Message from President Andy Hillman
I mark our NYSUFC year from conference to conference, so the dog days of summer kick off the Council’s new year for me. Our Executive Secretary’s contract is aligned with the calendar year, and the USDA Forest Service and NYSDEC are on schedules that appear mysterious sometimes. I always get a boost of energy from the conference and right afterward it seems like a new beginning.
So what lies ahead for the Council in the next twelve months? We just elected new members to our Board of Directors and I am confident in their leadership. I expect them to be very involved as we continue in our mission to create a healthy urban and community forest in New York State.
We will now begin the search in earnest for a new Executive Secretary to replace Betty Shimo who is retiring at the end of 2014. Betty will be sorely missed, but we are fortunate that she will help us through the transition. You can see the Request for Proposal here.
Our first ever Annual Report, covering the 2013 calendar year, was published and distributed at our annual meeting last month. We will build on this to produce an even more comprehensive report for 2014. If you have not read it yet, you might be surprised by the council’s activity last year. We have done some meaningful work and should be proud of the accomplishments.
A new strategic plan will be developed this year that will provide guideposts to the Council for the coming years. Our vision and mission statements will be revisited to make sure they are still relevant in the rapidly changing landscape of urban forestry.
We are looking at Region 7 for the 2015 NY ReLeaf Conference. Region 1 set the bar very high: Hofstra University and the conference we had there will be tough to live up to. We are looking at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse as the top contender with Lemoyne College and Binghamton University in the running.
This is an exciting time for those of us involved in urban forestry and there will be no post-conference letdown in our momentum. There is plenty of work to be done, and we take pride in our inclusivity and transparency. If you have time and energy to devote to the work of the Council, give me a shout and we will find the best way for you to plug in! —Andy Hillman, Andrew.Hillman@Davey.com