Richard Yep

As summer arrives, the American Counseling Association will conclude its fiscal year on June 30. While there are many things we do here at headquarters to “close the books” and prepare for the year-end audit, this column will address something else that occurs on this date — namely, the transition of leadership in the association.

With very few exceptions, leadership in branches, regions, divisions and at the national level of ACA will change on June 30. So when we begin our day on July 1, a new set of leaders will be at the helm of the many entities that make up the association at the local, state, regional and national levels. I always look forward to working with these new leaders. They are full of energy and enthusiasm as they take their turns as stewards of the groups to which they have been appointed or elected. Uppermost on the agendas of these leaders are new ideas, the carrying on of existing projects and other efforts to ensure that we continue to move forward. To all of you who are in this position, the ACA staff and I look forward to supporting you as you take on this important role.

That being said, this is also a bittersweet time of year for me. The fact of the matter is that we also say farewell to those who have given their “blood, sweat and tears” to the organization by choosing to serve in leadership over the past year. To those transitioning out of their appointed and elected positions, I congratulate you for your perseverance, your dedication and your willingness to give the profession your best. As I look at the progress we have made this year in the association and within the profession, all of you need to know that your efforts were part of the many successes we experienced.

At the national level, I want to thank those who served on committees, task forces and the Governing Council. I was consistently impressed with the work that was produced.

I also want to personally thank Patricia Arredondo, who served as ACA’s president this year. When a new year begins, the staff doesn’t know everything about an incoming president. We learn as we go along, and we strive to provide the assistance and support that this individual needs to face the challenges of the job.

As I said during my introduction of Patricia at the recent convention in Montréal, when someone is elected president of ACA, we on staff have the opportunity to really get to know that individual during the year they serve in that office. As someone who worked closely with Patricia this year, I found her to be engaging, dedicated and insightful. She was always striving to get the best out of people. And, as I noted in my introductory remarks at the convention, I can attest that she has great powers of concentration, a superb intellect and an incredible capacity to stay focused on the job at hand. Quite simply, I want you to know that Patricia Arredondo has been an excellent president for ACA.

While I was aware that Patricia was very knowledgeable about the profession and was certain she would represent the association well, I was consistently impressed this year with her grasp of numerous issues, her ability to synthesize and process discussions among various groups and her willingness to look at what was best for the organization. In no way was she a one-issue president; rather, she has willingly explored divergent views on many issues facing ACA. On her watch, Patricia has done an exceptional job, and I am appreciative of her dedication and efforts.

There is one group of people not transitioning out of their positions on June 30, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge their role in making this year so successful. I am referring to the ACA staff members, who year in and year out have been instrumental in supporting our leadership, our membership and me. Without the efforts of the ACA staff, each challenge we faced this year would have been much greater and each success a little less rich. I owe all of them a debt of gratitude, and I invite you to join me in telling the staff, “Job well done.”

As always, I hope you will contact me with any comments, questions or suggestions that you might have. Please contact me via e-mail at or by phone at 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.