Dear Association Members and Friends,
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
January 2018 marks my third anniversary as President of the Association of Inspectors General, and the 10 year anniversary of my being appointed Louisiana State Inspector General. It has been and continues to be a true honor to serve in both capacities. It has been an amazing ride with peaks and valleys. Like all Inspectors General, I have had to fight some hard battles. As I have said many times, the Inspector General business is not for the faint of heart. It requires a thick skin and a steely resolve. It often requires us to re-fight the same battles year after year, which can be exhausting and, frankly, discouraging. We as Inspectors General do the job because it is the right thing to do — because it is our duty. But in doing that duty, we must avoid the great peril of succumbing to “battle fatigue.”
As we welcome another new year, I want to encourage everyone to consider each new day as a new opportunity, a chance to do something great. Remember that you are fighting the good fight, and you need strength and endurance for the long haul. Reach out to friends in the IG community who know what you are going through. They are the best source of encouragement and, of course, a second opinion. And always remember to press on, no matter what.
Our 2017 Annual Conference in Austin was a great reminder of that. Many IG’s who have fought the hard battles were there to share their experiences. I made the observation recently that the Austin conference was one of the best I have ever attended in terms of pure content, presented by many “heavy hitters” from the Federal, State and Local IG communities. I so look forward to these gatherings as a chance to recharge my batteries, spend meaningful time with my colleagues and gear up for the year ahead.
The conference was superbly run. I want to personally thank everyone who was involved in making it such a memorable event. A special thanks to Board Member and Chair of the AIG Conference Committee Hector Collazo, and his entire Committee; AIG Texas Chapter President Ray Acuna, and his enthusiastic and tireless team on the Local Planning Committee; Roland Luna and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Inspector General; Executive Director Phil Zisman, and the entire national staff; Board Member and John Jay Professor Ned Benton, and all the students, faculty and staff from John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and finally each and every one of our Exhibitors for your continued support of the AIG.
As for news related to our Board of Directors, I want to congratulate Natalie Monroe, First Assistant Inspector General for the State of Massachusetts, for her election to 3rd Vice President; and also welcome our newly elected members: Kenneth Bramlett, Inspector General Los Angeles Unified School District; Kim Chatelain, Deputy Inspector General Jefferson Parish; Denis Gallant, Inspector General City of Montreal; Mark Griffin, Inspector General Cuyahoga County, OH; David Harper, Inspector General City of Albuquerque; Roger Trca, Inspector General Palm Beach County Clerks Office.
Our next national event will be the Inspector General Institute in Jacksonville, FL the week of March 19-23, 2018. As of this writing, it is almost sold out. If you are still hoping to attend, please submit your applications as soon as possible, or consider our summer institute this August, when we’ll be returning to New York City and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Blessings to all for 2018!
Stephen B. Street, Jr., AIG National President