NACIO could not have survived these past few years without the support we have been provided by the National Association of Counties. For many years, NACo Public Affairs Director Tom Goodman - a former NACIO President from his days in Howard County, Md. - served as the staff liaison to NACIO.
A few years ago, when Tom's duties changed at NACo, Media Relations Manager Jim Philipps became the NACo liaison. It was a seamless transition, thanks to Jim's professionalism and dedication.
NACo Media Relations Manager Jim Phillips (center) poses with, from left, NACIO President Todd McGee, NACIO First Vice President Jessie Beyer, NACIO Regional Director Dave Rose and NACIO At-Large Director Perrin Anderson.
Jim's passion for NACo and NACIO is evident at every meeting. He has advocated for NACIO workshop proposals when NACo staff was deciding which workshops would be accepted for the Legislative and Annual conferences. There is no doubt that his behind-the-scenes influence has helped NACIO host a workshop at every NACo Annual and Legislative Conference for at least the past 10 years - and sometimes two.
He has helped take NACo's public relations efforts to the next level, with an active YouTube channel and increased awareness of county issues with the national media.
He has always been an avid supporter of NACIO, and above all, he has always been a trusted friend and advisor.
Another Jim, country music crooner Jim Stafford, once sang that "All good things must come to an end." And so it is with Jim's tenure at NACo.
It is with a mixture of sadness and excitement that I wish Jim the best at his new duties. Jim has taken a new position with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). It is a tremendous step forward in his career, and I wish him nothing but the best. His last day at NACo will be Friday, March 14. If you would like to send Jim a congralatory email, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim has been an excellent confidante in recent years. He and I both coach youth soccer, and we have exchanged many emails and had many phone calls with soccer tips and techniques.
The great news about Jim's new position is that the IAFC, like NACIO, is an affiliate of NACo. This means that we will still get to see Jim at some NACo events.
Good luck, Jim, and goodbye on behalf of NACIO! But in this case, goodbye does not mean so long - it only means, see you later.