The primary focus of the leadership committee this year remained the Junior Wardens Conference, which saw its second year of operation under the exemplary direction of WB Don Moy. This conference focuses on the technical skills needed to operate a lodge, preparing newly elected officers for their time as lodge leaders. Last year for our inaugural run of this event, we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the majority of attendees. This year after implementing some minor improvements, we saw continued positive feedback bolstered by an increase in attendance, though we would still like to see every lodge represented! Even more exciting, at the end of this calendar year we will see the Junior Wardens from the initial conference begin to move to the east. With this, we can finally begin to observe how this event may have improved our organization and continue to explore ways to make it even more effective.

This has been a bit of a reorganizing year for the committee, which can sometimes present certain difficulties. This comes partly because we have shifted some of our priorities and partly because we have lost some members. I would like to thank the members who are stepping down, especially WB Brad Phelps who has been an asset to the team and a dear friend who I know will be successful serving the craft in his new role. As we move into this next year, my last year as chairman, it will be my focus to setup my successors for a smooth transition.

Despite dealing with these challenges, we have found time to continue to communicate our message of leadership and promote some of the resources we have created over the years. The leadership committee took key roles in many of the area conferences around the state, presenting on topics like problem solving, officer roles and delegation. By having a presence at these area conferences, we were able to remind brothers of the tools available to help them be better officers and leaders in their respective lodges. Not only did this give us an opportunity to teach valuable skills but also to encourage brothers to think about leadership in a more focused and intentional way.

Going forward, as we reorganize our team and reestablish our priorities, I would like to make this committee more available to the fraternity at large. While I am not sure yet what exactly this will look like, I think a big part of it is increased lodge visits. I am a firm believer that leadership is of special importance to us as a volunteer organization, without it no amount of money or membership will sustain us long-term, and a key component to this leadership is personal connection.

Respectfully submitted,
M. Justin Thompson, PM, chairman

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