July is when we welcome a new cadre of volunteer leaders to ACA at the national, division, region and branch levels. To all who have chosen to commit themselves to this path, I congratulate you and look forward to the contributions you will make to the counseling profession.
As many of you know, ACA continues to grow. For the fiscal year that just concluded (June 30), we experienced increases in membership in 11 of 12 months. Our 37 percent growth in membership over the past seven years is indicative of a healthy, thriving counseling profession. Though our work is far from over in terms of advocating for professional counselors, I want to personally thank all of you who consider yourself part of the ACA family.
Another benefit of a growing membership is that there are now more people who want to participate in volunteer leadership, committees, task forces and other positions within the association. If you have an interest in volunteering, regardless of how much or how little time you can devote, feel free to contact ACA Director of Leadership Services Holly Clubb via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We begin this new fiscal year with Robert L. Smith as our ACA president. While some who serve as ACA president have 10 or 20 years invested in the profession, Robert will begin his term having spent four decades in ACA, and a number of those years have included stints in leadership. Given his amount of experience in the profession and his active participation in ACA, Robert will be able to take advantage of what he has observed over many years as he and the Governing Council face various professional issues. The staff and I wish Robert well as he begins his journey as our new ACA president.
For those of you who may not have time to volunteer but still need the latest resources and information from ACA, I call your attention to the new ACA Toolkit that will be emailed to all members at the start of each month. In each issue, you will find an easy way to pick up continuing education and receive other valuable information — all in one place. We heard what you wanted, and we are making a concerted effort to show that your requests have been heard.
I feel that much has been accomplished recently in terms of what ACA provides its members. I appreciate the efforts of the ACA volunteer leadership who help to drive what we do on staff. The leadership provides ideas, direction and strategic thinking about issues that are, or will be, facing our members.
As a point of personal privilege, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the work of the ACA staff. Please join me in thanking them. We are a very diverse group that includes both those who are just starting their careers and those who have been with the organization for nearly 40 years. Working with such a talented, multigenerational and diverse group is a privilege. I learn something from them each and every day. When you see a new feature of membership or a resource from ACA that helps you in your practice, I want you to know that the dedicated staff of our organization was key to its introduction and implementation. As noted, I am very thankful for all they do, and I hope you are as well.