It's been a long year, but I've done a lot.
It seems a long time since people started speaking to me about the opportunity to become TPC president around this time last year. I was interested, but of course there were many arguments why I shouldn't have taken the role. I decided to go for it and haven't really looked back until now. The verdict: It's been a great experience and I'm glad that I did decide to stand forward and take the role. Without any other candidates (except for the infamous Mickey Mouse who always gets the odd vote) there wasn't any doubt that standing forward would mean I would get the position.
There have been challenges: Editing and publishing the newsletter for a couple of months while a new team was found; dealing with immature newsgroup brawls; finding a replacement for a VP who became too busy with other commitments; ensuring there were presenters for the meetings each month; getting a newsletter article in each month- -okay so I failed on that one towards the end; ensuring we had a good team of execs to keep the club moving forward- -I was lucky with this one. Oh yes, and I changed real jobs in the middle of all that.
And there have been rewards: Met and got to know far more people than I would have done just through attending the meetings alone, got to know interesting people through e-mail dialog who used the firstname.lastname@example.org address to get in touch, gained a lot of professional experience about organising things and working within a group, had a line for the CV which really stood out ('Wow! You're president?') and had a lot of fun working with the other execs and members.
Now it's time for me to revel in the luxury of Past President (former TPC President for life is something that comes with the job). A year has gone by and October once again brings elections. I won't be standing again. In theory, I'd like to. But for one I don't have the same amount of time to give to the club that I did at this time last year. Secondly, being in the position has dried up my ideas and I've lost my perspective--fresh blood and a different person's approach is needed to give the club a fresh lease on life. Thirdly, I will still stay involved with the club and help out the new President in any way I can, but I can't guarantee that I'll be able to do that a year from now--who knows where I'll be by then?
Are you convinced yet? I'm sure there's someone out there who could do a great job in the position of President, but it's up to you to take the initiative and come forward. Attend an exec meeting or drop me or one of the other execs a mail. I'm sure you also won't have a chance to look back until this time next year. There is no doubt that it does require a certain time commitment. You have to be able to keep up with all the discussions in the exec newsgroups, attend the monthly general and exec meetings and spend time driving forward whatever initiatives you choose to lead as President. The postion of VP is also available where you have the luxury of many of the benefits for marginally less commitment.
Tony Whitman, who has once again played a key role as Treasurer this year (thanks Tony!) will stand again, but people who think they can do any better are invited to stand in the election for the position. Other people I'd like to thank include all the people who have turned up at the meetings and offered their feedback; Mike Kato for being a supportive past president and always being at the end of the line (can you say that about keitai?) when I needed some advice; Mike Lloret and Kevin Ryan for coming in and doing a great job with the newsletter and never complaining when my article came late or not at all; Barbara Manning, for stepping in as VP and taking a lot of the weight off my shoulders when I have been so busy with work these past few months, Jim Tittsler and Sajjad Zaidi for doing an excellent job keeping the web site up-to-date, Jim again for ensuring there was never any need to worry about the server or the newsgroups, Chris Painter for keeping the server in his house connected to his OCN line, Sam Julien who has participated in the execs and lined up sponsored hosting for the TPC server with PSINet, Ken Cotton for his enthusiasm and support and offering advice and ideas when I needed them and being one of the people who persuaded me to stand for the position, and all the other people who have attended the execs to throw their ideas and opinions into the debating ring. Comapanies I'd like to thank are all our corporate members at http://www.tokyopc.org/tpc/corpmembers.html for showing their support to the club and GOL (http://www.gol.com) for sponsoring the ISDN line at the church which allows us to have internet acess at the monthly meetings.
That's all for this issue. As TPC President I've certainly got less sleep, so I'll have to stay involved next year until I can get used to less early morning e-mail sessions. If you are even remotely considering standing for the President of Vice President you are needed, so drop me a mail and we can meet up for lunch or over a beer to talk more about it.
As always, hope to see you all at the next meeting.
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The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group
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