years of the Society.
We also say goodbye, well sort of, to our National President Ralph Middlecamp as his term ends. The good news is that after six years of exceptional, Vincentian servant leadership to the Society in one country, we now share Ralph with the rest of the world. Upon the election and recent installation of the new Council General International President, Ralph has been appointed International First Vice President! This is great news for all of us, as the U.S. Council participates very actively in the work of the global Society. Ralph can keep us informed and up to date on spiritual, service, financial and other opportunities.
Every national Board builds upon the work of those who served previously. New National President John Berry and his newly-appointed Board of Directors will have their own initiatives and goals, with a strong National Council to continue to strengthen in service to you as its members. Finances and staff are strong, and we have relatively few urgent challenges. It’s a great time to re-assess our Society presence, culture and operations (more on this from John soon), and take time to listen, really listen, to our members and the world around us. Thank you, Ralph and our outgoing Board, and with John and our new Board, we can’t wait to get to work!
Yours in Christ,