WAML President’s Message

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July 2021

Evan Thornberry, 2021-2022 WAML President

Greetings WAML,

I’m very excited to be writing my first message to you all as WAML’s President! This last year serving as President-Elect has been an amazing experience, and I’d like to start by first recognizing the outstanding contributions of three of WAML’s Executive Board members whose roles are changing this year.

Matthew Toro’s steadfast determination as President oversaw the myriad activities focused on consolidating and updating WAML’s website, as well as playing a huge role in arranging WAML’s first virtual conference. Matthew’s excellent leadership skills and general gusto were apparent in every E-Board meeting, and I’m very happy his new role as Past President will keep him in attendance. Louise Ratliff is rotating off as WAML’s Secretary – a role she embraced as though she was meant for it – where she captured and preserved every aspect of our work. I strive to be as organized, helpful and accommodating as Louise so effortlessly is. Susan Powell will also be rotating off three years of presidential contributions, as her most recent role as Past President. Most recently, Susan was the chair of the Appointed Positions Review Ad Hoc Committee, where she worked with others to re-envision the WAML’s appointed positions to better fit our ever-evolving organization. Susan’s amiability and WAML-wisdom were always appreciated as the newbie of the board. I will genuinely miss seeing Susan and Louise at our E-Board meetings.

The next time you see Matthew, Louise, or Susan, please be sure to thank them for all of the lasting contributions they have made to WAML.

Excitingly, the E-Board will have the addition of two new members: Katherine Strickland as President-Elect and Kevin Dyke as Secretary! I’m sure their fresh insight and ideas will help fuel the next year of WAML, and I look forward to working with them both. Welcome aboard Katherine and Kevin!

This year’s conference will be held virtually from October 26th to October 29th, and we’re looking for presentation and workshop submissions. If you or someone you know might be interested in participating, you can use or forward the call for submissions forms on the WAML 2021 conference website.

Here in BC, we entered Step 2 of our provincial COVID Restart Plan on June 15, which allowed BC residents to travel recreationally outside of our health districts but within our province. As of July 1, we can now travel recreationally within Canada. As a U.S. citizen living in Canada, I am as eager as anyone to see the international borders reopen for recreational travel so that I can see my friends and family on the other side of the border once again. While it is uncertain when, I’m hopeful the growing success of COVID vaccination programs in Canada, the U.S., and across the world will soon get us to a point where international travel can safely resume. A couple of days ago my wife and I returned from our first vacation that wasn’t a stay-cation since December 2019. Our drive along British Columbia’s Stewart-Cassiar Highway reminded us of how therapeutic getting out and traveling is, and how beautiful our own backyards can be. So until the time comes where we can travel more widely, I encourage you to get out where you can and make up for any lost time.

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