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The President’s New Year’s Message – January 14, 2008

Happy New Year to all MEA members and their families. This is our first web message of 2008. For the MEA, the New Year will be exciting and full of promise. It will also be a year of change and challenges. First of all, I would like to thank all of you who voted for me and the President’s Leadership Team. Your confidence in my leadership and accomplishments on behalf of the membership is very gratifying. I have served as President of the MEA since January 2004. I am now joined by a diverse and active slate of Officers, Our new Executive Vice President, Willie Maye Jr. from the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), provides energy and forward looking ideas. Willie will be active and effective in growing all our Chapters as he has as Assistant Director of ACS working with Chapter Director Harry Sigmone III. Our new Treasurer, Victoria Pitchford worked with me in the Human Resources Administration (HRA). She is aggressive, experienced and independent and will ensure that MEA’s money is well spent. Joe Ramagila, who previously served MEA as Recording Secretary for eight years was the most logical choice to resume the duties of that re-created position. He provides well thought out and effective advice on major issues facing the MEA and is a most trusted advisor. I also want to congratulate Darrell Sims of HPD and Joel Fishelson regarding their election as Directors at Large. I want to acknowledge our opponents who fought the good fight in the election. Arthur Pirozzi is a good man who has done an effective job in organizing his own Parks Department Chapter. James Durrah has served the MEA as Executive Vice President under two Presidents and has worked hard to further the reputation and effectiveness of the MEA. To the members of the Pirozzi slate, I offer a quote from President Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1960, “United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do – for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.” One of the major challenges the new Board of Directors will face immediately is replacing our esteemed Executive Director, Dr. Sandra Taylor Griffin. My election victory was tinged with sadness when Sandi informed me she was resigning. I enjoyed working with her and we worked well together especially in forging effective relationships with city officials. I will miss her professionally and personally. Until we hire a replacement, I will cover the duties of the Executive Director.

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