Richard Yep

What identifies a person as a leader? Is it the most popular person? The person who is able to rally the greatest number of volunteers? Perhaps it is the person who inspires others to follow the most ethical and professional path? I’m not sure, but I do know that July is the month when many American Counseling Association members take on new roles in order to support the association’s various activities. Many of our branch, division, region and other affiliated organizations change their leadership as well.

Regardless of where you serve, I welcome new leaders into the ACA family. Your work as volunteer leaders will be instrumental in achieving the goals that have been set. You are, without a doubt, the lifeblood of our organization, and your contributions to the profession can be significant as we move forward.

This month, we welcome Lynn Linde as the new president of ACA. I have known Lynn for many years, and her role as a volunteer leader is exemplary. The staff and I look forward to working more closely with Lynn as she sets about carrying on the mission of ACA. She will be an excellent advocate for the counseling profession. Her work as an educator, a practitioner and a high-level state administrator has provided Lynn with a unique perspective on the needs of our members and the counseling profession. For more on Lynn, read “Meet the president” on page 42.

In addition, a number of members will be joining ACA committees, task forces, the Governing Council and related organizational affiliates as leaders. I wish all of you the very best and continue to be in awe of the time you are willing to invest to be such an integral part of carrying out our mission.

Later this month, many counseling professionals from around the country will gather in the Washington, D.C., area for the ACA Institute for Leadership Training. All four ACA regions will be represented, and many division leaders will also attend the event. I want you to know that your leaders will also go to Capitol Hill to let our elected representatives know that counselors do have a voice (and a vote!).

For those of you interested in serving in leadership positions, yet unsure whether you have the experience or skills necessary, I say simply, let us know who you are. There are plenty of spaces at the table, and you need not have “prior experience” as long as you possess the drive, determination and time to help make a difference.

ACA and the counseling profession are in a unique position to truly make a difference in the lives of clients, students and communities. As we roll out new projects and services, I both encourage and welcome your participation.

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.