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Thought Leadership Thursday

Thank You From NAST President Josh Haeder

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Thought Leadership Thursday Article

Thank You From NAST President Josh Haeder
December 5, 2023
Thank You From NAST President Josh Haeder, Treasurer, South Dakota
Treasurer, South Dakota

Dear Colleagues:

You know the saying “Time flies when you are having fun,” well that’s how my term as President has gone. I can remember starting off the year with many goals in mind, and in “the blink of an eye” I’ve reached the end of my term. The overarching goal of my term was to ensure the sustainability of NAST long-term.

The first item we worked on was SURCH. I can remember talking to NAST’s CEO Shaun Snyder and telling him I wanted 40 states signed up during my term as President. When we started the year that number was low, but through the hard work of the NAST team, and so many of you, we have crushed that goal.

Another important component of ensuring the long-term sustainability of the organization was to adjust the NAST Constitution to reflect where the organization is today and where it is heading in the future. While some of these changes may seem technical, I can assure you we had a thoughtful discussion about each one and agreed that it was an appropriate decision for the organization.  I want to thank everyone who had a part in the discussions throughout the year to make these changes possible. Below are a few of the changes made because of your hard work:

  1. Changed the name of the “Executive Committee” to “Board of Directors.”
  2. Created a Personnel and Nominating Committee consisting of four officers (the same as the proposed Executive Committee) with the option of the president appointing additional members.
  3. Amended the policy-making process to make the Board of Directors responsible for reviewing and approving NAST policies. This allows NAST to be more responsive and nimbler in our advocacy work and is consistent with how similar associations manage this process. New policies will still be presented to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.
  4. Updated Article III Membership Classes, Process & Rights to reflect our current practice and give responsibility to the Board of Directors to develop non-voting membership categories that effectuate the goals of the association.
  5. Clarified the two types of business meetings of the membership:
    1. The Annual Business Meeting and
    2. A Regular Business Meeting. At present, we also have a Special Business meeting, which is unnecessary and redundant. The (approved) proposal also refined the agendas for both the Annual Business Meeting and the Regular Business Meeting to better reflect the business that needs to be conducted during each meeting.
  6. Reduced the number of permanent, standing committees to two: 1. the Finance and Audit Committee (responsible for financial oversight, budget development, and audit review) and 2. the Policy and Advocacy Committee (responsible for reviewing policy proposals from committees and managing and overseeing NAST’s policy work). All other committees will be determined by the President and Board of Directors to ensure coverage based on issues before the association and to balance the workload and representation of Treasurers.
  7. Made all ex officio and at-large state members of the Board of Directors voting members of the body.
  8. Changed the title of the Executive Director to Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  9. Last, but certainly not least, established a Treasurer Emeritus Program for former NAST principal members to continue to participate in NAST. As an eventual former Treasurer, I am truly looking forward to participating with this group.

Along with these important changes, we all know that NAST does a great job with conferences. Our attendance and sponsorship levels are back to levels almost surpassing pre-Covid years. In July, after a couple of years on hiatus, the National Institute of Public Finance, or NIPF, at Pepperdine University was back in full force! There were 173 attendees and speakers with 3½ days of programming.

We also continued our efforts to promote bipartisan policy solutions in Congress and with federal agencies.  As my good friend, Treasurer Deb Goldberg said, “When State Treasurers speak, policymakers listen.”  I saw firsthand this year how true that is.  Our relationships with our Congressional delegations and their staff are second to none and when we ask for their support on key legislation, help with introducing legislation, or help in opposing legislation, they are there for us.

I’m so proud of the hard work of our leadership team and all the NAST staff. Shaun, Chris, Kari, Jeremy, Dillion, Emma, Catherine, Eric, and the team at Williams & Jensen - thank you for your dedication to the State Treasurers and our staff. To Dave Pollak and all our corporate partners - you are the subject matter experts and those who provide treasurers and NAST with the tools that allow us to be one of the most effective associations in the country.

In a partisan and divided nation, the National Association of State Treasurers has become a beacon of hope and an example to the rest of the nation. With our different political affiliations and backgrounds, each of us prioritizes the best interests of the NAST organization and the people we represent above all else. We work together for the common good.  It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as President of NAST. I look forward to supporting President-elect Frerichs and the entire leadership team as they continue to make NAST a great organization in 2024.

Thank you and happy holidays to you all!

Josh Haeder

South Dakota

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