Tim Blair, Associate Director University Apartments, was elected President of the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) at the recent SEAHO Regional Conference in Atlanta, Ga. He is currently serving as President Elect for the organization and will officially take office as President in February 2014 at the SEAHO annual conference in Louisville, Ky.
Blair will be the second NC State staff member to hold this prestigious position. Susan Grant, Director of University Housing, held the presidency from 2002-2003. At the milestone event with more than 640 attendees, a conference record, Blair was surprised, grateful and honored by the announcement.
“SEAHO means a lot to its members, both past and present,” he said. “I don’t want to let any of the former leaders down. They’ve built an incredible organization and I want to continue to build the organization as we move forward. I feel like I have responsibility to both the history and future of the organization.”
Blair not only values the opportunity to continue serving the SEAHO organization, he sees it as a “natural extension and evolution in his career development path.” During the past four years, he served as a member on the SEAHO Governing Council as the NC State Representative and as the Educational Programs Chair. He also held several leadership roles in the North Carolina Housing Officers Association, including President.
As the SEAHO President Elect, Blair will oversee membership needs assessment, executive committees, and the awards and recognitions for the upcoming conference. “SEAHO has a strong membership base and it’s one of the top regional organizations of ACUHO-I, the Association of College and University Housing Officers International,” he said. “I hope to maintain the level or prestige that SEAHO has gained as one of the top regional organizations of ACUHO-I.”
Blair expects his year as President Elect will also prepare him for his upcoming term as President. He is particularly excited about working with the current Board. “The Board is very strong, which makes it a great platform for getting things done,” he said. “The strength of the Board will allow us to accomplish more because everyone brings so much to the table. They are a hard-working group of very talented and driven individuals.”
As President, Blair hopes to be responsive to the membership’s needs, push educational opportunities, and find continued funding for scholarships and further education. He will also place more emphasis on the use of technology within the Housing field.
“Under the Website Task Force led by Ryan Rushing and Ryan Winget, we have made tremendous strides in developing a useful and user-friendly website,” Blair said. “We need to continue to develop the website so that it continues to meet the needs of our members. I would like to focus on getting the SEAHO Report back on a regular publication cycle through the website to facilitate the sharing of information, providing a venue to update what is happening on individual campuses, and offer the opportunity for our members to submit articles and research for publication.”
Under Blair’s direction, SEAHO will also embark on a new strategic plan. The current strategic plan ends in 2014 and Blair will help update the old strategic plan to include new technologies, membership needs and social networking.
“It is a very exciting time for SEAHO,” he said. “We are nearing the end of our current strategic plan (2009-2014) and just now starting the cycle of updating the strategic plan. Using the information gathered from the upcoming membership survey, we will assess the current strategic initiatives and set the stage to ensure that SEAHO is a valuable, dynamic, and fiscally solid organization as we move into the new decade. In this context, one of my goals would be to ensure that this strategic planning process is transparent. It is critical that the strategic initiatives that are developed be shared with the membership, whether that be through the SEAHO website or regular updates to the membership, so that everyone can contribute to our success.”
For nearly 50 years, SEAHO has provided professional development, networking and involvement opportunities for both staff and student leaders working in college and university housing programs. Since 1965, SEAHO has drawn members from the Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Blair is excited about being part of the history of this foundational organization. To learn more about the organization and Blair’s vision as president, visit their website at www.seaho.org.