“Commitment… is what transforms a promise into a reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions which speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none. It is coming through time after time after time, year after year after year. COMMITMENT is the ‘stuff’ character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.” 

I found this quotation during a recent plane ride while thumbing through advertisements. I liked it so well I decided to use it in my acceptance speech during the recent Galaxy Conference. If you were not in attendance at Galaxy, you missed a great week! We indeed accomplished our Mission it was Possible, yet Unique and Unity definitely took place among our own membership as well as within the entire Extension “family”. Our big thanks to the NAE4-HA Galaxy planning representatives: Ray Corey, ME; Richard Freeman, retired/life member from NC; Winky Parker, GA; Diane Baker, IL; and Curt Peters, AZ. Thanks for your commitment of time, talents & energies and in general just being “pioneers”.my own personal and professional thanks to Past President, Keith Martikainen, for all you did to assure that NAE4-HA did truly “shine” during Galaxy! With you as the shining light who came before me, the path is brighter, wider and easier to follow. And to Ed Maxa, thanks for the galactic experience through your installation ceremony. Rest assured that this North Star… alias Lone Star of Texas, will definitely depend on the rest of the constellation for advice and input.

We currently have over 3,200 4-H youth development professionals from across the country and from all levels of Extension that comprise our membership. We even have special memberships available for college students! News & Views is but one medium that we utilize as a communication tool. I invite you to peruse all articles in this edition and select one to “investigate” more closely. Contact the author(s) and/or send them a note of “thanks” for being brave enough to write a professional article. All of us want and need feedback. Check out the committee updates… as committee work truly takes place throughout the year, not just at Conference time. If you are interested in joining a particular committee, look up the chair’s name, address, or email located on the inside cover of News & Views and contact them. They will be glad to have you committed to the committee work of NAE4-HA.

I left Cincinnati with a true re-commitment for balancing work and family and for trying to be a shining example as your current President. To maintain that enthusiasm, I will promise to remember the words to the song that I shared with you. Here they are for those of you who were not in attendance:” Hear we are at the start, committing to each other, From our heads and from our hearts. We will be a family in a house that will be a home, And with faith we’ll build strong. We’ll build a household of faith, that together we can make And when the strong winds blow, it can’t fall down All of us will grow, and the wh ole world will know, That we are a household of faith.” It is truly my pleasure to be serving as President of this wonderful professional organization. Will you join me this year in a commitment to NAE4-HA of your own time, talents and energies?