To fulfill its mission of providing educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce, the American Vocational Association must be a strong and visible force in education. Through strategic planning, the association made great strides in this direction in Fiscal Year 1994.
A key initiative identified by the Board of Directors was the need for improved financial stability. Without this, an organization is merely treading water, lacking the strength to accomplish other objectives.
In my five years of service on the board, I have witnessed a steady growth of AVA's corporate worth. It has been satisfying to watch our professional organization move to its present financially sound position through careful planning and prudent management of all revenues and expenditures.
A prime example this year was the refinancing of the AVA headquarters building mortgage. Careful monitoring of interest rates by the national staff indicated that the mortgage interest rate could be reduced from 6.9 percent to 4.5 percent. This single action will, over the life of the loan, save an estimated $357,036 in interest charges.
To maintain this stability, though, AVA must continue to grow in membership. The small increase reported at the end of this fiscal year is a hopeful sign that the organization is rebuilding. The Board has set out two objectives to accomplish that: improve service to existing members and find additional sources of new members.
In order to improve service to members, the Board approved the development of service agreements between AVA and state associations. The agreements will allow state associations to use the expertise of AVA professional staff to improve management procedures, such as fiscal affairs, communication and membership recruitment/ retention. North Carolina executed the first agreement in June. The rationale is that by strengthening the state associations, we strengthen the national association.
As this new policy indicates, AVA places a high priority on strong and involved state associations. However, the "de-unification" by some states prompted the Board to propose a Bylaws change that allows individuals to join AVA directly in states and territories that do not require membership in AVA. The AVA Assembly of Delegates approved the change in December 1993. This new policy allows AVA to maintain and improve its political and fiscal base by conducting national recruitment activities, either independently or in conjunction with states.
It is important to note that although the Bylaws change allows standard members in non-unified states, it is in the best interests of the association to encourage membership at both the national and state levels. Our professional association draws its strength from active and involved state associations, thus we will continue to promote membership in both organizations for all those whose professional interests stem from vocational-technical education.
This message covers only the FY94 initiatives that I believe have the potential to significantly affect AVA's viability. However, this entire annual report is a reflection of a desire the Board of Directors shares with the national staff to report to you the accomplishments of long hours of caring labor and unconditional dedication to America and vocational-technical education.
I know you realize that AVA represents every vocational educator in a positive, professional manner with a strong voice in Washington, D.C..
Further, you also realize that America needs all vocational educators involved in helping AVA carry out its mission. I therefore challenge you to involve yourself with the professional development activities of our association and resolve to dedicate yourself to preparing for a leadership role in developing competent workers for America.
Jesse Hudson AVA President, 1993-94
Service to members is the lifeblood of any professional association. …