We are in the middle of planning one of the best conventions we hope to have for all our members.  San Marcos will be an action-packed, fun-filled adventure.  Hopefully, we will have an opportunity for all guests attending the presidents’ reception/pasture party to go tubing on the San Marcos River. It should be an adventure to taste some of the great things this convention has to offer.  

Visiting with the speaker selection committee, I’ve learned that we will have some new and condensed training tracks for the convention. This will be the first time that we will have two days of hands-on skills training offered at the convention. In the fall of last year, the Executive Board requested that the training tracks be narrowed down, and indeed this has been done for our convention.

This year there will be by-law proposals on the ballot to be voted on by the delegates that are in attendance at the convention. Personally, I suggest that you review these with your home department, home district and your delegates. Our association is long on membership and short on delegates attending the convention. Let’s do what is best for the association and its membership.

It is now time for me to thank all of those that have helped me through the last five years. Wow, five years already. My term is almost over and it seems like I just got started. As all the past presidents have said, it goes by SO fast, and it has been fast. Now, to all those that helped me. I would like to thank my family − without you this would not have been possible. I would also like to thank my departments: Bastrop, Bastrop ESD #1, Bastrop ESD #2, and chiefs Dave Fox, Mark Wobus, Brandon Bancroft, Jay Schwartz, Curtis Powell, Cary Roccaforte and Josh Gill.  Throughout my tenure on the board, you each have done everything you could to help me get where I am, encouraging me and keeping me focused and on track.  

A huge thank-you to my executive boards − without you, this association would not continue to grow and prosper.  Without your vision and leadership, we would not have a recognized certification program that is equal to, and meets, a national standard for our members. This change has had its problems and potholes to jump, but now we have an excellent program that works, with a tracking program that works.

Office staff, what can I say? You have outperformed my expectations, doing much more with fewer personnel. You have all just jumped off the chart to help me and keep this great association going. This last year has been a tough one, and hopefully, you will each get to enjoy the convention. Gabi, Julie, Kevin, Jon and Luis. Keep up the good work for the firefighters of this great state.
Executive Director Barron, you are a blessing to this association. We have had good and bad conversations, but we always come out of them with a smile and an agreement. This association is in a better place because of your everyday leadership and guidance. It has been my pleasure to work with you, and I have always learned something that I could take with me to the next meeting to make this association better for the fire service of Texas.

Well, it is time for me to quit rambling and finish this article. To Macey, Chelsea, Brad, Tayler, Garret, Dylan, Andrew, Jaws, Melissa, Trinka, and Faith − thank you again, you are all my rocks. Love all of you to the moon and back.   

See all of you in San Marcos for a great convention. Stay safe in your duties and have safe travels.

    Henry Perry
    President 2017