My Year As PPSNYS President
By Paul Bernstein, PPSNYS President
My term as PPSNYS president is almost over. It has been a very busy and exciting year for me, but all good things must come to an end. The past twelve months have been somewhat of a whirlwind experience. We changed business services right after I assumed office and unfortunately, it took a crazy few months to completely sever the old ties, to correct what had been inefficient or not working properly, and to finally get things running smoothly once again. We all owe a great deal to our new business manager Susan Chesler for cleaning house and getting us back on track. I know that I never could have functioned efficiently as president without that kind of superb backup on a daily basis.
The other big hurdle that we had to overcome this year was getting past the demise of PhotoNorthEast and reinventing our annual convention as FocusNY. Owen Kassimir and Deb Woodard were my dynamic duo of Super O and Wonder Woodard. They accomplished an amazing feat in a very short period of time and made our entire organization proud. Never say that you can’t find good help these days.
I must express sadness at the closing of our Southern Tier Section. The reasons for this involved a number of issues that have adversely affected our entire profession. However, I certainly hope that those members who no longer have SOT to call home, can find a new home at one of our other sections. Just know that the PPSNYS welcome mat is always there for you. On the plus side, we have gained a brand new bouncing baby Northern Section up in the Watertown area. Many thanks go to Sara Hendrix, who was the spirit and dynamo behind this accomplishment.
I had the pleasure of traveling around the state, visiting most of our sections this past year. It allowed me to meet and get to know a large number of our members. As president I have spoken at and also judged at sections around New York. In May, September and again in March, I took grand tours of our Empire State to meet and greet, as well as to educate by presenting several evening programs. I believe that the heart and soul of PPSNYS is our emphasis on the exchange of professional knowledge, so this has always been a major priority for me. I became who I am today because many colleagues have generously shared what they know. Now it is my turn to pay it forward.
I have tremendous faith that our organization will survive and prosper as long as we continue to improve the skills and knowledge of our members. I take comfort knowing that our incoming officers, headed by President Pat Luke, will continue with this goal as a priority. I have been part of PPSNYS for more than half of my life. I feel fortunate that this has given me the opportunity to be friends and colleagues with many people I otherwise would have never known. Being your president has been both an honor and the highlight of my career. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to serve you.