Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
After 59 of these messages over the last five years, you’d think there wouldn’t be much more for me to say, but I think that there is. And while it could simply be summed up with “thank you,” I feel obligated to use my last bit of space here to express my appreciation for this opportunity. The last several years seem to have gone by so fast. Friends and colleagues have come and gone, and within the next month, I will be joining them, having done my part to take PORAC forward. Without regret, this is something that I look forward to.
Eleven years ago, the PORAC Board of Directors had a deep bench of leaders, and it was clear that our organization was as sharp and effective as ever; we beat back legislation that was bad and advanced law that was good for our membership. In joining the Board in 2010, I was very proud to sit with and learn from the fine group of men, all of whom brought our profession’s very finest to the table.
To my complete surprise, I was asked to run for PORAC vice president and joined the Executive Committee to help to take us even further ahead. These were large shoes to fill, as PORAC was as strong as anyone had ever seen. With a steady cast of Board members capable of doing this, moving the association either inches or miles depends on what each one brings to the table. New people mean fresh ideas. Fresh ideas mean new accomplishments. New accomplishments result in a stronger organization. It was an exciting time to jump in and do my part to foster the development of our membership and training programs, as well as to keep PORAC engaged at a variety of levels.
When I wasn’t completely re-imagining and ramping up the marketing of PORAC through the website redesigns, app development and re-branding of our materials, I was constantly on the road making presentations to local associations, new and old, talking about the value of being affiliated with our association. Having never been in sales, I found that boiling our mission and what we do down to Networking, Advocacy, Image, Training and Benefits really helped me explain to folks what PORAC does for them and why it’s important for our membership to stay connected.
I wouldn’t have been as successful at this without having an incredible staff of people who worked each day to make my job easier and to ensure that PORAC kept its focus on the issues that really matter and delivered benefits to you, the members. In particular, Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman made sure that I had the resources I needed to get the job done, and Angie Gonzales was the direct conduit to making membership, the crux of what I dealt with, always run smoothly. Training Manager Claude Alber helped me keep perspective about what really matters. Communications Manager Chris Steele helped my creative visions become reality and made them look good. And I am very proud to have had a hand in hiring the very best employees in Tori Tillman (RAM), Shon Sharma (Accounting), Jacquelyn Blow (Administration) and Amy Eubanks (Reception). I will certainly miss seeing them each morning, as they are always prepared and ready to deliver their best to you. And though I didn’t work with them as routinely, I will also miss IBT Manager Maria Jimenez and the great staff of the Insurance & Benefits Trust, with whom we share the office. I am very proud of the work our team does, and I am confident that our membership will always be taken care of if they have an issue that needs to be addressed. If you ever find yourself in Sacramento, please go out of your way to thank them for wanting to work for us.
When I became the leader of the Sacramento Police Officers Association in 2007, there were many things that I wanted to do, not the least of which was to better involve our association in PORAC and to use the benefit of our location in the state Capitol to be a force multiplier for our statewide association. I felt extremely fortunate to have been able to work with past presidents Ron Cottingham and Mike Durant; I learned from both that a lot has gone into building PORAC up to what it is today. Over the course of the last year, it has also been a pleasure to get to better know Brian Marvel, with whom I have enjoyed the opportunity to work, albeit for just a short amount of time. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all three for the insight I gained as a principal leader of our association.
There will be many challenges ahead for the next Board of Directors. I believe that the infusion of new directors to the PORAC Board will not only strengthen, but also greatly help out the new leadership of PORAC. But it shouldn’t stop there. I cannot continue to stress enough just how important it will be for you to get involved! Don’t just stand by and wait for something to affect you directly before you take the opportunity to see what is going on at PORAC. The Board of Directors consistently needs your input and involvement. Challenge your representatives and make sure that they understand your position on the issues. They must hear from you. This is absolutely critical and necessary to the long-term effectiveness of PORAC, especially as we enter the next legislative session!
It’s been a great honor to have had your respect and support and to have been one of the few you chose to speak for the membership. I know that we have not always agreed on every issue, but hopefully the debates we’ve had here were thoughtful and respectful. It was certainly helpful to me to have heard your points of view, and I know that better decisions were made — or at the very least were better informed — because you took the time to write, call, email or drop in. I appreciated it, and I hope you continue to do what needs to be done to move PORAC forward. This will always be your association.
Many of you have heard me say that no one ever sits in the academy and daydreams about leading their association. It is a calling and is certainly something that you have to want to do or have a drive to do. Whichever it was for me, I do know that getting to know the great members we have within this organization always drove me to try even harder to do the best job I could for you. You deserve that, and I hope I did not fail you. Even on the worst days, being the vice president of PORAC was an honor because I had the opportunity to represent you — the very finest of the profession in the country.
Thank you for bestowing upon me the time and your trust in this great privilege of representing you and your association.
Merry Christmas and happy new year!