CPNP Executive Director
In March of 2001, George W. Bush had just succeeded Bill Clinton as President of the United States, the Baltimore Ravens had won Super Bowl XXXV, Bob the Builder had just debuted on Nick Jr, cell phones still had number pads, and the world trade center still towered over NYC. That year, I started working for CPNP as their part-time Executive Director. CPNP had just taken the leap of engaging its first staff through an association management company. I took on the role of Executive Director for CPNP while also serving as the Executive Director for the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association.
At that time in 2001:
It has been a transformative twenty years. Consider the CPNP of today:
Through these changes, we have doubled our staff from 2 to 4 individuals and my focus has shifted from the annual meeting to recertification, and now to partnerships and advocacy. What hasn’t changed is my love of our mission and the CPNP members. From the minute I started working with CPNP founders and active members in 2001, I was impressed. The organization and its members had vision, tenacity, passion, and heart. Members cared for each other, the profession, and most of all, their patients. I treasure the friendships formed while working with so many that have volunteered thousands of hours of their expertise and energy. Even as membership grows and the organization matures, your vision, tenacity, passion, and heart are still there.
As we prepare for CPNP’s 25th anniversary in 2022, I have re-read archived documents and enjoyed hearing the stories of founding members who were active in the formation of CPNP. Steve Saklad, PharmD, BCPP, provided a summary of the proceedings of a 1994 meeting where the precursor organization, the Conference for Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacy, recorded its “wants” for the organization that would later officially become the professional association named the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP). These wants included:
Although there is still work to be done, we have made progress on many of these things and more. As I reflect on my 20th anniversary with CPNP and the many accomplishments of CPNP, I hope that the 40 pharmacists at this 1994 meeting and the 116 pharmacists who paid $100 to found CPNP, are proud of the organization they conceived and jump-started. I hope the thousands of current CPNP members are proud of what they are building not only for today, but for the benefit of the next generation of psychiatric pharmacists. I hope my fellow staff members at CPNP, Greg, Vanessa, and Katie, know how impressed and proud I am of them every day.
I am in awe of the work CPNP members do every day to care for and improve outcomes for those living with psychiatric, neurologic, and/or substance use disorders. Thank you for the opportunity to support those efforts as Executive Director of CPNP for the past 20 years. I treasure the sense of community and I am excited for the big changes to come as we embark on our newest strategic plan.