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It has been said that an organization succeeds, not because it is big, or because it is long established, but because there are people in it who live it, sleep it, dream it, and build future plans for it. IFT is a big organization, IFT is long established with a rich heritage, and, most important, IFT has a number of people, both members and staff, who live, dream, and build future plans for it.
I would like to start my term as IFT’s 2003–04 President by saying a word about our 2002–03 President, Mark McLellan. If ever there was a person who lives, sleeps, dreams, and has built future plans for IFT, it has been Mark. He has inspired us to be better, has dared us to think outside the box and has led us to new heights in programming, services, and relationships. Mark has left an indelible mark on our IFT and our lives.
You and I have also made plans for the future of IFT.
In March 2002, we began a journey down a path to develop a Strategic Plan for IFT. As we have traveled the path, numerous individuals have become involved in helping to shape the future. We have made some unprecedented changes as we have set priorities—changes designed to make us a more nimble, more responsive support to our members and our industry. As we have made these changes, we have done so with careful consideration and in thoughtful anticipation of the advances that these changes will inspire.
There are changes and advances yet to occur. 2002–03 was a year of planning and transition. 2003–04 will be a year of implementation. There are three places where we will concentrate our efforts.
Revenue Sources. We will continue to seek new and additional revenue sources to support our programs and services. The Executive Committee has appointed an ad hoc committee to explore new revenue sources. Acting as chair of this important committee will be the man who was recently selected to head our Institute in 2004–05. He is another of those people who lives, sleeps, dreams, and plans for the future of IFT. It is my great pleasure to serve with the third member of your Presidential team for 2003–04, Herbert Stone.
Public Relations. IFT has long struggled with how to improve our image and influence outside our own ranks. During the past year, the task force appointed to address the goal of advancing the profession offered several options to address the issue of public relations. In the year ahead, we will evaluate each of these options and determine how or whether we will invest in our future through any of these available options.
Mentoring. Each of our Strategic Plan task forces recommended that we seek ways to make mentoring a way of life within our organization. Mentoring is not a new idea or phenomenon. It is, however a concept that offers a myriad of advantages for our members and for IFT.
During the past year, I have had the unique opportunity to visit a number of our Sections throughout the world. One of the most inspiring things that I’ve had the privilege to see in action is a group of young scientists being brought together on a monthly basis for the sole purpose of equipping them to excel as leaders within the food industry. The group was conceived and developed by one of our more experienced members with no connection to any of the young scientists other than geographic location. This is mentoring at its best, helping others to grow and develop while benefiting from the advice and guidance of the more experienced among us. While the immediate benefit of mentoring is for the individual, it also offers long-range benefits for IFT in the area of leadership development.
That is a brief glimpse as to where we will be heading in the next year. We will continue to grow, to change, and to find ways to enhance our feeling of community for all our members. It is our earnest goal to do all this while we act as an indispensable resource for our members and our industry.
by C. ANN HOLLINGSWORTH
IFT President, 2003–04
President, Better Built Foods, LLC