House of Delegates as a Career Builder
I spent the first 12 or so years of my career attending, but not actively participating in, professional activities. One of the Human Resources staff members at my third job suggested to us “Young Professionals” (in the early 1980s) that doing some professional activity outside the company you work for might be an excellent long-term career enhancer.
Long time friends and mentors, Chuck Noll and Dan Smith, suggested I stand for election to the Delegates group in Houston. That was my first exposure to the HoD and I served from 1985 to 1994 (and again later).
After a few years of service in the HoD, another Houston geologist and friend, Sam Peppiatt, called me out of the blue and suggested I stand for election to the Houston Geological Society Executive Committee. I did, and I was elected! Committee members at the time were tasked to help recruit their own replacements. Thanks, Sam!
The HGS Executive Committee exposed me to a new world of professional contacts. Not long afterwards I found myself running for more offices in my Affiliated Society (HGS), followed by the Gulf Coast Section (GCAGS) and all that brought me in closer contact with the wider world of AAPG. Eventually I chaired the 2002 ACE, served on the Advisory Council and now am Chair-Elect of the House of Delegates!
I knew this exposure was significant when my wife and I went to a Christmas party, as expats in Aberdeen, Scotland, and several oil industry people knew me by sight when we walked in the door.
My point is, it all started with the House of Delegates. The HoD has evolved over the years and that will continue, but the key component is that with relatively modest time commitment, serving as a delegate is a great way to get introduced to the processes and many governance levels of AAPG. We do need to proactively involve the current Young Professionals in the business of the House. That is on-going and will be one of my goals when serving as Chair. The fellowship and networking of the HoD and its activities is a true career driver. In addition, it’s a great way to be exposed to the history and workings of our profession and the Association.
It is absolutely amazing to think of the diverse, global group that assembles Sunday morning at each Annual Convention for the HoD meeting. One of the most profound experiences I’ve had in my AAPG career was serving on the HoD Credentials Committee in New Orleans (as an officer candidate) and greeting and checking in essentially all the delegates attending the meeting. Shaking hands with 200+ new and old friends in 45 minutes!
And with all this, what else would ever cause you to read Robert’s Rules of Order and participate in (and perhaps chair) a “serious” business meeting?
I look forward to serving you and meeting you in Houston in April, 2011.