It is with joy and humility that I write to you as the new president of the Association for this year. I follow in the footsteps of several memorable previous presidents who led us to where we are today, and I only hope to be as successful as they were.
To that end, I have established task forces and committees to address the Association's immediate needs and long-term growth. Staffed by board members and a select few other volunteers, these groups will address membership and conference attendance (both of which have decreased in recent years), and fundraising to increase our activities, such as planning regional Newman days around the country. Committees will also continue to oversee the Ford Scholarship Program, our by-laws, organizational structure and procedures. We have also established a new Communications initiative to promote interaction with our web site and Facebook page.
On that note, communications is at the heart of building and sustaining our Association, and as such it is a two-way street. I would like to hear from you regarding your thoughts about the Association and what we can do to further the organization's stated mission: to promulgate the life and work of John Henry Newman. Our mission has taken on added importance in recent years in light of Newman's beatification, and the momentum that continues to build towards his canonization. What can we do to increase our membership, how can we attract more participants to our annual conference, and how might we increase our financial resources to fund these and other initiatives? I appreciate and look forward to your input.