Today marks my 100th day as President of NEASO, a milestone worthy of reflection. If these few months have taught me anything, it’s that no matter how difficult the challenges, I am honored to be part of the NEASO union. And that is largely thanks to our NEASO brothers and sisters.
Making connections, outreach, and seeking input from our members will remain important hallmarks of my administration. Since my first day, one of my most important goals has been to connect with our members in new and different ways. During our “Meet the Officers Brown Bags”, “Snack & Groove Committee Sign-Up” and “NEASO Committee Chairs Roundtable (NCCR)”, I could feel the excitement of veteran and new members. And I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for how deeply our members care about their union and the opportunities that exist to be engaged and advance the vision and mission of NEASO.
I am excited that we are strengthening the relationship between headquarters and our brothers and sisters at Member Benefits. I can’t count the number of visits I have made to Gaithersburg to reconnect and reestablish a sense of community and unity. We need our family at Member Benefits just as much as they need us.
There were many other accomplishments we should also be proud of: the ASTO MOU signing (HQ); the first General Membership vote to hire a NEASO Executive Director; NEA New Employee Orientation, where we were at the table to inform our members about NEASO, and the Stewards Training (HQ) that will happen in May of this year (MB, your training is on the way).
My key take-aways during my first 100 days is that NEASO needs to enhance our communication so that everyone understands our goals and ultimate decisions, as well as how those decisions were made. I am committed to being forthcoming (as much as I can), and being accountable, as well as improve communication and dialogue for everyone.
We must never forget that we are here to serve the best interests of our members and we must prioritize their interests above our own at every turn. We must handle conflict the right way and do our jobs with diligence and integrity.
And make no mistake, we are not in this to be an ordinary union–we are in it to be extraordinary. “One Voice, One Sound” is so much more than a motto. It is an expectation – one for me, our members, and the leaders of this great union. While none of us are perfect, excellence should always be our goal. But to reach it, everyone must be pulling in the same direction.
I look forward to the next 100 days of working with you and for you so that NEASO can realize its fullest potential. It will take all of us, together, to get to where we need to go. And we will, if we speak with “One Voice, One Sound.”