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Message from APPA’s Board Chair

Change, often unpredicted and always disruptive, is simultaneously, exponentially, and interdependently sweeping over educational facilities management and APPA exactly when the broader sector of education is at a critical juncture. Even pre-Covid, many forces of change within and around our Institutions, our profession, and our association came crashing at an ever-accelerating pace. Never has that been more evident than with recent events.

Lander Medlin has been APPA’s guiding light. No one has meant more to our profession. No one brings more talent or expertise. No one is more visionary. And no one has more passion, energy, and excitement. For 30 years, she has been the true definition of an outstanding leader. Unfortunately, as APPA members now know, Lander has stepped down as APPA President and CEO to focus on her health and family—an unpredictable and difficult change for our association and our profession.

Thomas Friedman once declared, “When the pace of change gets this fast, the only way to retain a lifelong working capacity is to engage in lifelong learning.” And as Charles Darwin argued, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” The two both seemed to agree on three keys to succeeding in this ever-changing world:

  • Never stop learning.
  • Never stop changing.
  • Never stop re-envisioning.

Fortunately, Lander’s tireless efforts have positioned us to embrace change and always be ready to learn and re-envision. The efforts of many past APPA Presidents, past Board members, and countless great APPA volunteers have further strengthened this foundation, making us prepared for any future –even one where Lander has relinquished the reins. 

APPA’s Board and staff are ready to assume these reins. Because of their commitment and your passion as facilities professionals, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the unsurpassed success of our brand of education and community to build on our core strengths. We will also create greater value for our association, enhancing its relevancy for our members and elevating our profession.

I’ve often said, “If you are stranded on a desert island, you want to be stranded with facilities managers. We wouldn’t wait to be rescued. We’d figure out how to build a boat, and APPA would provide the plans!”

Never has our profession and APPA been more in the spotlight. Never have our teams and institutions needed us more. Never have we had more to offer. And NEVER have we been better positioned to deliver!

BUT we need your help, now more than ever. We need APPA’s regions, chapters, and members to lean into APPA’s volunteer opportunities, professional development programs, and resources.

What an exciting time to be in educational facilities! What an exciting time to do what we get to do!

What an exciting time for APPA!

Join us as we build our future together!

Dave Irvin – International APPA Board Chair