Medical Report

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."
Mark Twain

Despite many dire warnings and predictions, it appears to me that CSI is not on its deathbed. It may have caught a cold, and there may have been a few complications, but it seems that the organization is doing quite well at fighting off its troubles.

In June I had the pleasure of seeing some of the activities at the first CSI-University. Given the bad press this event had received, and having a few misgivings of my own, I was prepared to see a small number of the old farts just hanging around and complaining about the good old days. Much to my delight, when I walked into the hotel lobby I thought I was at the annual convention!

Hoping for two hundred, the staff had their hands full with half again as many attendees. Yes, many elder, diehard members were there, but there were lots of fresh new faces, as well. And the excitement and energy were fantastic! Intense discussion, camaraderie, smiling faces, and even a few arguments - again, it was just like the annual convention.

At the change of leadership ceremony outgoing President McDade, in his engaging good-ol'-boy style, recalled the events of the last year. Going in, he had hoped for the most peaceful, uneventful term of office in history. Instead, he walked into an inferno - a year that saw the loss of an executive director, Institute officers resigning in mid-term, and a variety of other not-so-peaceful incidents. Phil has my unqualified admiration for the way he got us through a rough year. I sincerely believe he was the right man in office at the right time; others might well have lost control.

As Phil said his farewell, he introduced Edith Washington, now President of the Institute. Entering to the fanfare from the Rocky films, she filled the room with her usual energy (where does she get it?). I was later fortunate to find some time in Edith's busy schedule to drag her into one of the late-night bull sessions, where a small group asked rather pointed questions, and discussed a variety of issues. During our brief encounter, Edith made it clear that she is going to everything possible to revive our organization and get it moving forward again.

All in all, I'd have to say that CSI-U was a success. The real test will be in how much of the zeal and excitement makes it home to the regions and the chapters, but there was enough there that it couldn't all have been lost on the way home.

A few weeks later I attended the North Central Region Conference, sponsored by the Twin Ports Chapter in Duluth, Minnesota. Again I was impressed by the enthusiasm, and the mix of old and new faces. I also had an opportunity to talk with Michael Owen, Institute Vice President, and Gary Betts, President-Elect, and to listen to Karl Borgstrom, our new Executive Director. All of them are well aware of the problems we face, and all are intent on not just surviving, but moving forward. And the members - the lifeblood of any organization - are alive and well, with no plans to give up the ghost.

2003 Sheldon Wolfe, RA, FCSI, CCS, CCCA

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Material from CSI Chapter newsletters used with permission.