From the desk of WFA Executive Director Stephen Chambers:
In his closing comments at the Industry Awards Celebration in Reno on Wednesday night, Western Fairs Association President Joe Anderson announced that 2017 would be a 'transition year' for the position of Executive Director of our association. While I greatly appreciate Joe accepting the task of being the first to announce this to our membership, I wanted to follow up with more detail.
I joined the team at WFA in 1982, and in March I will have served as the Executive Director for 30 years, so it should go without saying: I love this job, and I love this industry. I began discussing transition planning with the Executive Committee of the Board several years ago, and during my last contract negotiations, I let them know that it was time to take the next steps. The first step was to announce the transition, at the dinner and again in this correspondence. Next, the Board and staff, with the careful guidance of our Planning Facilitator Becky Bailey-Findley, will meet February 23-24 to develop a transition road map. We will then share the results with the membership.
Our common goal is to give this transition the care and attention it deserves. Our members can expect an open and transparent process that will protect the association's interests and create a supportive foundation for the next Executive.
We expect the process to take awhile. The good news is that I'm happy, healthy, and ready to support the transition in any way I can. I have no plans to relocate or seek another job. Once the transition is complete, I plan to join Susan in retirement.
The members of Western Fairs have given me the most engaging and interesting career imaginable. Starting to thank and recognize all who have supported my work would turn this newsletter into a book! I can assume that opportunities for me to thank people individually will be a part of the transition plan, so for now a simple 'thank you' will have to suffice.
For right now, as things unfold, I continue to be honored to serve as your WFA Executive Director. We just wrapped up an outstanding convention in Reno, and we will begin working on the 2017 season as well as the California legislative session. We have a great team, board, staff and members, and I intend to run the association until someone new is ready to take the helm. I guess what I really mean is, if I told you I was going to visit your fair in 2017, expect to see me!
Many of you have given so much that I am reluctant to ask for more, but I will. Please support our leaders and staff through this process and, once selected, please give your new WFA Executive Director the same level of support you have given me for so many years. Thank you.
Your WFA Executive Director,