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Transition Countdown

Kate Otting  | Published on 4/24/2018

See that timer above?  It's the amount of time I have left as president.  Let me tell you, it’s nothing like I had imagined it would be, thanks to a superb team, most of whom I now call my friends.


Aristotle apparently said, “To escape criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”


Here’s the best thing about working with conflict engagement professionals: they know how to wisely offer criticism. This makes it easier to do more, speak frankly and be a better team. The support, energy, constructive feedback and fresh ideas of our board and you, our members, has made it easier for me to serve as president. 


At times this year, while onboarding a mostly new set of board members, it felt like we were going 100 miles an hour. 


Much of what we did happened behind the scenes by humble and hard-working volunteers, you may not have even noticed all we’ve accomplished:


  • Webinars with speakers from around the country
  • Social events for networking and community-building
  • New membership tiers for virtual, youth, professional and organizational participation
  • A new Fundraising Committee, raising money for Youth Conferences for the next 2 years
  • 20th Annual Youth Conference
  • Developed video tutorials to make it easier for board members to access and use our membership website
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Board strategic planning retreat
  • Leadership orientations for new board members
  • Committee succession planning
  • Monthly reporting protocols for committees
  • Adopted a sexual harassment policy for the chapter
  • Implemented Quickbooks
  • Our fresh website – launching soon – will feature a bookstore, resource library, archived videos and more!


Exhausted yet?  I’ve lost sleep and gained friends.  For every stressful moment, I’ve been rejuvenated by gratitude and graciousness of fellow board members.  If you ask almost any board member why they volunteered for AACR, most will say they wanted to make it better than ever.  They are committed to creating a solid conflict resolution community that is diverse, progressive and engaged. 


I think we’re getting there, don’t you? 


If you’re interested in being part of the leadership, whether on a committee or as a board member, please contact the nominating committee (  Elections will be held May 19 at the General Membership Meeting and an electronic ballot will be distributed before that date.  Check the calendar for more details. 


On May 19, at that meeting, Jawed “JJ” Jessani, our President-elect will assume the role of President.  If you haven’t already met him, reach out to him and get to know him.  He’s one of the most approachable, energetic and kind leaders you’ll ever meet.  He has demonstrated real commitment to continued growth and development of our Association.  JJ has been a super-hero in so many ways.  I am confident he will keep this momentum going.


Only 20 more days till I get to hand over the torch to JJ...but who’s counting? 


~ Kate Otting, AACR President