By Joe Watts, Star Island CEO
In this issue of our newsletter we are focusing on transitions. This seems fitting, as we are in the midst of a few. Vicky has retired and moved to Seattle to be with her family, and I have moved into the role of Chief Executive Officer.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve in this new capacity. I have been deeply connected to Star for over 30 years, first as a conferee, then as a Pelican starting in the late 1980s, then as a year-round employee starting in the late 1990s, and now as CEO. On island, I’m joined by my lovely family, Brenda, Lily, and Joey.
I have been thinking quite a bit about Star’s future recently. The summer ahead is shaping up nicely. We’re working hard with conference leaders to develop a host of fantastic offerings for individuals and families. We’re moving closer to a comprehensive solar power solution for the island. We’re preparing to launch online registration in time for the 2013 season. We’re planning on unveiling some incentives to attract new families to the island, with a focus on conferences that are not full. There is a spirit of collaboration and excitement in the air, and I hope you will join us this summer to be a part of it all.
I’ve also been looking ahead to the more distant future. What will Star be like when our kids bring their young families to the island? This is an essential question because our vision of the future shapes what we do right now. Will our buildings and systems be in good and safe condition? Will we offer programs that free all who come to renew spiritually, explore matters of consequence, and gain knowledge about the world as it might ideally be? Will we be a leader in environmental stewardship? Will people form meaningful relationships that last a lifetime?
As an organization, our work is focused on the long-run, informed by our strategic plan, with the purpose of ensuring that Star Island will remain our spirit’s home for generations to come. We draw meaning from the past, we celebrate the present, and we look forward to a very bright future together.
In the end, it’s about community. On Star, we gather on a magical island to form a special community with an important purpose. We learn and grow, we enjoy ourselves, and we return to where we live bringing what we’ve gained with us, helping to make the world a better place.
As we approach the winter, consider this – remember your last Star experience. Recall the rugged beauty of our island, the programs you attended, the people you engaged with. And now think ahead to the promise of the future – how each one of us plays a role in what Star Island will be for future generations – and get excited about returning next summer. You will come back!