Richard Yep

Each July, ACA experiences the transition from one leadership group to another. We have done it this way for many, many years. Although some volunteer leaders carry over into the new year, most have fulfilled their terms and have moved on. To all those serving this year, I say welcome and thank you in advance for your service.

As someone who has volunteered for many other groups over the years, I know the type of commitment and dedication it takes to share your precious time with a profession you love so dearly. I will thank you now, and I will thank you again when your service is complete. But please know that I appreciate all that you do throughout the entire year! The projects, services and issues all of you will deal with during the next 12 months will help to move the counseling profession forward. Your expertise will be called upon, and we are lucky to have you in our cadre of committed volunteer leaders.

I know we all wish Don W. Locke, our new ACA president, a productive year. I have the privilege of working with the ACA presidents during their time as president-elect, and Don brings a great deal of experience and enthusiasm to the leadership table. He is very open to new ideas as we all work collectively for the good of the counseling profession. The ACA staff and I look forward to working with President Locke.

I would be remiss if I didn’t ask all of you to think about the profession’s next generation of leaders. We need more people to volunteer their time and energy to ACA. Our tent is quite large, and we are inviting and welcoming to those who want to get involved in the association. Some ACA members have already indicated their interest in participating on committees and task forces and in other projects, but I know many others of you are likely interested in sharing some of your valuable time. We definitely look forward to your involvement as well.

Volunteers for ACA can be at any point in their careers: graduate students, midcareer professionals, retirees and even those taking a break from full-time work as counselors but still maintaining their membership in ACA. You could have several hours per month to volunteer, or you might have just a few hours to dedicate to a project-specific activity. I hope you will consider getting involved and share this invitation with your colleagues and students as well. The phrase “the more, the merrier” really does apply in this case.

ACA is on a roll. We completed our fiscal year on June 30 in very good shape. Our membership continues to grow compared with the previous 12 months, and our annual conference this past March was our highest-attended event in more than a decade. And on May 22, ACA even made the front page of The New York Times in an article about the dwindling number of males in the mental health professions.

But, just as is the case with many of you, our success does not allow us to rest on our laurels. Over the next 12 months, we will be celebrating ACA’s 60th anniversary. During this time, we will continue to roll out new products, services and resources designed with our members in mind. Our success is tied to your input, and I appreciate those of you who have contacted me with suggestions. I also want to express a special debt of gratitude to the ACA staff, which comes up with terrific ideas for enhancing your membership and advancing the counseling profession.

I know it seems early, but I do hope you will look at your calendar and mark March 21-25, 2012, as a great time to be in San Francisco. Why? Because we will be convening the 60th ACA Annual Conference & Exposition. With hundreds of sessions from which to select and the chance to interact with thousands of your colleagues, visit exciting exhibits and experience the City by the Bay, how can you go wrong? Visit for more information and to obtain the best rates on registration. This is one conference you will not want to miss!

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.