Martin J. Manning's Presidential Address at the 2002 Congress

Martin J. Manning, P.E.
APWA President

Editor's Note: President Manning delivered the following address at the Congress Banquet on September 25, 2002.

My dear friends:

Another Congress is nearly over, and it will join a succession of memorable events in the history of the public works profession. The more than 150 educational sessions and the record number of exhibitors will no doubt inspire a great deal of constructive thinking. So while the event itself may be closing its doors, its impact will be around for some time. And, we know that the quality of life for those we serve will be better for it.

In elevating me to the leadership of our American Public Works Association, you have accorded me a great honor and placed upon me an awesome responsibility. The honor of the presidency I accept gratefully but with deep humility; the responsibilities I shall discharge to the fullest extent of my energies and the best of my abilities. No one can set out to follow in the footsteps of Richard Ridings and his distinguished predecessors with complete equanimity, but with your support we will endeavor to carry further forward the torch they have borne onward and upward to our present heights.

The view from "where we stand" is truly most impressive. Our resources of membership and revenues have reached all-time highs, but more of both is urgently required in order that we may embrace the opportunities which lie before us. In every aspect of APWA's programs our association is rendering a quantity and quality of service surpassing the past but of which we should provide enhancement for the future.

In a real sense it is our members who can answer "where we are going" in the year which lies ahead. If each member will fully accept the responsibilities and the opportunities of membership, our progress will accelerate beyond belief. As I mentioned in our Opening General Session, one of my main objectives during my presidency is to increase our membership. As my esteemed predecessor mentioned during last year's Congress, if every member will get only one new member we will double our membership. Surely this is not too much effort to ask for, and surely the goal is not an inordinate expectation.

Along with membership growth, I intend to concentrate on priorities that include government affairs and external relations; services and products to the membership; organizational development and communications; and financial management. Our continued growth in these areas will result not only in improvement of the public image of each of us individually, but will continue to help us better serve each of our communities.

With confidence in what can be accomplished through the great teamwork of APWA members, officers, committees, chapters, partnership organizations, and staff, we enter upon another great year of progress. The value of our own American Public Works Association, both to us as individuals and to our communities, is only what we make it. Each of you can help as we increase in wisdom and stature.

I am proud to be a member of the American Public Works Association and I am extremely proud, too, of my status as your president.

Thank you, and enjoy the rest of your evening and your visit here in Kansas City.

That concludes our program this evening. I hope you enjoyed this year's banquet, and we'll see you next year in San Diego.