Marsha Bayless, SWAS President (1998-1999)

Changes on Horizon for SWFAD/FBD

When I started to write something as a past president of SWAS, the plaque on my wall says I was president in 1999 but the information in the proceedings said I was president in 1998.  I realized that the list of presidents in the proceedings lists the presidents by the year the term started.  So, I became president at the end of the 1998 SWAS meeting and conducted it as the president in 1999.  In those years various officer terms rotated so all the officers had a year as the proceedings editor which I did for the 1996 conference.

At the 1999 meeting where I was President of SWAS, the meeting was held in Houston.  In the earlier years of the FBD association the meetings were only held in four cities.  They were Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Dallas.  On the horizon was our attempt at expanding from a regional Southwest Federation of Disciplines (SWFAD) to the more national Federation of Business Disciplines.  This led to our first out-of-region meeting in 2002 at the Adam’s Mark in St. Louis, Missouri.  The attendance in 2001 was 1,241 and dropped to 963 in 2002.  Part of this was the reaction to the September 11 terrorist events when people refused to fly. Other groups were not able to go out of their geographic regions.  This was followed by other out-of-region meetings in 2004 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida, and the 2007 meeting at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego, California.  Our efforts to expand out of the region brought unexpected problems and changed the four city sequence so we have more variety in our city choices.  Ultimately, FBD decided to stay in the states of our region which are Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico.

Our hotel in Houston is our most repeated venue over the years and has resulted in our highest attendance in recent years.  In the late 1980’s Dallas was a more popular location.  In 1998 at the start of my term the SWFAD registrations were 1449 (Dallas) and dropped to 1110 in 1999 (Houston).  The number of business positions listed was 187 and applicants as 95 in 1999.  The number of people registered for the SWAS for 1999 was 33 dropping from 58 in 1994.

I enjoyed working with my fellow Southwest Administrative Systems officers who were Walter Creighton, Lisa Miller, Harry Nowka, and Carolyn Ashe.