The Professional's Perspective

Results from a Winning Team

By Richard Z. White, National NSBE Professionals Chair

Greetings, NSBE Professionals.

Your Society's national leadership promised that 2016–17 would be a "breakthrough year," and a quick glance at what we've done so far shows that that promise is being fulfilled.

  • We conducted our first Chapter Leadership Roundtable, at NSBE World Headquarters, in addition to many chapter visits.
  • We established a $25,000 Edward E. Barnette Professional Impact Scholarship to benefit pre-college, collegiate and professional members.
  • We had unprecedented collaboration with collegiate members at the Fall Regional Conferences.
  • We broke the 300-registrant ceiling at our 2016 Professional Development Conference, with 333 registered attendees.
  • We’ve increased the number of active Professionals chapters by nearly 75 percent.

More breakthroughs are to come, such as our first Chapter Leadership Luncheon, to be held during NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention, in Kansas City, Mo. The convention’s Technical Professionals Conference (TPC) will feature a number of other improvements to better engage our Professionals membership. I know you will be there, so get involved!

The partial report that follows shows that Society-wide teamwork has yielded great progress toward the Professionals’ goals, which we communicated at the beginning of the year.

  • From the beginning, with NSBE National Chair Matthew Nelson and I showing unity at our first joint transition meeting at the 2016 Annual Convention, in Boston; to a joint engagement of leadership from our transition meeting; to our conferences, we have made great strides in our relationship and toward becoming "OneNSBE." If you attended any of the Fall Regional Conferences, you saw this collaboration in full effect, during our career prep activities, graduate student receptions, workshops and more.
  • In addition to our focus on chapters within our budgeting and programming development processes, with Chairman Nelson's support, we had our first Road Show in Atlanta to support the Atlanta Professionals. We followed that event with Road Shows across NSBE, engaging leaders and general members to work together to solve problems and generate excitement about NSBE Professionals. As mentioned above, we also had our first Chapter Leadership Roundtable at WHQ, which was a resounding success.
  • Building relationships and trust by focusing on results was a high priority for our leadership this year. This was evident at the PDC Town Hall, where members communicated their ideas and recommendations to the leadership. This will continue at our Chapter Leadership Luncheon, where all chapter members may take part in a roundtable discussion about transforming our organization's culture, growing the NSBE family, making a positive impact on our communities and moving our mission forward.
  • The timely approval of our 2016–2017 budget was a landmark achievement, and it has raised our expectations that a budget for 2017–2018 can be adopted before May!
  • We have been consistent in our focus on collaboration in building relationships at all levels, with NSBE officers, staff and partners in the mission. One positive outcome is that our Board of Corporate Affiliates (BCA) meetings have been more interactive and more about building long-lasting, mutually valued relationships and partnerships, all intended to support our members and enhance their development and success.
  • We are promoting membership growth by highlighting our professional members who live the mission. We are placing our chapter members in stakeholder positions, to move NSBE toward its "10K goal."

Our team is playing in the third quarter, getting ready for a breakout and mission-building run. I am proud, "SO PROUD," to be a part of this NSBE team and NSBE family. If you feel you are not yet part of the team, please connect and engage with me, NSBE Professionals Chair-elect Maurice Patterson and other Professionals leaders at Convention, where you can contribute, participate and positively impact the organization. Feel free to contact me at

Join the NSBE TEAM!!

Richard Z. White