Your investment in excellence

Tom Trice
APWA President

Tom Trice

I have always heard that there are three types of people: those who make things happen; those who take part in what's happening; and those who don't even know what's happening.

Make things happen for you and your professional development. One great way to enhance your development is to attend the International Public Works Congress and Exposition each year. Plan now to be in beautiful Minneapolis, the City of Lakes, September 11-14, 2005.

Attending our annual Congress is a great opportunity for you to improve your personal worth and make you more valuable to your employer. This is an investment in excellence and an investment that you should make. You will be helping yourself keep abreast of the latest developments in our vital public works field. And your employer will benefit since its ability to respond to the needs of its constituency depends upon the knowledge and professional competence of its employees.

It was very early in my career that I learned the importance of attending Congress. Even though my first experience at Congress was many years ago, I can easily remember the excitement of being there. I was young (my second son was only four months old) and I ventured to Portland, Oregon for the conference. Jimmy Carter was the President in 1979 and I had my picture taken with the cardboard cutout of him on the exhibit floor. There were educational sessions on garbage collection and the use of one-man trucks in the fleet. I especially remember one excellent session and even its title, "How to properly manage your employees." I attended all the General Sessions, toured the exhibit floor, and went to the Michigan Chapter dinner, the Get Acquainted Party and the closing Banquet. I was in awe that all this was happening in one place at one time. The events are very similar today and you have the same opportunity that I did 26 years ago to take advantage of it.

APWA President Tom Trice speaks at the First-Timers Meeting at the Atlanta Congress.

I have attended 25 of the last 26 Congresses. I missed one Congress when the City of Royal Oak changed its policy and decided not to fund out-of-state travel. That is when I thought: Why would I want to reduce my ability to work, my ability to problem-solve, and my ability to enhance myself? This was not about Royal Oak; it was about my value and the education necessary for me to be successful. This is an investment, not an expense. So, for the past 10 years, I have invested my own money to come to Congress so I can increase my value and my educational level. Sometimes you have to do it on your own because no one else is going to do it for you.

Come to Minneapolis this September to continue your public works education and expand your relationships. Be someone who makes things happen—attend Congress and make things happen for you.