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For the Record

Board members and others gather for a light-hearted moment before the Board of Directors Retreat in Las Vegas, Nevada in October. From left are Lance Brockman, Lea Asbell-Swanger, and Gregory Horton.

Photo/Barbara E.R. Lucas

Board Retreat Explores
the Future

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell
USITT President

USITT's Board of Directors only meets twice each year, but those meetings are packed with intense discussion, interesting ideas, and, of course, laughter and imagination.

This fall USITT chose Las Vegas, Nevada, site of LDI 2006, as a location for its Board of Directors Retreat and meetings of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Publications Committee, and USITT@50 Committee. That timing, October 20 to 22, allowed many who attended to also participate in LDI and related activities.

Perhaps the liveliest of all these sessions was the Board of Directors Retreat, centered on the topic: USITT in the 21st Century: Vital, Visible, Sustainable, Marketable, and Innovative. This brought together the Board of Directors, staff, contractors, and guests to concentrate on five different areas of interest. The topics evolved during discussions of the Institute's two newly re-defined USITT Vice-Presidencies (Promotion & Development and Members, Sections & Chapters) and the impact those changes will have on the jobs of the other officers and the Institute as a whole.

Each group was charged with examining ways for USITT to position itself in this new century. Participants began their discussions even before the actual retreat on Saturday, October 21. After an hour of important in-person conversation, and the consumption of welcome refreshments, each panel's chair provided an abstract of the discussions with the reassembled group.

Each group concentrated on one central word from the topic.

  • Vital: an examination of USITT's core, its indispensable and essential parts
  • Visible: putting USITT constantly or frequently in the public view
  • Sustainable: planning ways to ensuring USITT's financial future
  • Marketable: exploring different strategies USITT might use, and how they should be implemented
  • Innovative: finding new challenges and frontiers for our unique, well-established, and well-respected arts organization

As a follow-up to the good work done prior to and during the retreat, the panels continue to explore these topics through e-mail conversations throughout November. On December 1, 2006 each panel will submit a document detailing its ideas and concerns and including a call or calls for action.

The retreat was a spirited and interesting forum, and the retreat topics will prompt further appraisal and provide direction and forward momentum for the immediate and long-range prospects for USITT.

We look forward to the suggestions, ideas, and strategies from this Board of Directors retreat to continue propelling USITT into the future as a bright and vigorous 21st century institution.

Thanks are due to Panel Chairs John S. Uthoff, Carl Lefko, Larry Hill, William J. Byrnes, and Bobbi Owen for their work in guiding the discussions. Assisting were Co-Chairs Holly Monsos, Michelle Smith, Lisa Westkaemper, Barbara Lucas, Joe Aldridge, Brian Petranchuk, Kim Williamson, Carrie Boyce, Tim Kelly, and Carol Carrigan.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!

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