This unit’s opening holds promise to deliver care that could even exceed the expectations created by [Ernest] Bors
By Tom Fjerstad/Editor
June, for me, is a transition month. It’s the prelude to all kinds of changes fiscally, seasonally and politically for Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).
Depending on where you live or travel, people are putting away winter clothes in exchange for lighter summer fare. In Puerto Rico and Hawaii, there is no such clothing ritual, but schoolchildren taking a long-awaited summer break is the same.
And although June marks the halfway point of the traditional calendar year, it’s also the end of the fiscal year for many companies and organizations.
This past fiscal year was a long and arduous financial road for PVA. There was a lot of time spent sorting through contracts, changing companies, going through cultural changes and finding a ballpark number for where PVA needs to be in financial terms so we can continue to deliver programs and services to veterans with spinal-cord injury and disease (SCI/D).
I think the number is clearer now, and our goal will be to meet and exceed it in future years. Our national board of directors who help lead and guide this organization will expect nothing less.
We’ll possibly see political changes at the national and chapter levels, as well. However, one certain change will be on the PVA Executive Committee, where longtime Secretary Larry Dodson is stepping down. But he will graciously help the new incoming secretary to adjust.
Larry is someone I respect greatly and admire. He brought new insight, dedication and profound professionalism to the position. Larry had a keen perspective in the finance, resolution and other committees on which he served and with which he met. I wish Larry and his wife, Debra, the best on their next endeavors.
I’m actually writing this month’s column in April, which is obviously before the election of PVA’s Executive Committee during May’s annual convention in Colorado. The timing and advanced deadlines of magazine publishing make putting this together a bit difficult.
If I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected, here are some ideas I’ll be tinkering with through the next fiscal year, as well as member and reader ideas.
1) Setting a course for PVA’s long-term successful and financial growth
2) Deepening members’ and financial partners’ stakeholdership in PVA
3) Make Paralyzed Veterans of America a household name
4) Tell the world what PVA does for SCI/D veterans and how it impacts all people with disabilities; areas I’d like everyone to know about include PVA’s work in advocacy for travel accessibility, improving veterans’ health care, community disability access, legislative advocacy for veterans and all people with disabilities and adaptive sports
To everyone reading this article, we all have opportunities in time and life to make a difference and do something profound for others. Make this next fiscal year your opportunity to improve the lives of veterans and all people
with SCI/D. n