I met so many folks there, but Johnny Underwood was certainly the standout for me. There's something about his personality that just draws people to him. They call that charisma, right? Yeah, I think so, too. He has it. It's interesting to be writing this as your newly-elected President, when Johnny has been such a staple of the organization. More than the staple, though, he has been the foundation. We're going to miss his leadership. I hope, Johnny, that I can make you proud. I have a great team behind me (really, they do all the work, y'all know that, right?), and I know we will be a successful organization long into the future.
Back to that first NCCCSPA conference I attended, though. Besides meeting Johnny Underwood, there were no seats open on the board, but I wanted IN! Some folks who have been feeling that way for a while have recently joined our board, and I'm glad to have Jim McAlhaney, Aaron Bowman, Steve Smith, Jean Cahoon, and Brook Cathey on board for this next year. This is the first time since I've been part of the organization that we have had a full board. There are zero vacant seats. This is an exciting time to be part of NCCCSPA. I wanted in in 2011, though. I wanted in bad. So, my then department chair said she would give up her Western Representative seat so I could run for the seat. And there you have it, I weaseled my way in!
I've had so much fun since then. So many people have joined the organization. So few have left. We've had tragic losses, like Linda Chandler, and we'll have great additions in the future, as some of our board members and general members bring children into their lives.
Johnny Underwood always said that NCCCSPA was more like a family to him than a professional organization. I am committed to keeping that feeling alive while we have incredible professional conferences each year.