The 2017 Conference Committee, under Stephanie Bird’s leadership, put together an amazing conference that won’t soon be forgotten. While speaking to folks since the conference, I’ve heard many compliment San Antonio, the Riverwalk, the conference’s diverse sessions, the Denim and Diamonds President’s Reception, and our exceedingly popular Tuesday night event, “An Evening in Old San Antonio,” featuring the very memorable Spazmatics concert.
While I agree that those were all top notch and memorable, for me, the highlight had to have been our opening keynote, Julian Castro. His messages of inclusion, compassion, responsibility and optimism set the tone, not only for our conference but for our association as well. His words reminded me of our call to service, beyond the daily noise of our jobs and to the larger role we play in supporting our students and staffs in discovering their passion and following their calling.
Conferences of this caliber and scale don’t occur without the tireless work, creativity and innovation of our many volunteers. I want to formally thank all of you who contributed to making our 10-year celebration one to remember. And speaking of volunteers, I’d like to congratulate and thank Gary Alan Miller, Director of UNC-Chapel Hill Career Services, for taking on the Assistant Conference Chair role for the 2018 conference in Atlanta. He and Tim Harding (2018 Conference Chair) are already hard at work, building upon the success of the San Antonio conference. Just having heard some of their preliminary ideas, I’m already looking forward to December.
And, in case you missed it, we held elections for the four transitioning positions on the 2018-19 SoACE Board. We had a fantastic slate of candidates this year. I was especially proud to see unprecedented interest in the Director – Finance position, typically one of the more difficult roles to fill. Heartfelt congratulations go out to Charlie Wilder (Mississippi State University) as President-Elect, Kelly Lerch (Enterprise Holdings) as Director – Finance, Emmanuela Stanislaus (Florida International University) as Director – College Knowledge Groups, and Cheryl Hicks (Wake Forest University) as Director – Diversity and Inclusion. Their roles will officially begin in July. Welcome to the SoACE board.
SoACE had a very successful 2017 and we definitely have much more to do in 2018.