March 2011

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March 2011

News From Joe Aldridge, USITT President

Get Packed and Ready for Adventure

Weather in Charlotte, North Carolina is typically warm and inviting in mid-March, so pack spring clothing and be prepared to engage in conversations about changes in our organization and our profession.

Photo/Visit Charlotte

As you read this article, I hope that you are packed and ready to depart for a week of fun activities in Charlotte, North Carolina. With any luck, the really bad weather has passed, and we are moving into an early spring for this Conference.

The past 12 months have passed extremely quickly -- too quickly.

During this time the Institute has begun the transition to the new governance structure, and I am happy to report that the transition is going smoothly. It has been a great learning experience, and I look forward to the next 16 months. The Executive Director is making a difference, and we have an excellent working relationship. David Grindle has been extremely proactive in my desire to improve the benefits to the membership. I applaud his tenacity in pursuing those new benefits with vendors for all of you.

We have begun a new program offering Elite Training possibilities for our members with major manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. I want to express our thanks to Cirque du Soleil and the manufacturers who are making this opportunity possible. The goal is to make this opportunity available to any and all of our many Sustaining and Contributing members who might want to offer training to our members. USITT will deal with the logistics and assist in making these training opportunities successful.

One of our Contributing members has come forward with a proposal that I am excited about and look forward to sharing it with you at the Conference. The potential is tremendous!

I am sure that many of you are aware of the increased scrutiny that our industry is receiving from OSHA. Safety should be at the forefront of your work habits. I will be attending a summit with Federal OSHA and the leaders of other organizations to begin a dialogue that will, I hope, allow us to be involved in making compliance a less-than-onerous task.

I have been working with Nevada OSHA officials, helping them to understand how our industry differs from the construction industry. This is an important distinction, as I am sure you will all agree.

We have much to share and much to talk about when we meet in Charlotte. I look forward to seeing all of you in a few short weeks.

Joe Aldridge

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