Bob Freudenthal

Make a commitment

Bob Freudenthal
APWA President

All people in public service deserve recognition, training, and the opportunity to advance in their chosen profession. It is imperative that the APWA leadership provides those opportunities to our members through education, advocacy, and member services.

Education is the central theme of our organization and we must provide the most direct, professional, and beneficial programs that our members and future members can obtain. As we continue to develop delivery technologies that make it possible to bring state-of-the-art instruction to the public works professional, we must also view this as our primary avenue of membership recruitment. Becoming the center of value for public service will increase our membership, as well as enhance our ability to advocate issues of importance. Bringing APWA to the member is another alternative to reaching our vision of providing the best education for the profession. We must continue using the vast resource of experience of our members to provide real-life training opportunities.

Advocacy has been a focus area for APWA in recent years and continuation of this effort for the advancement of our communities and citizens is essential. We need to continue to develop a stronger presence in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa by regularly communicating with our elected and appointed federal officials. We can also be the most effective advocates for public works in state and provincial capitals across North America.

As a Board of Directors, we are mindful of the need to constantly ask our members for their input and direction while providing the tools to advance the public works agenda within their chapter boundaries. Promoting successful chapter efforts like the Virginia Public Works Alliance will provide assistance and inspiration for similar efforts throughout the United States and Canada.

Member services provide the tools for the individual member to develop into a better professional. Whether the efforts of member services are directed through chapters or the individual member, the primary goal should be the same: to provide value to being a member of APWA. Our strength is our members and the local chapters to which they belong. As a result of this strength our focus should be on providing current professional services to the members. The best advertisement for membership is a satisfied customer who is willing to recommend this organization to a fellow public works professional.

During the coming year, your APWA Board of Directors and staff will not only focus on the areas of education, advocacy and member services, but will strive to provide the guidance and direction for the improved administration of all public works operations. In order to help us in our task, I ask each of you to participate in some way—by making a commitment to be engaged in our advocacy program, by recruiting additional members, by being a mentor to a young public works professional, by service on APWA committees, or by making suggestions and contributions that will benefit us all.

As an organization for service, the American Public Works Association has long demonstrated broad usefulness. In this coming year your Board of Directors and staff expect to enhance that role.