As summer comes to an end, I hope you were able to take time out with your family, friends and for yourself. Time to relax and recharge away from work. Vacations are fun to plan, and although sometimes more stressful than planned for, they’re also your family’s lifetime memory-makers.

Heading to an offsite auction recently, I had a few hours of quiet time in the car, which got me reflecting a bit. It started, of course, with pressing commitments for meetings and upcoming projects. But shortly my horizons broadened a bit. For all of us in investment recovery, it’s often easier to focus on the immediate details of each day than to put into context all we accomplish over time.

Reflecting on what investment recovery has meant to me over my career….it seemed to come down to relationships. Whether it’s the Investment Recovery conferences attended, decommissioning projects completed or equipment sold…the people I’ve met, worked with and learned from are the true memory-makers.

At times, we’re the ones doing the teaching and setting an example of professionalism. Remember the great feeling when you attended your first IR conference and discovered that you weren’t alone in this profession? Or the satisfaction of earning the trust of a plant manager or engineer by providing solid advice and a proper price for their surplus?

There’s a certain satisfaction from being good at what you do and having others acknowledge that by depending on you. They come to us with questions or problems, and we provide answers and a solution. I hope you all feel that personal satisfaction as you continue on with your IR careers.

For those of us on the Board of Directors, we are thinking about IR all the time! (Well…maybe not ALL the time, but close!) Seriously, we have our monthly scheduled conference calls and also meet twice a year in person to discuss strategies, plans for conferences, IR education, membership growth, budgets and all the other programs of the Association. We are gathering in October in Chicago for a full day meeting. I look forward to that time with my fellow board members, and appreciate their dedication.

Josh Bishop from Abbott Labs has agreed to become the new Chair for the Membership Committee. Thank you Josh, for stepping up and being an important part of the leadership of the Association. I can’t emphasize enough how crucial membership is to our sustainability and survival. We need new members every year so please talk to all of your business contacts and peers in your profession and invite them to join the Investment Recovery Association and get them engaged. Invite them to join you (along with hundred of fellow IR professionals) next March 29 to April 1 in Chicago.

Our conferences are really the perfect way to see what we’re all about as a professional organization. The Conference Committee and the Board has dedicated this event to be one set apart from the others in recent memory. We have the Conference Committee working very diligently to bring you the best speakers and to provide you the best experience as an IR Professional. You will not want to miss this event!

Speaking of the next conferences and membership, since our conference in Scottsdale, I want to extend a sincere warm welcome to the following new members and associates: Lower Colorado River Authority, Bay City, TX; Oncor Electric Delivery LLC, Lancaster, TX; AEI Consultants, Boston, MA; Aramco Services Company, Houston TX; Environmental Resources Management, Malvern, PA; Industrial Surplus, Minneapolis, MN; Interstate Construction Services, LLC, Phoenix, AZ;, Basalt, CO; MRO Surplus Solutions, Camarillo, CA (a new advertiser, too!); and Omega Demolition Corporation, Elgin IL.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and be safe. My best wishes to you all.

Todd Thompson, CMIR, Colorado Springs Utilities President, Investment Recovery Association