It is often said that business is about relationships. We do business with those we know and trust; and trust can only be developed through an investment in the relationship. I view my relationship with NSPE in the same way. Over the past 26 years, I have invested a lot into the organization, and it has been rewarding in countless ways. I have questioned but never regretted my NSPE membership.
Interestingly, the things that I value the most in this relationship are also the most intangible. I value the relationships that I have developed with my peers in Kansas and throughout the nation. I also value the wisdom that comes from such relationships. I value the intrinsic nature of the work that professional engineers exercise every day protecting the public. I value the leadership opportunities that have been afforded me over the years. I value the political clout that like-minded individuals can have when they come together for a focused purpose. Most importantly, I value the incredible friendships that I have made, from Wilmer Freund, who recruited me into NSPE, to Ron Gaches, who mentored me over the years on the finer aspects of politics, to Dan Wittliff, who opened the doorway of possibility to the NSPE presidency, and countless others.
These are the things that I value the most and, like any relationship, cannot be measured by the dollar.
NSPE members, leadership, and staff at the local, state, and national levels are working extremely hard to bring extra value to your membership by defining, promoting, and protecting the PE license. However, growing membership and the overall value the growth in membership numbers brings, is beyond the capacity of any one individual or committee. It is our responsibility to ourselves, to each other, to the collective organizations that make NSPE, and to society.
I encourage each of you to invest in your relationship with NSPE by recruiting at least one new member into the organization this coming year. You will be richly rewarded. And, if you aren’t an NSPE member, what are you waiting for?
Published September 9, 2015 by Tim Austin, P.E., F. NSPE, President 2015–16