President's Message
Karen Clark

Karen Clark

This is my first President's message and I must say that I appreciate your vote of confidence and the opportunity to serve as your President. Election to the AAPP Board as Region V Director and as Vice President was a great experience for me, but I am absolutely excited to a point of being giddy about this new position. I look forward to the coming year with great expectations, ideas and plans. We have a fantastic Board of Directors and with Bruce Robertson as Chairman of the Board and Jim Wardwell as Vice President, I do not see how we can fail.

Despite my excitement, it is also a sad time as Toby McSwain leaves the Board. He has served over the years as treasurer, vice president, president and chairman. This service is exemplary of his dedication to the AAPP and its members. During his time, Toby was instrumental in negotiations with hotels and diplomatically squeezed every possible benefit for the AAPP and its members. I have to admit that watching Toby manipulate those hotel proposals to our advantage was like watching the master at work. Some of you may recall the "free" alcohol and wonderful food we enjoyed in the hospitality room on the beautiful 12th floor in Colorado. That is just one example of Toby's negotiating skills. Along with the rest of the Board, I thank Toby for his hard work and dedication to AAPP. I hope that he continues to work alongside us for many years to come.

Now, I have some good news to share. The AAPP Board of Directors welcomes our newest board member, Eileen Ryan of New York. Eileen was appointed to serve the remainder of Jim Wardwell's position as the Region III Director. The region III director position is a two-year term which was left vacant when Jim Wardwell was elected Vice President. Congrats, Eileen. We are blessed to have you on the Board and I look forward to working with you in the year ahead. Also, a special congrats to Jim, who is not only our new Vice President, but someone I am pleased to call my friend.

I would be remiss if I failed to recognize two other very valuable members of the Board who were re-elected to their second terms as regional directors. Tracey Hilton of Dallas, Texas was re-elected as the Region IV Director. Tracey has been instrumental with the Mexican delegation that typically sends 30-50 attendees to each annual seminar. Tracey is the type of Board member that you can give any task and know without a doubt that it will be done and done correctly. Thank you Tracey for your hard work! That brings me to Frank Suddreth, who was re-elected as Region V Director. Frank was the Seminar Chairman in Charlotte, NC. Thank you to Frank for his hard work in helping to make that seminar a success! I know that Frank thinks that his work is behind him because his seminar is over, but sorry Frank, the work has only just begun!

Another special person that deserves a moment in the sun is Don Imbordino. Don has been my mentor for many years. He was an instructor while I was in polygraph school at Texas DPS in 1999; he was my Region V Director; and, he introduced me to the AAPP Board in 2004. Don served the AAPP as region V director, vice president, president and chairman. Over the past few years, Don has served the AAPP as the "webman." I call him the webman for lack of a better term. He worked tirelessly with the webmaster to maintain the website. He also made sure all of the work was done and correct before the billing invoices from the webmaster were paid. If you have administered a website, then you already know it is a chore and full-time job.

A look at our website will show you that it is in need of modernization. Currently, we are looking at an overhaul. We hope to make it more user friendly; offer a shopping cart; make training opportunities available on-line; allow members to pay annual dues on-line and make it easy for non-members to join AAPP with a few clicks of the button. Bruce and I have big plans for our website in the near future. Of course changes cost money so we are looking at different bids and means of making these changes happen without breaking the bank. With all the changes being made, Bruce will be taking on the task of managing the website and its contents. Don has agreed to lead us by the hand if needed, but has decided to step down from his webman duties. It is a sad time and a simple thank you is such a small and minuscule reward for a person that had such a huge impact on the AAPP and its members over the years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Don!

Behind the scenes, we are fortunate to have Elmer Criswell and Mark Handler on our Board. They have worked diligently over the past year to update the AAPP blue book. This project has taken many hours and these two gentlemen tackled this project with enthusiasm and grit. The project is complete and the AAPP blue book will appear in the members' section of the AAPP website in the near future. Thank you to Elmer and Mark, who both are only a phone call away when I need them. It is great to have these two on the Board, but even more so to be able to call them friends.

I want to turn the attention to two more fantastic, hardworking Board members, Ron Hilley, Region I Director and Gordon Moore, Treasurer. These two men have been rocking and rolling along for over a year in planning and scheduling the 2014 AAPP annual seminar which will be held in Henderson, NV. Henderson is located about 15 miles from the Las Vegas strip. The conference hotel, Hilton Lake Las Vegas, is amazing. There is still much work to be done, but this seminar is in good hands as Ron and Gordon assure me that it will be the best AAPP seminar ever - I have absolutely no doubts! I can't wait to visit the hotel for the mid-year meeting and report the details to everyone. Thanks guys for all of your hard work!

Another Board member I need to salute is Vince Hernandez, Region II Director. Vince has served on the AAPP Board since 2008. As Vice President, I called on the regional directors to assist me with a task that took considerable time to complete. Vince was the first to volunteer and he handled the task with absolute excellence and perfection. His dedication to the Board, as well as the members that he represents, has been flawless and I am proud to have him as a Board member and friend. It is rumored that Vince may retire soon. I am not above begging him to stay, if that is what it takes to keep him on board, but maybe I should discuss the matter with his boss - wife Sharon! Thanks Vince for all of your hard work and dedication to AAPP. It is very much appreciated.

If you have had the chance to read through the AAPP Journals over the past year, you have seen changes in the articles and the overall look of the Journal. This is, in part, to our new Editor, Roger Butler. Roger also served the AAPP Board as region II director. Roger and his wife, Leesa, have been a constant part of our seminars for many years. They always go above and beyond when given a task. This special couple puts in endless hours preparing the Journal and submitting it to Angela McSwain, who does all of the typesetting. The typesetting is a long, tedious job which would cost us a fortune otherwise. Due to Roger and Angela's hard work, we are able to produce a Journal that is of the highest quality possible. Thanks Roger, Leesa and Angela. We deeply appreciate all of your hard work.

Let me take a moment and thank our other board members, Barry Cushman, our Chaplain and Dave Nagle, our AAPP Attorney. Dave has been with the Board for a number of years. He has been a speaker several times at annual seminars and has assisted us with issues over the years. Dave is only a phone call away from any board member and is always there to lend an ear if we have a question or concern. Thanks Dave. You rock! This brings me to Barry. Barry works hard to stay current with the health and welfare of our AAPP members. He sends hand written notes of condolence and get well cards to our members when issues are reported to us. This is a painstaking job and it takes countless hours to locate addresses and contact information but it is a very important part of the AAPP. As we continue to attempt to recognize our members in their time of need, remember the man behind that hand written note is our Barry. Thanks for all your hard work, Barry. You are truly an asset to our Board.

And now, I want to talk about the two hardest working people on the Board; Julie Gerspacher, National Office Manager and Bob Heard, Secretary. Without these two fine people, the AAPP Board would not be the same. Julie is more than just an office manager and over the past year she was asked to handle new tasks for the seminar. Julie fell right into the groove and took on these tasks like she had done them forever. The extra hours at night and on weekends that Julie and her right arm, Mark, put in to make the AAPP the organization that it is today are very much appreciated. There are just not enough words to thank her appropriately. The same goes for my brother, Bob. Whether it is keeping the training hours or members' certificates up to date, there is no task that Bob can't handle. His work is always correct and he is always ahead of the eight ball in getting things done. Thanks Bob and Julie. You two are truly angels and a blessing to me and the AAPP!

Last but certainly not least, I wish to thank Bruce Robertson, who has helped me over the past year to learn key facts and issues related to this position. Your vote of confidence is very much appreciated Bruce. I look forward to working with you for another year.

So in closing my first president's message, I want to let you know that AAPP is a special organization because of its members. Each of the Board members that I have discussed here are simply members - just like you. Our commitment to polygraph and AAPP is what drives each of us to do the best for our profession as well as for our members. A good friend told me that change is important because without it, life would be boring. I do agree. Change is particularly important to AAPP because without it, we could fail to meet the future needs of our members. Remember that the door is always open for new thoughts, suggestions, and ideas - yours thoughts or suggestions could be the next inspiration for future changes!

Have a great summer and I hope to see you in Nevada in 2014!

Karen Clark
American Association of Police Polygraphists