Dear ALATA Membership,
I would like to thank everyone who has endured the multiple elections, special elections and runoff elections through the past several months. I realize that this can be quite tiresome; however it was necessary for the association to continue to function properly. I wish to thank Heloise Belarmino for the numerous years she has served the ALATA membership. I also wish to thank Brittany Wilkes for her time and patience as ALATA secretary. Good luck with your new position in Georgia. We all are grateful for the time Leah Taylor has had to spend on the numerous elections and I hope that the membership would send her a personal note of thanks. A special thanks to R.T. Floyd, for his counsel and time, as the Executive Council navigated their way through this incredibly difficult summer.
Jarod Grace and Laurie Fincher, as Non-Officer Members of the Executive Council, had to take on responsibilities that normally fall to the elected officers, they have demonstrated that they truly are dedicated to serve you and have always had the best interest of ALATA in mind. Thank you, Jarod. Thank you, Laurie.
The membership is indebted to Karen Straub Stanton for directing and steering the Executive Council as the Interim President, Interim Secretary and the Treasurer. I admire her resolve and dedication to each of you; she is responsible for holding the association together through a very difficult transition. This taxed her personal and professional time, even beyond what we all consider our normal bounds, and for this we are extremely grateful. Thanks, Karen.
The Executive Council is now fully staffed and I wish to welcome Jennifer Kramer as the new Non-Officer Member, Anthony Andrews, as the new Treasurer, Paul Crawford, as the new Secretary, and Karen Straub Stanton as the new Vice President. Laurie Fincher and Jarod Grace are fulfilling their terms as Non-Officer Members.
I have two immediate goals for our organization. First, I would like to increase membership numbers and second, to encourage broader involvement by the members of ALATA. Why are these two important? I would like to better understand why we have such poor involvement by a large percentage of our state’s athletic trainers. There is a disconnect in the profession. The people, who get involved, stay involved. The Executive Council is in the process of several projects to make it simpler to be involved and address some issues to better serve you.
The first hurdle is addressing the number of Licensed ATs who are not members of NATA or ALATA. If you know of any AT that is not a member of ALATA or the NATA, implore them to do so. We have approximately 500+ Licensed Athletic Trainers in the state and around 250-300 members of ALATA, this includes students, etc. All NATA members in Alabama are ALATA members and we receive the state dues from the NATA. I appreciate the reasons that individuals have for not being a NATA member, while I may not agree with those reasons, those are your decisions. My challenge is to actively engage the membership in finding solutions. Our first step is providing a way for those who wish to be an ALATA member only. We are providing an application on our website. If you are an NATA member you do not need to do anything other than direct any Licensed ATC, student, etc. to fulfill a portion of their professional obligation supporting the state association financially. The bottom-line is ALATA is significantly underfunded. Those who are NOT members of ALATA and ARE licensed have and continue to place financial burdens unnecessarily on the Association, thereby limiting the ability to promote, develop, and provide legislative actions, educational opportunities, scholarship funding, and numerous others projects for the benefit of the profession that provides them the opportunity for employment.
Please let the Executive Council know ways we may be able to serve you. Realize not all ideas are immediately actionable, I will consider any and all ideas.
Please make it a habit of viewing the ALATA website to stay updated on what ALATA is doing; I know that most individuals glance at the eBlasts, but most often, it becomes just something else that you have in your email account. We are putting a FAQ section up, award nominations applications and Hall of Fame honorees with biographies, By-Laws and Constitution and Executive Council meeting minutes. Take time to read through them to become familiar with the issues that are presently in front of our profession.
We have a Facebook group available and also have a Twitter account, ALATA_Inc, please follow these sites if you have the social networking bug. I will post some information on there from time to time. We need to be mindful of our legislative efforts and I suggest you contact your respective state senators and representatives to introduce yourself and also to educate them on our profession. Only contacting a legislator when we "need" them is inadequate. Develop and foster relationships with them prior to any legislative actions this year and in future years is required of us to have any chance at accomplishing our goals. We have provided a link to the Alabama legislative website, www.legislature.state.al.us. If you do not know who is representing you in Montgomery. You can call me as well.
We need your help in identifying past ALATA award winners. If you were ever honored with an award or know of someone who has been a recipient, please email Laurie Fincher, firstname.lastname@example.org, the name, year and award given.
I do want to make you aware that the Executive Council is in the process of amending the ALATA Constitution to better reflect the state law and eliminate some conflicts between the By-Laws and Constitution. We also will need to amend the By-Laws. Reasons for making these changes is to function more efficiently as an association, serve the membership effectively and address procedural errors. Each voting member of ALATA will receive the proposed amendments via eBlast and will be up on the ALATA website for viewing. Please take the time to read the proposed amendments, as we will be voting to accept them at the Annual Meeting in May. In order to address these two issues, a quorum of the membership will need to attend the ALATA business meeting. Whether you are in favor of the changes or not, the Association needs your participation. Also, please have individuals in mind to serve on the Alabama Board of Athletic Trainers, since we have two (2) positions up for election. We will be posting the need for nominations on the website and through eBlasts.
I hope that all of you have had a great holiday season and off to a wonderful start to 2011.
John W. Morr ATC