On the 17th of May, I moderated my last Board of Directors meeting as your President, and this marks my last Sightlines column in that role. On July 1, I transition into the mostly advisory position of Immediate Past President as Dan Culhane begins his three-year term as the newly elected President of USITT. Over my three years at the head of the table, we have made strides in research funding, fundraising, and year-round education and training opportunities. Our annual Conference & Stage Expo has grown each year in attendance, the number of exhibitors has increased, and revenue supporting the operation of our organization has exceeded expectations.
Also, over the last 12 months, with significant changes in my personal life, there have been a lot of endings, accompanied by several new beginnings. As a result of all of this change, I have had the opportunity to give a great deal of thought to the subject of letting go.
As much as I have enjoyed serving as President of this remarkable organization, the time has come for me to let go and that is hard. I still have things that I would like to accomplish, I still have a vision for where we could be going as an Institute, and, if I am completely honest, I am not always certain that the next team of leaders will have either my Institutional memory or skill set to navigate the adventures ahead. But let go I must.
As a nearly 35-year member I have experienced a lot and I am confident that my way is the best way, but is it really? I greatly admire the healthy turnover in leadership that is a hallmark of our organization. I am thrilled about the unknown adventures that new volunteer leaders will dream of, develop, and implement. I also know that ultimately, collaboration with ever-changing groups is invigorating, challenging, and is fundamentally the actual best way for USITT to advance.
So, I not only need to let go, I also need to get out of the way. I am saddened by my occasional colleagues who struggle to let the next generation lead. I have had my turn. I have accomplished much with the help of many. Now I need to put my full support behind the next team, avoid criticizing their approach, ideas, and plans and only respond if and when asked, assuming there is not another member anxious for their own opportunity to contribute.
These past three years this column has provided me a bully pulpit to share thoughts and ideas that I hope occasionally challenged and sometimes inspired. My appreciation is extended to all of you for trusting me with this opportunity, and I truly am confident that even greater days for USITT are ahead. Thank you. I am letting go.