Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Bret Lovejoy: The Right Stuff

Magazine article Vocational Education Journal

Bret Lovejoy: The Right Stuff

Article excerpt

A new executive director will lead the American Vocational Association into the 21st century. After a five-month, exhaustive search that included interviews with nine candidates, the AVA Board of Directors announced Bret Lovejoy as its choice at the Opening General Session of the 1994 convention in Dallas.

The skills the Board wanted in its new executive director were:

* leadership,

* management,

* consensus building,

* policy development,

* the ability to communicate clearly to small and large groups in formats ranging from discussions to formal presentations,

* the ability to read and interpret a variety of documents, from articles and reference materials to legislation,

* experience in upper-level management and vocational-technical education.

A review of Lovejoy's experience and accomplishments makes it easy to see that he is the right choice to lead the organization in this time of political uncertainty and opportunity for the field of vocational-technical education.

As assistant executive director for government relations with AVA, Lovejoy became familiar with the issues, challenges and opportunities that the association now faces. As acting executive director, he provided leadership that proved he had heard and understood the directives and concerns of the board. He has interacted daily with members of the Administration, Congress and the press. The many position statements and letters he has written have been instrumental in the association's achievement of its objectives.

During strategic planning sessions over the last few years, the board has considered Lovejoy an invaluable source of ideas. One of his most visible proposals was creation of the Legislative Committee. Other proposals still in their infancy are plans to meet the needs of postsecondary members and create a business advisory council to help draft a national workforce development policy and advocate for vocational-technical education.

Lovejoy has strong consensus-building skills. In 1992 he was elected to serve on the executive committee of the Committee for Education Funding, a lobbying group of 80 education associations. Within the last year he gained not only the support but the signatures of the American Association of Community Colleges, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the State Directors of Vocational-Technical Education and the State Councils of Vocational Education on a letter regarding Perkins regulations.

Recent past presidents of AVA who have read prepared testimony before Congress can attest to Lovejoy's written communication skills. …

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