As the incoming GCS Chair, I’d like to give my sincerest appreciation and thanks to the outgoing directors and officers on the Section board which are: Bill Bowers, Past Chair; Jim Montagna, Treasurer;  Hiep Vu, career management; Regina Eco, communications;  Claude Thorp, membership;  Steve Wolhart, technology transfer;  Vivian bust, director at large; and Stuart Scott, director at large.   I’d also like to acknowledge the leadership of Jane Moring this past year, I’ve learned much from her during this time and am glad she will be supporting me on the board as past Chair.  Lastly, Bill Bowers, you will be missed greatly. 
One of the primary mission of SPEI and our section is to disseminate technology, both internally and externally.  Internally, we provide forums, workshops, and study groups for our membership.  Externally, we reach out and share this technology message to the community via scholarships, community services projects, and teacher training programs in order to attract new engineers into our industry.  These efforts are supported through 33 study groups and committees that involve approx.   300 to 350 volunteers ( 2.5 % of total membership),  which generated an estimated  $1.5 million dollars in revenues for 2009-2010.  This type of program can only be successful through the efforts of numerous volunteers, all committed to a common cause.  Based upon these dedicated volunteers, the theme for the 2010-2011 Gulf Coast Section year is “Servitude Leadership: The Power of One”.  I will be sharing more on this in the coming months, but for now a brief definition.  Servitude leadership is best defined as “being equal to humility plus fierce resolve”, where humility is defined as “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of others more than yourself” ,and fierce resolve being defined in two parts: fierce- “having unrestrained zeal or vehemence”, and resolve-“the ability to find an answer”.  Thus by humbling ourselves and acting in a furiously determined way, we  , the volunteers of the Gulf Coast section, reach out to provide excellence in technical content and community service.  I encourage and challenge each of you reading this message to join us in this endeavor. This section needs you now more than ever before so please come and join us at the annual kick-off meeting and learn more about how you can become more involved in your local SPE section on Friday, August 20th , and to the volunteers of the Gulf Coast section,  “thank you for all you do”.