Even though I belong to other professional societies, I choose to give the majority of my time to SNAME.
I firmly believe that membership in an organization is a give and take relationship--contributing your time and effort to create value for you and your fellow members. SNAME only exists because of its members and their willingness to volunteer in the pursuit of a common interest.
An organization is only as strong as its members and staff. Recently I've noticed less members stepping into volunteer positions at the local, regional, or international level. Our headquarters staff does incredible work to support SNAME's initiatives, strategies, and planning, but they often have to juggle priorities because we don't have all the volunteers needed.
At the end of the day, this is a society for maritime professionals and as an industry professional and SNAME member, I take that commitment seriously. I currently serve as SNAME Maritime Convention Chairman, alternate for functional vice president of planning, and as junior regional vice president for the Central and Gulf Region. While I enjoy each of my roles, I sure could use some help.
Having worked as a project manager on large projects, and having a family of my own, I understand that work and life sometimes takes precedence. However, we must decide how to commit what time we do have to give. We have to make a decision: are we willing to help carry the load and give back to our society beyond yearly membership dues?
I encourage you to not just be a member of SNAME but an active contributor, growing and pushing our organization forward. I can assure you it will be worthwhile, paying dividends in professional relationships, friendships, leadership experience, and the feeling of accomplishment.
I hope that you'll help me and your fellow members by reaching out to your section leaders and asking about volunteer opportunities. Feel free to reach out to me and I'll help connect you with staff and volunteer leaders.
Together, I know that we can help not only ourselves, but those across the entire industry discover what a powerful resource SNAME can be as the international community for ocean and maritime professionals.