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Buckeye State Student Officers Make a Splash

February 1st, 2011

Ohio State Officers visit SkillsUSA's National Leadership Center
Recently, we had 50 Ohio state, regional and two national officers conducting training here at the National Leadership Center week before last along with 10 advisors and Mike Cowles, Ohio state association director. The whole delegation went to Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill for congressional visits. Delegations of students and teachers met with eight Representatives and both of the state’s Senators. I understand the meetings went extremely well. Advisors who told me about the experience did so with gleaming eyes.

Then, in a new addition to the Ohio conference, the state officers held a summit with the Maryland state student officers in Frederick, Md. It was a great week of experiences for all concerned.

Annual “Week of Excitement” Keeps on Giving

February 1st, 2011

Our strategic planning sessions the week of January 10 went extremely well. Board President Russ Hoffbauer gave the full staff his keynote remarks on Tuesday, January 11, by phone. With a little paraphrasing, he said: “The ultimate aim of planning is results, not activities. That’s one reason why your focus on metrics this year is so exciting. There’s never enough time or resources to do everything, that’s why planning is so important. The board counts on your work.”

With staff recommendations, the directors developed eight macro objectives comprising all of the work of the association – in contrast to the 21 macro objectives we have now – in the five goal areas to help SkillsUSA reach toward Vision 2020. The macro objectives should also be the eight areas we report on to the board and the foundation. All of the departments have now developed objectives and tactics. A preliminary draft of the plan went to the State Association Directors Executive Committee last week.


February 1st, 2011
  • Membership as of January 31 stood at 243,342. That’s 9,927 over our membership on this date last year.
  • As a follow-up to our challenge to make our national headquarters campus energy neutral by 2020, we met by teleconference with DPZ Architects and Town Planners and with Second Eden Studio, a green consultant/design firm. Since that meeting, we have received a quote from Second Eden Studio to conduct an energy audit of our building/campus. The audit will help us determine the needs and budget for this initiative over the next nine years.
  • Recently, I was in Chicago, meeting with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and their affiliate staff members who manage “ProStart” and “ServSafe” certificate programs. I met with NRAEF program managers and the interim executive director. We agreed to crosswalk our technical standards with their national standards and to align them as fully as possible. NRAEF also agreed to appoint a representative to serve on our national technical committee for culinary arts.
  • While the Ohio group was here, Momentum, one of the U.S. Army’s agencies, and representatives of the Army met us to discuss our partnership and how to engage in more students at the local and state levels. They joined staff and the Ohio group for lunch and heard very passionate presentations by our students.
  • And, we’re still carrying the word on state association boards. Staff traveled to Massachusetts to assist its board with strategic planning, and I went to Arizona to conduct board training and strategic planning. As a result of our work together, the Arizona board and I developed a new strategic plan for the state association. The national office staff produced and published the plan, and it was e-mailed to all Arizona board members within one week of our meeting.

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