President's Message: Goodbye 2010 and Hello 2011

The end of the year always seems to bring with it an "out with the old" and "in with the new" mentality. ‘Tis the season where it's not uncommon to see political cartoons where 2010 goes out the exit door as a battered, old gray and balding dude and the new born 2011 comes crawling in with a bit of naiveté, diapers and a 2011 banner. Many of us are glad to see 2010 end and are ready for the optimism a new year brings with it.

The last two years have been challenging. All of us have faced the "Great Recession" either personally or professionally, and it appears like we have somehow made it through the worst of it.

We've also had some challenges this year at PRSA's Miami Chapter as well.

We had three Chapter Treasurers in 2010; one resigned due to a transient neurological malady, the second was injured after she fell off a cliff during a hiking trip and is still going through physical therapy. It was a true challenge, but we somehow got through it, and, thankfully, so did they. In case you're wondering, our present Treasurer is doing well and plans to stay that way.

Our membership numbers dipped a bit due to some members switching careers or moving from the area, as the ripple effects of a bad economy and a high unemployment rate were finally realized. But now at year's end, things are turning around, as we seem to be having less attrition and more growth.

We also saw fewer members and PR professionals attend our "Food for Thought" luncheons. It appears many organizations are doing more with less. This resulted in less free time, for some, to break away and participate in these mini-seminars.

On the good side, we have in place for 2011 a hard working group of new leaders, many of whom are first time officers, board members and committee chairs. Led by Annabel Beyra, our 2011 President, they are poised for growth and ready for any challenge that may come their way.

Annabel is an amazing individual, who I have grown to admire and respect. She was a constant source of support for me this year and has the skills, personality and intelligence to be a great President.

Our incoming President for 2012 is FIU professor Fernando Figuerdo, whose resume includes almost every high profile PR job in South Florida.

As a Chapter, we are very fortunate to have such capable, high-caliber people leading us in the coming years.

I must admit though, the real satisfaction for me this year was the inclusion and development of the young, bright and excited new leadership of this Chapter. With the constant membership turnover due to the economy, these young professionals not only seamlessly transitioned into leadership roles, but did so with a sense of purpose and enthusiasm that made this Chapter better as the year progressed.

As we begin this New Year, this Chapter does so with a new sense of optimism and an enthusiasm which has spread to all of us.

Happy 2011 everyone, may this year bring success to you on every level and the wisdom to appreciate it!


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