I am honored to be serving as your new president. The Minnesota Community Education Association has benefited me greatly during my career and I am privileged to be joining the leadership team helping steward its future. As I begin my one-year term, I want to express my deep appreciation to Jeremiah Mack, past president, the board members who ended their terms in December 2019: Lynn Jenc, Dolf Moon, Karen Willers, and Ruth Reeves, our current board members, the Executive Office, as well as the committee chairs and those who volunteered to serve on our committees. Their diligent work, focused presence and passionate dedication over the past year have brought MCEA to the promising state we are today. Above all, I appreciate the membership that has made this association such a nurturing place.
MCEA is healthy and that is due largely to the strength of its members. Our executive office has worked ably with our members, the board, and other associations to expand our reach and services. Our membership is over 1,400 strong and attendance at our last fall conference was just under 600! However, as we look into the future, MCEA will need to develop purposeful strategies to engage our membership, to provide transparency for it’s members, committees and chairs, and, to invest in the future sustainability of the MCEA executive office.
As 2020 marks a new decade, your MCEA board will work to respond to the ever-changing needs of the field and our association. Our 2020 goals are lofty and will be presented at Leadership Days on February 20-21 in St. Cloud. The Board is dedicated to enhancing network and professional development opportunities, building strong membership and providing strategic solutions in our infrastructure to ensure future operations for MCEA. We will continue to advocate for our profession on legislative affairs, increase our visibility in the state, and expand our member services. And finally, we will continue to recognize our membership for all they bring to MCEA through our appreciation events and other resources that enhance MCEA’s benefit to its members.
Throughout this coming year, I ask you to stay engaged, leverage this opportunity to create new connections, nurture existing ones, and keep us accountable and proactive in shaping our future. I am looking forward to a highly collaborative and successful year!
Kristine O’Brien, MCEA President
Sartell-St. Stephen Community Education Director