As we approach the close of 2022, many people turn their thoughts to the next year – setting business goals or personal resolutions. While I find enjoyment in that practice, I often use this space to reflect on the past 12 months and bring focus to the wins and opportunities that have led to a successful and prosperous year.
When I look back at all the accomplishments NYSWA has achieved in 2022, it is quite impressive. This year, we began to shed our COVID constraints and returned to our roots in Saratoga Springs for the first in-person Forum in two years. The same venue that hosted our initial Forum 14 years ago, united nearly 300 members and sponsors to hear from some great speakers including Senator Kirstin Gillibrand, who discussed the importance of cyber security and how our industry can align with state and federal programs to keep our networks safe and provide a secure environment for our customers.
We created our Workforce Development Committee, a project I am very passionate about, chaired by two past presidents who bring tremendous leadership to the initiative. This year alone, we have expanded our partnership with SUNY to develop a new 5G program, which grew into a board seat to help develop future programs in 2023.
We created a 10- to 15-week certificate program to prepare young adults for jobs in our industry and instated an internship program that placed students with member companies to introduce them to career opportunities in wireless. On the latter I can share that my company, Advanced Network Services (ANS), onboarded two interns this year who we converted to full-time employees following their internship. Additionally, we grew our relationship with NATE and WIA to adopt successful workforce development programs they have created in Ohio. If this is the start, I can only imagine what the future holds for his committee and the success of the wireless industry as a whole.
In addition to the new Workforce Development Committee, we also took the time to restructure our Membership, Education and Legislative, and Events committees to bring a new focus and greater opportunities to the programs offered. NYSWA expanded the board of directors, installing five new members this year in response to the increased activity of each of these committees, an effort that demonstrations a strong commitment to building a better industry for us all.
NYSWA also continued our charitable contributions this year, presenting eight scholarships to students through our partnership with the SUNY Impact Foundation to champion the next generation of wireless professionals. We were the first among our industry to donate to Volunteer Florida’s Disaster Relief Fund to assist with the relief and recover effort in the wake of Hurricane Ian and led a fundraising effort with other wireless associations nationwide for Razom for Ukraine, which collected funds to support the Ukrainian people during this time of conflict. And finally, we continued our dedication to Warriors for Wireless to help our veterans receive training and placement in companies throughout our industry.
Just last week, we came together once again at the NYSWA Holiday Social, an event favorited by many. As always, it was a great time to reconnect, see familiar faces, and be thankful for all the year has presented. I would like to once again congratulate Tom Wiseman, the 2022 recipient of the President’s Award for his work and dedication to our association and our industry. I would also like to take a moment to recognize our immediate past president, Tom Marciano, for his service to NYSWA and for guiding me through my first year as president.
In taking this time to reflect, I can happily look towards 2023 through the lens of prosperity. There are great things yet to be done and I am confident that the power of our organization, the dedication of our membership, and the vitality of our industry will continue to thrive. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I am looking forward to an exciting New Year.