I am excited to share the 2017 Annual Conference Logo with you and offer a few words sharing what it has become to mean to me.
The Webster’s New World College Dictionary offers several meanings for the term bridge. Conventionally, a bridge is a structure built over a river, railroad, highway, etc. to provide a way across for vehicles or pedestrians. Having the good fortune of living most of my life in Tampa and, here recently, moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee, bridges have been a constant.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge Downtown Tampa
Looking into Downtown Chattanooga from the North Shore
A second meaning offered is more active—here, a bridge is a thing that provides connection, contact, or transition. The dictionary contextualizes this second meaning with the following illustrative statement: a common language is a bridge between cultures.
Those of us fortunate to work in recruiting/campus relations or in career services recognize the important role we play in our organizations. In addition to serving in external-facing roles for our employers, we also have unique knowledge of navigating important processes and resources within. This unique knowledge is often our ability to guide others around common obstacles (thus, the conventional meaning of bridge).
The programming committee, under the leadership of Kim Franklin, has selected a very strong set of breakout sessions and roundtable discussions serving as a Bridge to Career Success. I believe that you’ll be challenged to consider new approaches in connecting students with employers through sustained engagement with the Career Center and other campus/community-based partners. I am also confident that you’ll be able to meet & discuss emerging trends with our vendor contacts. Thirdly, the Florida ACE Board wants to create opportunities for its members to transition to progressive levels of responsibility and impact by offering a generous amount of networking time with senior leaders in the field.
Lastly, I hope that you’ll do a few things—think of these as an investment if you will.
- Register for the Conference – I look forward to the Florida ACE Conference every year because of the very high quality of the information and interaction offered there. National and Regional Conferences are rewarding as well, but the scope, scale and pace of this Conference are three reasons I keep coming back. We recognize that there are competing pressures for financial and developmental resources—we appreciate your consideration!
- Prepare for the Conference – After registering for the Conference, many of us will look after our travel accommodations and set up your out of office message for June 14-16. Spend some time thinking through the areas that you might help others (strengths) and areas that you’d like to develop more skill. You might even consider talking with your supervisor, colleagues, and direct reports about what you or your organization might need going forward.
- Advocate for the Conference – Simple steps like promoting the Conference Logo and URL on your organization’s website or within your e-mail signature will increase the visibility and impact of this Association and event. Lending your influence in digital spaces is also valuable…look for #FloridaACE17 on your preferred socials and add to the conversation.
- Volunteer for the Conference – After you’ve completed the three previous steps, don’t stop there. Intentionally look to get involved at the Conference. We have a need for room hosts and door prizes. We also have flexibility—pitch me your idea and I will work to get you connected to an opportunity.
Again, I am excited to be a member of this Association and look forward to welcoming each of you to Tampa this June!
Vice President & Conference Chair
Florida Association of Colleges and Employers