The beginning of a new year is a good time for reflection and goal-setting. The Post asked several influential people in the community to share resolutions of three kinds: personal, professional and for their industry. Maybe their responses will inspire others to look ahead with hope.
ó Elizabeth Cook
President, Hood Theological Seminary
My New Year resolution is to renew my passionate conviction of fostering a wholesome community in which the differences of race and ethnicity, material possession, national origin, religious conviction, gender and sexual orientation, political allegiance, age, physical appearance or any other differences are not used as occasions for prejudice and discrimination. This is not to say that I regard as of no significance any and all types of human behavior. Rather, in embracing the totality of our human family, I advocate strongly the types of behavior which in light of the Gospel of Christ are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, advocates excellence, and worthy of Godís praise.
As you can tell, my strong conviction, and the resolution that emanates from it, are grounded in the teachings of the New Testament, especially in the Gospel and the letters of St. Paul. The witness of the entire New Testament is that the saving act of God is for the entire human race (John 3:16).
And in writing to the Christian community in Galatia St. Paul expressed it this way: ěFor as many of you as were baptized in Christ Jesus have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesusî (Gal. 3:27-28).
And concerning the acceptable life-style, Paul wrote to the believers of Philippi in Macedonia: ěFinally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about those thingsî (Phil. 3:8).
I have attempted and will continue to do all I can to make this conviction the basis of the seminaryís preparation of men and women for effective ministry in the communities of faith where they serve or will eventually serve. I am convinced that nothing less than this is worthy of the Gospel of Christ.
Director, Rowan County Cooperative Extension Service
Personal: Like the majority of people I need to keep healthy by losing more weight and relax more at home. Iíve lost 20 pounds over the last few months and need to lose much more. Losing weight and keeping my ěworkî at work will most likely make my life much better for me and my wife.
Professional: Answer questions and requests in a more timely manner. I get quite a few phone calls and e-mail requests during the day and sometimes it takes a day or two to respond to the request or question. I need to provide information to citizens as quickly as possible.
Industry: Resolution for Cooperative Extension in Rowan County is to have more exposure to the public as an organization that provides many relevant programs to all citizens in our county. Most think of Cooperative Extension as providing information only to farmers or those in rural areas of the county. Cooperative Extension provides research based information to all citizens from healthy diets to healthy gardens. Look at our website: www.rowanextension.com to see how we can help you.
Real estate broker
Personal: Be more concerned about the board in my own eye than the speck in someone elseís eyes.
Professional: Retrain in a profession that is recession-depression proof.
Industry: As a taxpayer, seek to question government spending at all levels, for the enormous debt is the greatest threat to our freedom.
Executive director, Rowan Arts Council
(Photo by Sean Meyers)
Personal: To entertain more.
Professional: To practice my piano every day.
Industry: To involve more volunteers in the work of the Rowan Arts Council, raise more money, and continue to promote the arts in Rowan County.
Professional: I plan to explore new venues and participate in exhibitions that will promote and recognize the visual art I create both on a national basis and internationally.
Personal: I will read books and literature and take classes that will address how spirituality and physical health are closely connected.
Industry: Now that the economic recovery appears to be upon us, artists and art dealers and other venues that sell visual art need to market and promote work so art collectors and museums will begin acquiring more visual art in the volumes at or above that being collected prior to the recession.
Executive director, Rowan Helping Ministries
Personal: I plan to be intentional about my health. Not just to increase my physical exercise and make healthy and nutritional food choices but to also have all my physicals and age appropriate health screenings that I have been putting off. My mother had two different kinds of cancer and my children asked me to promise a while back to get these screenings. I resolve to deliver on that promise.
Professional: I want to live each day with a heart for others and a reliance on my faith as I work with staff and volunteers at Rowan Helping Ministries to help people in need.
Industry: We (non-profits, churches, businesses, and individually) need to work together to restore neighborhoods and build a stronger community.
Ted Goins Jr.
President, Lutheran Services for the Aging:
Professional: I want to spend at least 5 minutes per day encouraging the concept of elderhood, that every elder has great value and deserves veneration. Our ministry serves elders across N.C., and elders and aging are misunderstood and mis-characterized.
Personal: Can I have two? I want to work every day on the right balance between details and big picture. My job requires both and imbalance can be disastrous. Also, I want to weigh under 206, so if you see me overeating, it takes a village.
Industry: Future success hinges on the support and education of our children. Every person should volunteer at a public school. Call Communities In Schools today!
Market president, Wachovia Bank, Salisbury
Personal: I always resolve to leave things just a little better than I found them. Last year it was a building that needed a new face and a few books. This year it was helping out with a childrenís theater and the United Way. Iím sure there will be plenty for this year.
Professional: I resolve to help my customers as much as I can. Itís not easy, times are tough, and I canít deliver miracles. But I am lucky enough to have some great customers that deserve much prosperity for their hard work.
Industry: I resolve to do my best to make banking a proud profession again and to help win back the respect and trust that we have long enjoyed. Banking shouldnít be a bad word, most bankers work hard, do a lot of good and love our communities.
Superintendent, Rowan-Salisbury School System
Professional: At the top of this list is my commitment to continue to work extremely hard in protecting our classrooms as much as possible from the unprecedented pending budget cuts that face our district in the upcoming new school year.
Personal: My personal resolutions are to place more importance on taking better care of my health by scheduling additional time exercising at the YMCA and more sleep time along with as much rest as possible. My family is very important to me and spending time with them ranks high on my personal goal list.
Industry: Realizing the severity that the current economic climate has and is predicted to continue to have on public education, I plan to be a much firmer advocate with our state and local officials in helping them to understand the importance of a strong education system in our community and state.
Conductor, Salisbury Symphony Orchestra
Personal: Stop biting my fingers when Iím nervous.
Professional: I want to do the right thing(s) to insure a secure future for the Salisbury Symphony.
Industry: I hope everyone can stop senseless waste by both using less and recycling more.
Executive director, Downtown Salisbury Inc.
Professional: Do a better job thanking the special people that I work with and work for because they are the reason our downtown is successful!
Personal: I am the consummate ěcannot sit stillî person so I would like to spend more time just ěbeingî with my family and friends.
Industry: The economy is certainly not what it was and is not returning to what we once thought of as ěnormalcyî but I am seeing some very intelligent people in both business and development adapting to the new economy. As the economy continues to evolve, I would like to see the my friends across N.C. in the downtown development industry be a part of this cutting edge movement that is figuring out how to get things done in the new economy and assisting in the creation of jobs and redevelopment projects that are both good for our communities and sustainable.
Virillion Music recording artist, composer and childrenís book author
Professional: Release two new projects Iíve already begun; a vocal CD of standards and ballads with three new original songs, and a CD of new original jazz with my trio. Build my publishing catalog with works by other artists in addition to my own. Release a compilation CD of original film music. Increase live performances this year to 100-plus dates. Begin new Yoga for Musicians classes at Salisbury School of Music.
Personal: Spend more time with my wife Anne and daughter August. Spend more time hiking in the N.C. mountains (with Anne and August). Be more grateful.
Industry: Get active this year in BMIís (Broadcast Music Incorporated) lobbying efforts to increase awareness and combat the digital piracy of intellectual property. For every song, movie, video game etc., that is downloaded, the artist/creator is robbed of their due royalties. The practice of digital piracy is no different than taking a loaf of bread from the local grocer without paying. Unfortunately, this fact hasnít gotten through to the last couple of generations.
Mayor of Salisbury
Professional: I plan to focus on two areas as the New Year begins. The first is exploring how to better communicate to the public the importance of supporting our local businesses. Just making people aware that their shopping here, whenever possible, could make a tremendous difference, not only to our local business owners, but also by increasing our declining sales tax revenue. The second area is providing more outreach and support to our young people to encourage them to be successful and to help them understand the importance of public service.
Personal: I plan to try to improve my time management skills so that I can accomplish more in a day than I presently do. One area I need to improve is finding time to personally thank individuals for their contributions to the city. Salisbury is the special place that it is because many people give their time and resources for others. As mayor, I see so many good and positive things happen here every day, and I donít think that people are thanked enough for what they do.
Industry: For the New Year, I would like to see a renewed effort by those in all levels of government to understand the importance of working with the business community to provide more jobs and employment as quickly as possible. I remain concerned about those in our own city who are frustrated and suffering from unemployment, and my hope is that these combined efforts will soon produce stability for all of our citizens. Right now, everyone knows this is critical, so I am optimistic that it will happen.
Executive director, Rowan County Tourism Development Authority
Professional: Push the envelope and implement new and effective tourism marketing programs.
Personal: Cherish every moment with my wife and daughters.
Industry: Continue to see growth and investment in the tourism sector of the economy.
President, Power Curbers
Personal: Be positive when there are so many challenges around me.
Professional: Be the leader that my associates expect me to be.
Industry continue to work for manufacturing jobs in America.
Organizer, Rowan Blues and Jazz Festival
Professional: I want to train a few people to become the best event planners in the region.
Personal: I will improve my wellness and fitness schedule and plans.
Industry: Encourage people to become committed to the success and future of the Rowan Blues and Jazz Society and Festival with the intent of bringing more people together to experience another American art form.
Executive director, Communities in Schools of Rowan County
Personal: I resolve to spend more time at the gym and less time complaining about it.
Professional: I resolve to take more opportunities to tell my staff how wonderful they are.
Industry: I resolve to do my part to heighten the communityís awareness of how vital Non Profits are to the community.
Director, Center for the Environment, Catawba College
Personal: Simplify my life. Let go of everything extraneous.
Professional: Give students the knowledge and leadership tools they need to have positive impacts in their present and future communities.
Community and world: Help people understand that we must change the way we live on the earth at a rate that exceeds the rate at which the planet is being degraded if we are going to have a sustainable future
Professional: To be fair, accurate, and funny, when possible. To be faithful to pray for those people and situations God allows me to encounter in my wonderful job.
Personal: Finish my book, (writing it, not reading one), keep running, and stop freaking out over things I really canít control.
Industry: Stress quality over quantity and value getting it right more than getting it first.
Want to share your resolutions? E-mail them to email@example.com.