Dear NAFE Board and Academy Members,
I am excited and privileged to welcome everyone to our first International Meeting in the amazing city of Toronto in Ontario Canada!
Since our meeting in Tucson, it has been challenging for everyone and their family to face the reality of living in a COVID-19 world, and I want you all to know I have you in my prayers. But like other challenges Academy members face and have faced during their careers, I know of one quality that seems to be in us all – Perseverance. It is this same perseverance I witnessed during my first NAFE meeting in Winter of 2005 that compelled me to join, not as a member but as a Correspondent (now known as an Affiliate). During the next 10 years, I had Academy members, a number of which are newly elected Life-Members, tell me to stay with the Academy it is worth it. As they predicted, 10 years later I became qualified to become a Senior Member and have been active ever since. It is this perseverance that has allowed many of you to travel to Canada to join our Canadian colleagues at this meeting. It is the same perseverance that many of our member have, who due to extenuating circumstances, could not attend but they are here in spirit.
Academy members such as the Website Committee that includes Michael Leshner, P.E., Mitch Maifeld PE and Allen Molitoris PE who keep our website and database operating. That allows us to register for meetings, renew memberships and become members seamlessly. However, the backbone of our technical system known as CiviCRM that supports our website and other aspects of the Academy would not be possible without my colleague and friend – Mitch Maifeld. Mitch tirelessly keeps things functioning, including our nafe.org website and our NAFE content accessible to members of the Academy.
The state of the Academy is very good and now that the conversion to our technical platform CiviCRM is complete, it will be Excellent. Nevertheless, none of the background things that occur such as help question from being addressed, membership questions getting resolved and NAFE material being available would not be possible without this selfless individual, Mary Ann Cannon, whom I have known since the early 2000’s. I just wanted to take a moment to thank Mary Ann personally, and if you have never met her, she is here in Toronto continuing to allow this meeting to run smoothly.
I am excited about the presentations that will be shared with the Academy on both Saturday and Sunday and can be found in the link, and thanks to Dan Couture, P.Eng, DFE, our NAFE Board Member from Canada, I know this will be our most memorable meeting, which happens to be our first international meeting. Join me in thanking Dan for making this possible and also introduce yourself to our Canadian colleagues, some of which have become recently admitted Academy members thanks to the outstanding job that President-Elect Joe Leane, P.E., DFE has done.
I would also like to thank Immediate Past President Liberty Janson, P.E., DFE for her continued support and hard work with myself and other members of the NAFE Board. One of the things about Liberty that I admire is how humble she is, and since this conference is our first international conference, I would also like to acknowledge a first that during our challenging COVID-19 period with live meetings we may not have mentioned publicly, which is why I do so now. Please join me in acknowledging another historical first for the Academy – Liberty Janson, P.E., DFE our first female President of the Academy.
To the 2022 NAFE Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, committee members, volunteers, and presenters here in Toronto, I sincerely say THANK YOU for continuing to serve the Academy making it one of the Jewels of the Engineering Community.
I look forward to greeting you all in Toronto, and for those that could not make this meeting I hope to see you January 2023 in San Antonio, Texas.
Thank you all and stay safe.
Samuel G. Sudler III, P.E., IntPE, DFE, F.NSPE
2022 NAFE President