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Letter from the President
Judy Black
January 20, 2013

I'm not actually sure how long I've been a member of Pi Chi Omega. I know that I joined very early in my career based on being nominated by Dottie Lund, my mentor and a Purdue grad. Dottie is a big believer in networking with fellow technically-minded people and in the value of promoting education in the pest management industry. For those of you who know Dottie you'll appreciate this; I'm pretty sure she filled out the nomination form and said "you're doing this - it will be good for you". Not sure I really remember having a choice! Dottie retired shortly thereafter, and I was not active at all in the organization. Although, I paid my dues every year!

Fast forward 15 or 20 years and Greg Baumann encouraged me to attend the dinner membership meeting at the Purdue Conference. At that meeting, Dr. Austin Frishman introduced a project which he was going to lead that would raise funds for the Heifer Project to provide bee hives as a business opportunity in disadvantaged areas. His appeal was so articulate, passionate and sincere that I immediately thought: This is the kind of organization I want to be involved in. Providing scholarships in entomology, donating bee hives, and by-the-way having the opportunity to network with some of the best minds in our industry. Win, win, win as far as I was concerned.

Fast forward a few more years and I was elected President of this esteemed organization. My broad goals for my term are transparency and relevancy. Since I have become more active in the organization I have seen the Board effectively walk the fine line between maintaining the fine line between maintaining the original spirit and goals of the organization, while pushing to evolve to stay relevant in today's world. I believe we can continue that, as is demonstrated in our proposed by-laws changes. I hope that you have already seen an improvement in our transparency related to finances, and you will see more at the membership meeting in January.

The Board is establishing precedents in financial transparency that will continue after the terms of the current Board. Growth will be an off shoot of relevancy. But I want to make it clear that I don't think there is any point in having lots of members unless the members really get something out of the organization. So, if you read through my history with Pi Chi Omega the underlying theme is that in many ways I was responsible for how relevant the organization was to/for me. When I wasn't involved it was completely irrelevant. It took me getting involved to make it relevant in my own life.

So, don't just pay your dues each year. Make Pi Chi Omega relevant in your life by; volunteering to serve on a committee, volunteering to run for a Board position, participating in membership meetings, volunteering to host a table at lunch at your local pest management conference for Pi Chi Omega members to sit together and network, volunteering to lead a special project like Dr. Frishman did with the bee hives.

In conclusion, thank you for allowing me to be your President. While I don't want to make vast numbers of promises I can't keep, I do want to start and complete 3 or 4 meaningful projects. I'll save what those are for the Purdue meeting and our next newsletter!

Previous Letters from the President of Pi Chi Omega: