Richard Yep

June is the month when the change of seasons combines with transitions between some of life’s most important experiences. For instance, some graduate students complete their studies and prepare for life as new counseling professionals. In our personal lives, some of us will begin to count down the days to our summer vacation with family and friends. At the American Counseling Association, the month of June concludes our fiscal year. It also means that the time has come for me to acknowledge the work of our leadership as they move on to other challenges and opportunities.

Both collectively and individually, the leaders in ACA’s branches, divisions, committees, task forces and governance have accomplished much this year regarding the promotion and enhancement of the profession. To all of you who dedicated yourselves to the elected and appointed leadership positions you assumed this past year, I thank you for your hard work and commitment. I know your efforts are not always acknowledged. In some instances, you may not even be sure that you made much progress in the task that was set before you as a leader. Please trust me when I tell you that the thousands who were involved in leadership did make a difference. All of you who were part of leadership undertook many responsibilities this past year, and you really did accomplish very positive things for the profession as well as for those whom you serve.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to express a special thank you to this year’s ACA president, Marie Wakefield. Her passion to ensure that professional counselors do all they can to help society was consistently demonstrated through her tireless efforts as our president this year. Marie expressed concern for children, families and those adults who are facing life’s challenges. She also took the extraordinary step of working to develop current and emerging leaders in our association. To say she seemed tireless in her pursuits to represent ACA would be an understatement.

Many of you know that Marie is fond of wearing hats, several of which have a certain “uniqueness,” shall we say, in what they represent to her when she delivers a presentation. If I were to pick a hat to represent the year she has served as ACA president, I would find one with a world globe on it, and it would include people from all walks of life. To me, this hat would represent Marie’s care and concern for all people in the world. Further, it would show that a better and more compassionate world starts with one person who wants to make a difference.

Each ACA president under whom I have served has brought his or her own unique style and message to the office. I have appreciated Marie’s ability to persevere at finding common ground on issues being discussed. Her desire to help make “counseling” a household word and her efforts to promote the professional counselor were also admirable traits that will be hallmarks of her presidency.

So, on behalf of the entire staff of ACA, we want to express our thanks for her work this year as our president, her support of our efforts and the positive way in which she advocated for the counseling profession.

I also want to reiterate my thanks to all who served this year in leadership. At the same time, I want to let those of you who will be taking office on July 1 know that the staff and I stand ready to assist you as we continue to let the public and others know of the good work being done by professional counselors.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions by e-mailing or calling 800.347.6647 ext. 231.

Thanks and be well.