It is a great privilege for me to serve as ITBE’s President for 2014-2015. I was especially humbled in assuming this position after participating in ITBE’s convention last February/March during which we honored our organization’s 40 past presidents. I was reminded of how these inspiring leaders and their dedicated board members propelled ITBE to become one of International TESOL’s strongest affiliates. I am truly honored to be following in their footsteps.
We have great news to share regarding our annual convention! After reviewing comments received from attendees at past conventions, ITBE determined that we needed to change the convention venue to better meet the needs of our members. Thanks to the help of our Convention Search Committee (Cathy McCabe, Shane Dunkle, Miguel Fernandez, Lisa Barrett, Marsha Santelli, Heather Torrie, and Marie Friesema), we have contracted with the Marriott Hotel in Naperville to host our annual convention for the next three years! (You may recall that this hotel, formerly the Holiday Inn, was ITBE’s convention venue for several years in the recent past.) We are sincerely looking forward to holding this event in the Marriott’s newly renovated facility and to working with the hotel’s accommodating staff. We are confident the new venue will offer many improvements to our convention, including high-quality sound and state-of-the-art technology. The hotel also features modern guest rooms for those of you who plan to stay overnight. There’s even an on-site Starbucks for members who would like to purchase coffee before our exhibitor-sponsored coffee break.
ITBE is again in the hands of a dedicated and capable board. The vast majority of board members are returning this year, and several have changed offices. The variety of board positions offered by ITBE makes it possible for board members to find positions that match with their individual strengths and professional goals. I feel very fortunate to be partnered with this group of committed, consummate professionals.
Although the new terms of office have barely begun, board members are busy working behind the scenes on behalf of members. Our Professional Development Chair, Maribel Garcia, is already planning our Fall Workshop which will focus on Educational Policy. Next year’s Convention Chair, Lisa Barrett, is coordinating with the Convention Committee to create an innovative, comprehensive convention. Our Early Childhood Special Interest Group (SIG) leader, Valerie Jones, with the support of Advocacy Chair Yurimi Grigsby, recently held a successful event to recruit members to help launch this new SIG. We also welcome our two new Adult Ed SIG Co-Chairs, Deborah Holman and Richard Winokur to the board; we are confident they will lead this group to new heights.
As strong as our board is this year, however, we realize that the true strength of ITBE comes from the commitment of its members. After all, it is members like you who present at our workshops and conventions, write articles for our newsletter, The Link, actively attend ITBE events, and volunteer to become future board members! We thank you for your continued contribution to your students, colleagues, ITBE, and the profession itself.
Have a terrific summer and please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how we may continue to best serve ITBE and you.