by Ellen Colangelo, Ph.D., President of the San Diego Psychological Association
It hardly seems possible that this year is almost gone. It has been one of transition as we work toward a leaner and more efficient association. When we kicked off 2016 with a wonderful Meet and Greet, the year was like a huge canvas, waiting for Board and Committee members to create a montage that would enable us to build on our best assets. We have been working hard at this and seeing positive results.
Our goals were to stabilize finances, the office, and membership. I am happy to report that we are achieving these goals. With advice from David Leatherberry, our legal consultant, we have moved from being employers to contracting with an employment agency. This has allowed us to reduce staff overhead to almost half of what it had been in prior years. Additionally, we have Crystal Thomas running our office 28 hours a week and providing a warm and welcoming presence to our 557 members. Our membership has increased, our expenses have decreased, and we are in a position to offer more of what we hear our members asking for: social networking events, a more user-friendly website, expanded CE opportunities, access to free legal advice, ethics consultations, an online, printable San Diego Psychologist, and many more services. In January, we will launch our new website mediated by Wild Apricot, a top-rated membership management software programs in the country.
Thanks to the Mission and Vision Committee’s efforts, we are creating an Association that utilizes the expertise of Board and Committee members so that we may be more efficient, financially stable, and better managed, without placing all the responsibility on a few members. Annette Conway and her committee are revising our Policies and Procedures Manual that has not been updated in several years. We are making many changes while building onto our best assets.
Another area of growth for us this year has been the collaboration we have had with other mental health providers. We are working with our mental health allies “to promote the profession of psychology and to serve the public” (SDPA Mission Statement). The annual, free event at beautiful Balboa Park brought together SDPA, CAMFT, UCSD Community Psychology, and SDPS for a free networking event that drew the largest number since its inauguration.
We continue this collaboration by offering member rates to the Mental Health Collaborative for our annual conference and having the Pacific Region of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors meet in conjunction with us for their annual conference. Beginning with the pre-conference social event and continuing with a full day of presentations on the theme of resiliency and mindfulness, the conference this year promises to be an excellent contribution to our field and professional development. The current issue of The San Diego Psychologist focuses on resiliency and mindfulness to complement the theme of the conference.
I feel so proud to be part of a Board that has committed so many hours and accomplished so much. I am grateful to our membership for entrusting me with the leadership position of President this year. I have learned so much about myself, and have had the opportunity to meet and work with amazingly bright and professional human beings. I hope that many of you will get involved in a leadership and/or committee role in SDPA and experience the joy of contributing to the future of our profession.