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In the Director’s Chair

Do you have a yen for travel? Are you looking for a challenge? If so, you might want to consider becoming BICSI's Regional Director for Canada.

November 1, 2001  

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This article had originally started with yet another one of my somewhat humorous travel misadventures. Then came September 11, 2001 and my introduction no longer seemed funny. I quickly put in a call to the editor and was glad to find that I had time to rewrite the article before it went to press.

By the time you read this, several months will have passed since the terrible events occurred in the U.S. Many people have asked me if any BICSI members were affected. I am afraid that at this point I simply do not know. All we can do is hope that all of our members from around the world are OK.

I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of Region 5 to express our sincere condolences to everyone affected by these terrible events. And I would like to offer our thanks to those folks in our industry that have been working around-the-clock, trying to restore the telecommunications networks that were shut down during the attacks. Finally, I would like to offer my personal thanks to a number of people who called and e-mailed me to make sure that I was OK (knowing that I spend a lot of time travelling around North America). I was really touched by your concern.


When scanning the want ads recently, I spotted an interesting job opportunity. It went something like this:

REGIONAL DIRECTOR WANTED — World-class telecommunications association seeks Regional Director for Canada to sit on Board of Directors. Two-year term to begin January 2003. Potential exists for second term and other possible board positions. Final decision to be made by member vote in September 2002. Travel required to exotic locations. Must be willing to undergo background check. No pay but great benefits package. Contact BICSI at 1-800-242-7405 for more information.

OK, I’ll admit that I didn’t really see this ad, but I think the above embellishment made my point. My second (and final) term as Region 5 Director ends in January 2003 and my replacement must be found. While January 2003 is a long way off, the election will be held in September 2002 and qualified candidates must be found well before then.

Why would you want to consider being a Regional Director? Here is my own “Top 10” list of reasons:

1. It is a very rewarding opportunity, both from a personal and a career point of view.

2. It will look good on your resume.

3. You get to travel to exotic locations (OK, maybe not that exotic).

4. You get to work with some very nice people.

5. You can help shape the future of the organization.

6. You can impress your mom by telling her that despite all the trouble you caused in your younger years, you really have turned out OK.

7. You will get a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

8. You will have to give up some of your weekends, but, on the positive side, you can bring the kids with you to Disneyland.

9. You get to know the clerk in the lost baggage claims desk on a first name basis.

10. You get away from the cold Canadian weather in January.

Seriously folks, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help the organization and gain some very valuable career experience. And you never have to worry about getting laid off, as this is a non-paying job.


So what are the criteria for becoming Regional Director? Well, to start you must be a BICSI member in good standing for at least two years. You have to get your application approved by the Nomination Committee. You can’t have a criminal record. And your company must submit a letter of corporate support.

Most importantly, you need to invest some of your time. How much time is entirely up to the individual, but you should count on about one month of travel per year to attend the conferences and planning meeting. Additional Board meetings are held by conference call. I usually also hold at least three Regional meetings per year (East, West, and Central). You will also have to answer e-mails and telephone calls from members. Of course, staff at BICSI’s Tampa office is available to do a lot of the pre-work for you.

Like many things in life, you get out of this what you put in.

Greg Porter, RCDD is Region 5 Director of BICSI and Business Development Manager for Tyco Electronics Canada Ltd., Markham, ON.

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