This is my last president’s message as the president for the Southern Oregon Chapter of the ASSP. I have held several positions on the local chapter board and found some more “challenging” than others. I have been the president a few times and held other positions such as secretary, treasurer, VP, COMT chair, served on the conference committee since 2006, etc. All were rewarding in many ways.
“Challenging” is a curious word. I recall in the Air Force, when I was in Security Forces, we would “challenge” someone, which meant that we would request certain codes to validate the person’s authorization to be near or around certain assets. When I tried out for the Emergency Services Team, a military version of SWAT, we were told we would be physically “challenged” to our maximum ability. I remember hating to be “challenged” to a sparring match in Japanese Ju Jitsu because we were never “challenged” by a lessor trained opponent, only by superior classmates, and I always had my hat handed to me. When I had the opportunity to cross-train into the safety career field, I was overjoyed at the “challenge” of learning such an outstanding field. As you can see, a word such as “challenge” or “challenging” has many applications which is defined by the context in which used.
So, when I say that I, “found some more challenging that others,” what did I mean? Well, in this context, I found the challenges to be an endeavor that would be rewarding. All positions were challenging and rewarding. The “challenging” context I’m referring to here is what comes with saying “yes I’ll serve, and I am excited to do so.” This brought rewards which ensured my positive view of the career field was cemented forever in my mind. In other words, I had to commit to being plugged in to the chapter activities, and I am just amazed at how much I have enjoyed it and will always hold it as a highlight of my career. I can sum up the rewards in one word: friendships. I absolutely cannot put into words how awesome it has been getting to be around those people willing to serve on the board. I cannot put into words how much I have enjoyed getting to know people in the safety community. I can say that my professional life and my career has been made to be so much more FUN than I ever expected. It’s because of those who make up the chapter board and those who attend the safety functions. I have been overwhelming blessed by this challenge.
As a result, I am very grateful to have had the opportunities to serve this safety community, and I thank all that I have gotten to know for being plugged in. I am stating all of this to show our members that it is worth your time and effort to participate in your safety community. I completely believe that you will find it challenging and rewarding—if you will just take the challenge!