School Business Affairs May 2019 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | MAY 2019 7 ASBO International’s new executive director offers a glimpse into his vision of the future of the organization and the school business profession. Providing Voice to Vision By David J. Lewis executive director message T he life of the school business man- ager across the country and around the world is changing drastically. Challenges from charter and private school expansion, unfunded mandates, and woefully inadequate funding are threatening to seriously undermine the foundations of public education, which is in turn a founda- tion of our modern democracy. It is with great enthusiasm and a sense of urgency that I am looking forward to taking on the position as the new executive director of the Association of School Business Officials International. I believe we are at a crucial time to not only meet the myriad challenges facing public education—the education of all children from every background and socioeconomic status— but to also advance the stature and under- standing of our multiple constituencies about the role and importance of the school business official within our education system. ASBO International provides a world-class menu of professional development, confer- ences, webinars, publications, networking opportunities—the list is an impressive array of offerings. And it is through these tools, and in expanding these offerings, that our association will continue to provide outstand- ing opportunities for our members to engage and grow their expertise and knowledge base within their chosen field. Communicating the commitment, exper- tise, and knowledge that resides within every school district in the person of the school busi- ness official is how we will shape the narrative that is written every day for policymakers, elected officials, and the voting public (and unfortunately at times the non-voting public) who make a choice every day about where they want to send their children for their education. “I look forward to providing a voice to the vision that the ASBO International Board of Directors . . . has created as our roadmap for future success.” I know of no public school district that is afraid of competition—they are in competition with their neighboring school districts every day—but what has been left out of the discus- sion surrounding this so-called competition is that the rules are different for each individual system, and unfair and non-fact-based com- parisons slant the very discussion of what is a quality education and successful use of public funds. One of my first keys to success as we approach these challenges will be to reach out to our members, our affiliate associations, our staff, our educational organization partners, and our business partners to get as much input as possible as to what we are doing right and what we need to be doing to improve. ASBO International has a long and proud history of providing outstanding service to our members through professional development, informational resources, networking and fel- lowship opportunities, and legislative and policy advocacy. I look forward to providing a voice to the vision that the ASBO International Board of Directors, as your representatives for the asso- ciation, has created as our roadmap for future success. And I look forward to working with all of you as we pursue this journey together.