By Bill Chatfield, CFD, MSBO Board President, Director of Operations, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools
For years, I eagerly anticipated past president Tom Armstrong handing me the gavel from the dais in the Amway Ambassador Ballroom in front of friends, family and colleagues to kick off my MSBO presidency. Instead, I was sitting alone in my musty basement as the gavel was virtually passed through a Zoom portal. Like so many others, so began my year of broken dreams.
Many of us were disappointed with the cancellation of the MSBO Annual Conference but we understand the overriding health concerns and the need to have done so. Everybody has been affected by the virus. We have dealt with cancelled spring break trips, loss of spring sports, proms, commencements, graduation parties, weddings and more due to this indifferent virus, not to mention the health issues faced by many of our friends and families. My heart goes out to those of you that had those dreams cancelled but I’m optimistic other dreams will soon take their place.
We don’t know when, but eventually we will begin fulfilling future dreams of watching our children go to school or college, participate in band or sports, get married, welcome new lives into the family, attending entertainment venues, and as important, seeing and interacting with each other at MSBO events. I dream that the 2021 MSBO Annual Conference in Detroit will be rejuvenating and rewarding in many ways.
I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the MSBO staff for the hundreds of hours and gallons of sweat that went into preparing for this year’s conference. Make no mistake, it would have been a great conference with hundreds of sessions, presenters and exhibit hall vendors ready to provide cutting edge information. And the social calendar was full of outstanding networking opportunities. Alas, it was not to be. Regardless, MSBO has responded with timely and relevant webinars, town halls, presentations and other offerings. Like all of us, MSBO has done an admirable job of adjusting on the fly to provide meaningful services for its members.
In my 31 years as an MSBO member I have met a lot of great people. I have been the Operations Director at Walled Lake Schools for the past 19 years. I was in similar roles in Holly and Birmingham Schools for 13 years before that. I am proud to be the first operations person to serve as president of the organization since Matt Losch in 2007. I enjoy working with and representing all MSBO members and remain hopeful that another operations or support staff person will find their way onto the board in the future.
My wife of 33 years, Nancy, and I have three grown daughters who are all gainfully employed and off our payroll. Our oldest daughter is expecting our first grandchild in early July. Her husband is currently deployed on the Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and our dream is that he returns to land before their baby arrives.
Each year, the past president completes their tenure and falls off the board. This year, two additional board members took employment opportunities in the private sector and also left the board. I wish to thank Mike Hagerty, Tom Armstrong and Kent Cartwright for their leadership and guidance over the past serval years and wish you all well in your new endeavors. Conversely, welcome to new board members Sharon Raschke and Brian Marcel. Hope you find your tenure as rewarding as I have.
Looking forward to serving as the 83rd MSBO president and hope your new dreams begin to take shape soon. Be safe and hope to see everybody at an MSBO event in the near future.
Other Articles in this Newsletter
- BMA= Practical Knowledge in School Finance
- Business Manager/CPA Virtual Workshop
- Current On-Demand Learning Opportunities
- Leading in Uncertain Times – Dealing with Fear
- MSBO Update
- MSBO Welcomes Megan Farnsworth
- Passing of the Gavel and Changing of the Guard
- Welcome New Members
- What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been