PRESIDENTS MESSGE MAY 15, 2012
I am humbled. I realized at our annual meeting (my fourth as President) that this was my last membership meeting as President. I joined the Board in 2002-2003 not knowing a thing about the APTA. I leave office on June 30, 2012 being the corporate memory in the paths of so many APTA stalwarts. Many of these persons are gone and they cannot be replaced. Yet they passed on the goals and objectives of the APTA and a firm understanding of its mission to me. I cannot forget the wise counsel of Mr. Berry or Alice Allgood. Nor can I forget the advice of former APTA Presidents Vic Hood and Joe Wilson. The APTA has a 61 year collective memory that must be transmitted to its new officers and board.
I realized as early as 2003 that I would be the President to implement change in the APTA. I had to lead it into the 21st century without disregarding the past. Certain persons always made me aware that I was a custodian of the position that had to rely on the past as well as the future. I wish to thank Cherrie Hall, Joan Vollmer, Grace Haribson, Maureen Pera, our past executive directors and Gwen Stidham for instilling in me the importance of the past of the APTA. I really miss Alice Allgood who was a huge source of history for me. The APTA is a better organization due to these people and they must not be forgotten.
Now, what about the future? The APTA is not a stagnant, failing organization as viewed by some. We are vibrant an are postured to make a difference. I will be so bold as to state that we are the future of preservation in this state. We have re-formed the APTA to make a difference. We have a viable marking program. We operate historic sites. We are in a position to provide historic covenants to preserve historic properties. We are a historic and preservation “player”. As I leave office I only ask two things of you. Take pride in the APTA and support it. It has much to accomplish. It is not an anachronism. I suspect that in 2051 the APTA will celebrate it centennial as the premier preservation organization in this state from North Carolina to the Mississippi River in the west. We will be the preservation leader in Tennessee.
I do not plan to fade away. I will be on the board for two more years and I will serve as past president as needed. Having said this our president elect Frank McMeen is in a position to really move us forward. We have a statewide board and we have quality persons filling these positions. I hope the preservation community and academic institutions take note that the APTA is strong and gaining strength. We are on the move in the preservation field. When I joined the APTA there were a lot of folks that felt the APTA had seen its better days. Well, I am in a position to tell you this is not the case. The APTA is in preservation mode and we are statewide in focus. We are a player. We will be innovative. We will be resourceful. We are here to stay. We will continue to be a “player”.
When I came onto the APTA Board. Mr. Berry and Mrs. Allgood made great impressions on me. Mr. Berry told me not to lose sight of our organizational goals and to simplify the process. Mrs. Allgood told me I had to carry out a sacred duty. I miss them. They were right. The APTA has a mission and goals we must PRESERVE, PRESERVE AND PRESERVE. No other objective is acceptable. We must not compromise. Since 1951 our goals have been clear. We must strive to preserve and educate citizens about Tennessee history and historic sites.
Thank you for letting me serve as your President. It has been a wonderful journey. I only ask that our Executive Director, Board and Officers accept my counsel. We must move forward, we must be decisive, and we must become a leader. Our founders in 1951 expected no less. We must fulfill their expectations!