The Consultant - 2016 - (Page 58)

MUSINGS A Call to Order Chris Adams, ACF S ince becoming an ACF member in 2007, I have had the opportunity to attend a number of the conferences, including the most recent in West Virginia. As always, I enjoyed the chance to visit with friends and colleagues, learn a few new things and in this particular case, get an update on the strategic planning process. For the third year, I also had the privilege of being on the Education Committee and organizing the Practice of Consulting Forestry Course, which I truly enjoy. Just like all of the times before, I leave the conference energized and rejuvenated about all that ACF has to offer. And just like all of the times before, this newfound excitement begins to slowly dissipate as I immerse myself back into the day-to-day grind. The difference this time was that I took a moment to reflect on why this happens and what would keep this momentum going. It was obvious...the State Chapters should be what keeps the momentum. And at the center of each Chapter should be the Chapter Chair, rallying the membership! And then it dawned on me: I am a Chapter Chair. What am I doing to rise to the occasion? So, after further reflection, I had to step back and ask myself, "What does it even mean to be a Chapter Chair?" Well, we often joke that it could mean 1) that you were in the bathroom when they voted, 2) you missed a meeting or 3) it was just your turn. No matter how it comes about- although I suspect that for me it was #3-I realized that this responsibility was much more important than I originally considered it to be. I may be wrong, but I am guessing that I am not the minority in that assessment. There is no doubt that the State Chapters are the meat and potatoes of ACF. This is where the individual members benefit the most because the activities and interactions at that level will more directly affect your business and 58 professional relationships and will drive opportunities. Because of that, the Chair has a lot of responsibility to make sure that the chapter remains strong, providing value to the meetings with positive results and benefits to its members. But if I know one thing, it is that we are all very busy and, unless a concerted effort is made, it is hard to get-much less keep-momentum and a willingness to participate. If other chapter chairs are anything like me, they start out with very few clues regarding how to be effective, other than to make sure we have a few meetings each year. While my predecessors served with great success and have provided unlimited support, there really isn't a blueprint to work off of. So here I am, two years into my term as Texas Chapter Chair, and somewhat struggling to really ignite that fire. Don't get me wrong: Our chapter has done some great things, but what is the spark we all need to really get everyone motivated? This led me to ask the more "tenured" members about what helped them, in the past, to focus on the group. The response is always the same, "We had a unified cause of some sort that affected our business and profession as consultants." There is no doubt that most organizations are strongest when they have a cause to rally around, a driving benefit for the whole. So I thought back to what was discussed during the strategic planning update at the last conference, as well as the attendees at the Practice of Consulting Forestry course the last few years. If I took anything away from those events, it would be that we always have a cause to rally around. Whether it is getting the word out to the landowners about the value of using an ACF consulting forester, recruiting new, high-quality members or, what I feel at the moment may be of the most importance when looking forward, getting our newer and younger members more involved. They are the future of our organization, and it is each member's responsibility to reach out to our younger foresters, get them engaged and keep the organization relevant and moving forward. The landscape we are accustomed to is changing. Those who have typically carried the organizational torch are increasing in years and certainly wisdom. A noticeable number of new members are employees, rather than business owners. Our Executive Committee is identifying a strategy for our organization's future. If the Chapter Chairs do not provide support, it will fail. It is at the chapter level that we need to provide direction and implement the strategy. Chapter Chairs need to lead that charge and get the membership excited, but it falls on everyone to make it happen. Bottom line: If you don't get involved, you don't have a right to gripe about the direction. Dues-paying members are greatly appreciated, but active duespaying members help keep the organization strong. Have I been doing my part as a Chapter Chair and a member to increase the value of ACF? I would like to think so. But I assure you that, having reflected upon the responsibility of being Chapter Chair and having participated at the committee level, I now know the importance of not sitting on the sidelines if we are truly going to be a GREAT-not just good-organization! Chris Adams is the Forestry Operations Manager for Bird and Crawford Forestry. Bird and Crawford is a forestry and environmental consulting firm with offices in Texas and Louisiana serving clients throughout the Gulf Coast Region. Chris has served on the ACF Education Committee for the past four years and is the current Texas ACF Chapter Chair. THE CONSULTANT 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Consultant - 2016

From the Executive Director: The Elephant in the Room
From the President ACF – We Join You
Member Profile: Keville Larson, Renaissance Forester
The Value of a Consulting Forester
Fracking and the Landowner
Two Weeks at the Gates of Hell
If It Walks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck…
Proposed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Regulations from the FAA
Cross-Border Trade Disputes Heat Up
Will Small Firms Have to Specialize to Survive?
The Cradle of Forestry
Products & Services Buyers’ Guide
Index of Advertisers
A Call to Order

The Consultant - 2016

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