When I first joined APSE, one of the first things that Jerry Micco told me was that he had the best title in the organization — past APSE president.

Well, I’m not completely sure about that. I haven’t really had a lot of time to get used to it yet.

What I do know, is after this week, I will enjoy being a past APSE convention host.

It was great welcoming you to my home. I’d like to think we had a great program, and hopefully you all enjoyed yourself.

As for my time as president, it certainly went fast, but I can tell you my favorite day in the job was today. The fact you all believed in my vision for the APSE Foundation means a lot to me.

Thankfully, the fact that we will have the founder of the diversity program, Michael Anastasi, as its first president is just fitting. His, and Jorge Rojas’, vision of what the diversity program could be was the inspiration behind the foundation, and hopefully we will now be able to make it bigger, and help more young and worthy journalists get a leg up on life and their career.

Don Shelton’s position on diversity is well known, and he will be great as one of the backbones of the foundation as executive director.

Hopefully, Jeff Rosen, myself and the others we reach out to for help will help push APSE and this foundation further toward the forefront of journalism training and education.

It didn’t take me long after I was elected to figure out there are a lot smarter people than me in this organization. I had no idea how much I would lean on Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa for advice.

Tommy Deas continued to amaze with fundraising, Todd Adams further helped us streamline the contest and Larry Graham is in the process of taking the diversity committee to another level.

Running this organization is a true team effort and this past year wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without their help, along with counsel of Lisa Wilson, Dan Spears, Bill Eichenberger, Glen Crevier and many others. By the time I had everyone’s input, making final decisions became the easy part, because you all pointed me in the right direction.

I’ve been struggling with whether to bring this up or not, but this is a fact. If Todd had not had his health issues a few years ago, I would not have had the opportunity to be president.

I’m still trying to figure out if this is something I should thank him for.

What I do know, is his willingness to run for office again, get reelected, and now finally taking the reins of APSE shows tenacity and dedication. It also means the organization is in good hands.

John Bednarowski and Todd Adams

Another reason the APSE will be in a good place for years to come is the positivity and drive of Lisa, and new second vice president Gary Potosky. Plus I have faith they will keep Todd in line.

As I complete my term, I’d like to thank Todd, Lisa and Dan for helping make this a memorable year.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my publisher, Otis Brumby, and managing editor J.K. Murphy for letting me take this journey.

And I definitely couldn’t have done any of it without my wife Mo. Mo, stand up and take a bow.

After the cookies and cake, I think she’s made more friends in the organization than I have.  

Tonight, I complete five years as a national officer.

I’m going to take a short rest, and then dive into 280 pages of football preview sections.

But, that doesn’t mean you are getting rid of me. I’ll be around.

If you need anything, don’t hesitate to call.

It has been my honor to serve as president.

Thank you.

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