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President's Message: Get Involved!

March 25, 2014

President's Message: Get Involved!

By John Rodeberg, President, APWA-MN

I have always loved working as part of a team. Not just sports teams...and maybe not all teams… but as part of a research project team, or as part of a band, or a group of dedicated staff working towards the same goal, or a focused team working on a specific project.

I have been lucky to be involved in many great teams and with many great associations, but it truly doesn’t get any better than this!

The Minnesota Chapter of APWA has been blessed with strong leadership. We are recognized as one of the most successful chapters in the APWA. I have been an active member of APWA for over 20 years, including previous roles as a director and committee chair. Over that time, I have enjoyed working with many, many great leaders. 

In my current role as an officer, I have had the great pleasure to work with past-presidents Jeannine Clancy and Lee “Mr. Energy” Gustafson, delegate Angela Popenhagen, and officers Bob Cockriel and Sue Mason.

The strength of the Minnesota chapter team lies only partially in its officers, but also in the incredible number of active directors, committee chairs, task leaders, and other members. Thanks to all our members for their commitment to the Minnesota chapter!

In our never-ending commitment to grow and improve the Minnesota chapter, we have been actively working on many initiatives over the years.

As part of our strategic planning discussions this year, we have decided to put an extra focus on outreach and diversity. The outreach focus is related to actively engaging all of our members, but focusing especially on reaching our outstate membership. In regards to diversity, our goal is to make sure we have diversity (racial, age, sex, etc.) in our committees and other activities, to better support the growth of our industry, as well as the needs of the public works profession and our members.

Some of our recent  team efforts include:

  • We have the most successful Student Chapter in the nation, and an active and growing Young Professionals group. This success is based on many members providing a lot of time and support, and all members are needed to keep the momentum going. Get involved!
  • Our Education & Training and Membership &Special Events committees develop and provide a multitude of training, networking, and other opportunities and events. Members of every age and professional background have an array of resources available due to the great work that these members provide to the chapter. Get involved!
  • Part of these efforts carry over into our terrific Conferences and Workshops. The Spring Conference will be held in just a few weeks, and this fall we again will be holding our extremely successful Fall Workshop and Fall Conference. Please take advantage of these wonderful opportunities to grow in your profession. Get involved!
  • The Chapter will host the 2016 APWA International Public Works Congress and Exhibition at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Work is already starting, and we will need the help of our membership to make this a success. This will be a terrific opportunity to expose our members and all public works professionals to the latest trends and equipment in the industry. Get involved!
  • The Communications Committee has developed a “smoking hot” web site that continues to expand as an important and useful resource for our members. It takes a lot of work to update the site and keep it current, informative and valuable. Take a look and let us know your thoughts and needs. Get Involved!
  • The Environment & Sustainability Committee continues to address significant and controversial issues that affect our profession. With so many environmental and sustainability concerns continually being raised and being the focus of potentially significant regulation, vigilance and involvement are needed. Get involved!
  • The Awards Committee continues its incredible record of bringing the success of our chapter efforts to a national audience. Again this year we were able to submit a wide range of terrific nominations for national awards. Get involved!
  • The chapter’s Public Awareness Committee and MN 2050 coalition continue in their efforts to inform the public about the importance of our infrastructure and the public works profession. Our partnership effort with Twin Cities Public Television, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and others provide terrific outreach to the public, and takes a lot of effort. Get involved!

As always, these efforts will only succeed with the help and involvement of the team. Learn more about these events and volunteer opportunities on our website. To volunteer, go to Volunteer Opportunities.

Get involved, have fun, and thanks for all of your efforts!

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