After two years of preparation and planning, the 2015 Tri Region Conference San Diego is now done.  Looking in the rear-view mirror helps to bring into focus the point of so much effort, and how it benefits CSI and its members. 

“I am no long terrified to be Chapter President.  Now I’m excited!”  Nancy Lomax-Brooks, CSI Albuquerque.

If you’re one of many CSI members who’ve never been to a region conference, let me state my belief that this quote represents the primary goal of these events. Leadership Training in our association is first and foremost about helping our volunteers understand that they are NOT ALONE, that even the most experienced and successful of our colleagues have challenges and struggles in their leadership roles.  Whether from a small chapter, or a large one, the issues and opportunities of our volunteer leaders are much the same. 

Attendees at the Tri-Region Conference had the unusual opportunity to spend two full days listening to leaders from the entire western United States speak about CSI’s mission, finding and encouraging volunteers, planning educational programs, strategically planning chapter futures, and sound financial practices.  Sharing of ideas was the goal – and the result is dozens of reenergized and excited leaders who headed back to their chapters with great plans for bringing CSI’s mission to life in their own communities.  Our great appreciation goes out to the CSI San Diego Chapter, and Conference Chair Neal Drell, for all their tremendous work putting together this wonderful event!  The SW Region greatly appreciates the chance to learn and share with so many members of the West and Northwest Regions.  Thank you all so much for your dedication!

On the subject of upcoming leaders:  beginning July 1, the Southwest Region welcomes Paul Ricuitti,  of the CSI Las Vegas Chapter, as our new Region President.  Paul brings energy and passion for CSI to the role, and I am very happy to be able to hand over the reins to such a capable leader.  CSI Regions are charged with supporting our chapters, and training their leaders.  It’s a big job, which requires many hands.  Please do all you can to support Paul in these goals, and help whenever possible.  My year as region president has been a wonderful experience of growth – thanks so much to everyone who welcomed and assisted me, and to our board – Dave Bishton, Robin Snyder, Dean Leschak, and Paul Riciutti!  I am honored to call you my friends.

Jori Smith, President

CSI SW Region