ISRT President
Joy Cook, RT(R)(CT)(MR)

A Message from Joy Cook 2013-14
2013 Joy Cook Incoming Presidential Address: Year of the Affiliate

I feel privileged to accept the role of president of the ISRT. I am grateful to outgoing President Cohen and to all our past presidents for their service and leadership. In addition, I am grateful to my loving family who I have spent many nights away from even when some of those nights were only as far as the kitchen table. I want to say thank you to my colleagues who have supported me through my last two years on the ISRT Board and to the dedicated ISRT members who continued to pick up the phone knowing I was probably going to ask for help putting on another conference!

As I have had two years to reflect on this society and the changes that have occurred since my student membership in 1995, I see an alarming trend regarding declining membership and retention of student membership during the transition to technologist. In 1995, the society had over 1600 members. As of the beginning of this annual conference, the society currently is supported with 478 members. Of those 478 members, 44.5% are student members. Investing in our students and their value to the organization is a big priority, but now I think we should extend that priority to get them to stay during their transition to technologist.

Our society continues to decline not only in membership numbers, but also financial dollars. Membership dues and conference revenue are the largest single incomes used to supporting the society. As membership numbers and attendance to the society’s conferences decline, so does the financial dollars needed to support the society.

As a new board is starting and we are moving into our year of strategic planning, I would like to see us focus on something I am calling “the year of the affiliate.” We need to dedicate our focus on moving the Affiliate forward to greater sustainability. Clearly, we know that engaging our members by our offerings and volunteer leadership opportunities is critical for our sustainable growth. Our programs must be not only be relevant; they have to be accessible. Our educational offerings need to be of value but also be delivered in a variety of methods. Our volunteer opportunities must be a great return of value not only to members but to their employers, whom will allow their participation.

While the suggestions I will make in the coming year will not be seen in my Presidential term, Rome was also not built in a day. We will need the help and voice of our current membership and students to support development of a plan to move the affiliate forward. I am asking the membership to reach out to the board with their ideas, thoughts, and even volunteerism to help in this initiative.

In closing, let me say that my involvement in the ISRT has been one of my most rewarding professional and personal experiences. I joined the ISRT as a student member in 1995. Since then, the ISRT has truly become a family to me, with many invaluable friendships gained through the years. It has engaged me professionally and has instilled great trust personally. I am very excited about the coming year and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the ISRT and help to advance the organization toward the next level of achievement and a continued future. Thank you.